The Day the Golden Gate Bridge Disappeared

Yesterday was the first field trip to San Francisco. One wrinkle in the plans came from the bus arrangements that were made by the two school districts. The Kyoto students were on a chartered bus and the Modesto students were on a district (yellow) school bus. Because of insurance issues, the students had to be kept on their separate buses. That was an unfortunate situation, as it did not allow the students to mix between the buses on the trip over or back (2 hours each way). And when given a choice, would anyone really want to go on a yellow school bus when the other bus was a large plush charter?

The first stop in San Francisco was the Golden Gate Bridge. I was driving another administrator and my kids that are involved in this summer school program in my own car. We got to the bridge ahead of the buses. The plan was to drop the students on the north end of the bridge, let them walk across the bridge, and then be picked up on the San Francisco side. I dropped my passengers off on the Sausalito side of the bridge. I then drove back across the bridge, parked, and walked back to the north end to meet up with the students. I could not see the bridge as I walked across because of thick fog that was blowing into the bay carried along by cold strong winds. When I arrived on the other side I found that the students were back in the buses. Because many of the students did not bring sweaters, and they were in their uniforms, they decided not to walk across due to the winds, cold temps and heavy fog. The students are going to have to use some stock photos of the bridge for their projects, as we never got a glimpse of the bridge the entire day in the city.

Japan Town was selected by the group for their lunch stop. The Kyoto students have been here in the US for a week now, and many wanted some Japanese food (although comments were made afterwards that the food was not as good as back home). There were many choices for their lunches.

The students and teachers split into mostly three restaurants, a sushi shop, a ramen noodle shop, and an American bakery. The students had time to wander the little mall in Japan town. A group of Modesto and Kyoto students found a Pika Pika photo booth shop at the far end of the mall and were taking group shots in the photo booths. These were pretty interesting, as once you took the pictures you walked around to the back of the machine and then decorated your pictures with computer graphics and text. The pictures are then printed on photo sticker sheets.

The students took a group shot at Japan Town before climbing back onto the buses:

Some of the Kyoto students posed for a group shot afterwards:

The Modesto students were never far behind capturing video and pictures for the multimedia projects. The students should have a lot of material to choose from when producing their DVD’s from this trip.

After Japan Town the buses headed for Union Square. Here the students fanned out and did some shopping in downtown San Francisco. The ones that did not eat at Japan Town had lunch here. There was an Apple store that was very popular. There are many shops around Union Square and the students had a lot to choose from. Back at the park in the middle of Union Square, some students (and teachers) got back early to wait for the buses and had time to chat, while others took the opportunity to just sit back and relax.

They still had one more stop to make before this trip was over. The buses headed down to the Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Warf area for a short stop. By now it was late in the day and approaching dinner time. When the buses stopped a surge of students rushed the In and Out Burger across from Fisherman’s Warf. American standard fare won out over fish and chips. After a short stay all of the students got back on the buses and headed back to Modesto. Unfortunately, it was a Friday night and traffic was very heavy heading out of the city.

We’ll see on Monday what the students are talking about most from this trip, and what kind of pictures and video they ended up capturing for their projects.

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