It still doesn't feel real that I'll be spending a semester abroad in London! I'm feeling excited at the prospect of immersing myself in a foreign country but at the same time I'm sad that I didn't get to spend more time in San Francisco. I haven't been home in a while because I spent the summer working back at Rochester so I've really missed the food and culture. I could go on and on about all of the things I love about the city, but pictures will do a better job of showing it.
One thing I've come to really appreciate about downtown SF is the abundance of street performers. From sax players to guys using old containers as drums, their music helps drown out the honking cars and loud buses.
Or if the street performers aren't enough and you need a small break away from the crowds of shoppers, you could stop by the MLK Memorial Waterfall in the Yerba Buena Gardens which features pictures and quotes from the famous civil rights leader.
Another nice feature about the city is it's location. If you need to really get away from the city for a while, there are a couple of nice hiking trails nearby. I went on a hike with some friends on my birthday at Inspiration Point near Berkeley and caught some amazing views along the way.
Let's be honest, stairs suck. But when they're covered in a beautiful mosaic like the Moraga Steps, they're worth checking out. Plus, when you reach the top, you're rewarded with beautiful views and stronger thighs.
What's a city without it's food? From left to right: BBQ brisquit and mashed potatos from Tommy's Joynt, chocolate cheesecake from Schubert's Bakery (some of the best cakes in the city, I promise), and chocolates from Cocoa Bella alongside imported Japanese desserts from Minamoto Kitchoan. Of course there's more than what I'm showing here, but the other foods I've had didn't last long enough for me to get a picture of them.
As much as I love the city, I also love sharing it with other people. This break I got to meet with my future brother-in-law's family, spend New Year's Eve with my girlfriend who came up to visit from LA, and hangout with some close friends while going around the city.
I've thoroughly enjoyed my time in SF and while I'm sad to leave so soon, I'm even more excited to start an amazing semester abroad! There's going to be so much to see and eat, I just hope I have enough time to enjoy it all. I'm just trying to keep an open mind with no expectations so that I can fully enjoy every experience I'll have in London.
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Kevin V Au
<p>I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. I am currently a Junior at the University of Rochester majoring in Psychology and planning to become a Physical Therapist. I love food, obstacle course racing, martial arts, drawing, and getting into philosophical discussions with my friends. I will be studying Health Practice and Policy in London and I'm excited to share my experience abroad!</p>