Cable Cars, Alcatraz, and Baseball Games

Two more sunny, fun days studying abroad in California

We headed up to San Francisco again on Wednesday, excited and ready for a full day of touring. The sun was out and we were getting warmer by the minute! We hopped on the Cable Car at Powell near Union Square. The students were excited to hang off the cable car and were waving at people on the street and in the cars. We all had a lot of fun flying up and down the hills of San Francisco in the Cable Car, and some of the students even compared it to riding a roller coaster! We were all actually able to squish onto one car, which was tight fit but fun.

We took the Cable Car to Lombard Street, which is the most crooked street in the world. We took a walk down the street and headed back to Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch at the legendary Hard Rock Cafe! Pauli asked if he ordered the “Bacon Cheeseburger” if that comes with Bacon, Cheese and the Burger? I replied yes and he was so excited!

Riding the Alcatraz Ferry on the San Francisco Bay

After Hard Rock, despite our tight schedule we also found time to say hello to the sea lions at Pier 39, and the sea lions greeted us back. Next, we got the students together for the boat ride over to Alcatraz Island for a tour of the famous prison, gardens, and around the island. By the time we got on the boat, most of the students were in t-shirts and were enjoying the sun.

Exploring Alcatraz aka The Rock

On the island we took an audio tour of the prison to learn about it’s history, inmates, and guards. The tour was good and we learned so much about Alcatraz. The tour told us about the largest escape attempt, where 3 men escaped through the walls. They used spoons to chip through the cement behind a vent for over a year. Once they escaped they were never seen or heard from again. There are 2 theories: 1. They died in the very cold, rough waters off of the island trying to get to San Francisco; 2. They were studying Spanish and were learning about South America so many think they made it and made their way down south. Many of the students were talking about this and their theories of what happened, so I know they were listening.

Tasty treats at the Ferry Building

On the way back from Alcatraz, we all stopped for a quick break at the Ferry Building, where I was able to show Ina and Raffaela some of my favorite local food items. We tried the decadent Cowgirl Creamery Cheese, fresh pressed olive oils, different flavors of almonds, and my personal favorite: mushroom ice cream. They didn’t believe me that it was delicious at first, but they loved it and even got a popsicle each. It tastes like maple-yum! Then it was back to Palo Alto after a fun day!

American baseball in the sunshine

On Thursday morning the students were busy getting ready for the final performance that they will be doing at the farewell party. I cannot give away any of the secrets of what I have heard or seen, so you will just have to wait until Sunday for photos. We hope to see all of the host families there. Today I taught them all how to play baseball. Luckily, some of them already had some working knowledge of the game so we were able to demonstrate how to play. I explained the rules and the goals of the game and then we took the field. There were so many eager players we had a field full of students.

It was a beautiful day yesterday and the students were excited to run around. We started with a scrimmage game and there was a huge line of students wanting to hit the ball and get a home run! Then we played a game. They caught on quicker than I had expected and we were able to play a fun game. Believe it or not, we had a tie score 7-7! They all took turns with positions and loved it. Some smaller groups split off to play catch, practice hitting the ball, and even got a game of soccer together. At the end of the day we had peanuts and cracker jacks and sang the song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” It was a great day in the sun!
– Marya

Return to the U.S. this summer with ECI!

Want more opportunities to improve your English and explore California? Then enroll in one of our summer immersion programs for European students. You’ll find all the details on the Edu-Culture International, Europe website.

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