Trek West #1: Hello San Fransico!

Shalom from San Francisco! It is so hard to believe this is our last stop. However, before we left the Reno/Lake Tahoe area, we spent Wednesday enjoying the outdoors by Kayaking and Paddle Boarding on the lake, then went to Squaw Valley, home of the 1960 Winter Olympics, for lunch and swimming. We had lunch in the village at the bottom of the mountain, then took the tram up to enjoy a pool that overlooked the whole area. It was spectacular. Wednesday evening we celebrated our three birthday’s, starting with a pizza and cake party, then by going to an arcade for two hours of unlimited video games. Being together is what made it the best, as the teens teamed up in basketball, air hockey, and all the racing games. The arcade even had an assortment of 80s video games which was a treat for all the old souls in our group—staff included!

We left Reno yesterday morning and made our way to the Golden Gate city, entering from the Bay bridge, stopping on the way at the Jelly Belly factory. We started with lunch and some shopping time at Westfield San Francisco Centre, then rode the famous trolley making friends with everyone we passed by waving, smiling, and chanting their name (if they told us). Then, we drove back across the bridge towards Berkeley to check-in to the dorms and prepare for an evening out on the town. After dinner in the on-campus dining hall, we returned to Fisherman’s Warf for an adventurous evening out. Today, we are site-seeing around San Francisco and then spending Shabbat together. Here are insights from the teens:

Yesterday, we visited some of the most breathtaking and entertaining locations of our entire trip. Our first stop was Lake Tahoe where we used paddle boards and kayaks to venture around the enormous lake and take in the serene and gorgeous landscape of lush mountains and forests before us. Afterwards we traveled to Squaw Valley, host of the 1960 Winter Olympics. After eating lunch in the town at the bottom of the valley, a tram took us to the summit. Along with gazing at the entrancing snow coated peaks, we had the option of swimming, hiking, touring a museum, and plenty more. Even though we have traveled to countless mesmerizing and exciting places, yesterday was by far one of the best days of our trip. ~Talya D.

Today, we left Reno and headed to the Jelly Belly factory. We had to wear paper hats with the iconic logo as if we were factory workers ourselves. Then we headed inside and saw the packaging plant followed by all the different flavors. It was only a 15 minute tour but it was worth it! Then we headed down to the gift shop and got to try all the different flavors. It was very yummy! Then we went for lunch in a stunning mall and then took iconic cable cars through the streets of San Francisco. It was truly incredible!! We saw some crazy pretty views and met friendly people in the cars next to us to chat with while in the trolley. It was a fun and memorable day in San Fran! ~Jory S.

Wishing you all a peaceful and restful Shabbat!

All the best,

Ari, Deb, Melissa, and Ilan 

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