I’m writing this update from a bench on the Google campus in Mountain View, California. It has been a long time since my last post, as it has been a whirlwind of travel from North Carolina to Louisiana to California.
As a quick recap of highlights from each city: we had a wonderful weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a beautiful city that I hope to go back to very soon. Igor, one of the American fellows who will be travelling to Israel and Jordan for his fellowship in the coming weeks, hosted us for some wonderful meals and introduced us to some really interesting and exciting people. We only got a taste of the city and can’t wait to go back.
After Charlotte, we went on to Raleigh, and unfortunately I did not get to see much of it because I was sick in the hotel room. O had some really fascinating meetings and there seems to be a lot of exciting innovation and technology coming out of Raleigh. Hopefully we will have a chance to go back there soon to pursue some different business opportunities.
New Orleans has been one of the highlights of the trip so far. I was finally feeling better (and thank goodness, because I could not fathom missing some of the famous New Orleans cuisine). This city that I’ve heard so much about exceeded all expectations. To me, it felt like a mix of Gone With the Wind and Paris, which might sound strange, but it works. One of our afternoons, we were able to squeeze in a bus tour, which allowed us to get a great taste of the city and it’s beautiful architecture and culture. The food totally met expectations, and I definitely hope to be back New Orleans sometime soon, because we really only scratched the surface of all that this fascinating city has to offer.
After New Orleans, we spent a quick 48 hours in Los Angeles. I’ve been to Los Angeles many times for work, so it was fun to go and just enjoy the city for a few days. We stayed in Calabasas which is a ways outside of LA, but it was extremely relaxing and beautiful. O had a conference to attend at Pepperdine University, and the drive there through the mountains and along the ocean was absolutely gorgeous. It seems unfair that people get to go to school there and see that view every single day. It felt more like an ocean-side resort than a university!
After Los Angeles, we went to Sacramento for 24 hours. While O had many meetings, I visited Old Sacramento, which was like taking a step back in time. Walking along the old streets and beautiful old storefronts eating salt water taffy was one of the more memorable experiences of this trip so far.
We are now San Francisco until Friday. About 10 of the other fellows are here with us, and we will have dinners and receptions tonight and tomorrow night with local trustees and sponsors, which will be a great opportunity to get caught up with everyone and hear about their travels thus far.
Today has been a tech-filled day, spending the morning at Facebook and the afternoon at Google. I have to admit I would not mind working either these places in the near future… The campuses are gorgeous, the weather is unbelievable and you can feel creativity buzzing in the air. As I sit here on a bench in the gardens at google, to my right are a group of people playing volleyball, and there are constantly people zipping by me on the brightly colored google bikes. Such a cool place….
Next update hopefully from the Grand Canyon!