By Sammy Park
Photos by Sammy Park
With the taste of Southwest’s honey roasted peanuts still in my mouth, landing in San Francisco and breathing in the crisp, clean air signaled that my four day getaway was needed. Although the purpose of the trip was to visit my brother for UC Berkeley’s family weekend, I enjoyed the rest the vacation provided.
Directly after landing at the Oakland Airport, I boarded a train which took me to my next destination: The Palace Hotel. Equipped with a pool, spa, and a Ghirardelli’s, it was the best hotel I could ask for. Situated very nicely in the financial district, food and shopping were made very accessible.
The added luxury of having an underground train stop practically outside my hotel was extremely convenient because the price of renting a car and parking it is astronomically high in the Bay Area. Before this trip, my experiences with public transportation were very limited. By using BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), however, I quickly became an expert.
It took some time to get used to being crammed onto the train, but as I familiarized myself with the many stops and nuances of BART, the public transportation of the Bay Area felt comfortable.
The many restaurants in and around the city of San Francisco were quaint and well decorated. With sushi and Indian within a block from each other, food was readily available in every block. The best meal by far was at a Japanese restaurant called Kiraku, located within walking distance from UC Berkeley. Delivering an authentic izakaya experience, a crowd favorite are the Butcher’s Croquettes. Filled with steaming minced meat, surrounded by mashed potatoes, the croquettes are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
This vacation was better than I expected and strolling around San Francisco was a refreshing break from the monotony of school.
Vacations like these, where visiting a college is not just a“college visit vacation,”are relaxing and informative. Walking around the college campus or exploring the city and then going back to the hotel for the night are extremely fun.