Prom, pastries, and parties. Here is how I spent a weekend in San Francisco.
Back in April my friend Khalid invited me to stay with him in San Francisco for a weekend. My best friend Jessie was also invited to join as we had all met while traveling in Santa Cruz. Here is the breakdown for the weekend.
I started the drive to Palo Alto at 10AM, anticipating that I would arrive at 3PM. As Khalid would be in class (he is earning his MBA from Stanford) until 5PM, I was excited to have a few hours to myself to walk around campus and maybe get some reading done (I was completely enthralled with Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog, which seemed really fitting as he had earned his MBA from Stanford).
Unfortunately, the drive took 7.5 hours instead of the usual five. Fortunately, I was not involved in either of the accidents that caused the massive backups. I stopped in Gilroy for a late lunch at 4PM, where I had a very delicious chicken quesadilla at Taqueria Cancun.
I then continued the hour on until I arrived at Khalid’s apartment. First thing we did was pick up some weekend necessities (read: donuts and chocolate) at a Safeway grocery store.
Immediately after unloading everything at Khalid’s place, Jessie arrived – what perfect timing.
The whole reason for this trip to Northern California was to attend “prom” at Stanford. The Stanford MBA class of 2017 was hosting a dance and I was lucky enough to be Khalid’s date.
We ordered in a pizza from Door Dash and the three of us set to getting ready, Jessie and I taking significantly longer than Khalid. Once presentable for the black tie event, we took off to meet some of Khalid’s friends and take some pictures.
The night was a ton of fun. I love to dance, and so do the Stanford MBA students. There were some really amazing dance moves to be found on the floor, which made for great people watching. I also love that the Stanford MBA program is made up of 40% international students. Although it was loud, I was able to meet some really interesting people.
Jessie and I had a great time.
Thanks for asking us to join, Khalid!
Khalid left earlier in the morning to work on a group project with some fellow MBA students. While he was gone, Jessie and I just caught up with each other and got ready for our day. We met up with Khalid at The Fish Market for some lunch. I ordered the clam chowder (always a staple in the Bay Area) and (the world’s largest) side dish of pancetta Brussels sprouts. Both were good!
We then spent the day walking around Stanford. Although I visited the campus when I was 15 and looking for schools to apply to for my Bachelors Degree, I don’t remember much. Khalid showed us the Graduate School of Business (GSB), where I was excited to see tons of Phil Knight memorabilia. As I mentioned earlier, I had just finished reading his book the day prior and was feeling a little Phil Knight obsessed (full book review coming soon!).
We also saw the library, sculpture gardens, and the art museum.
I was a beautiful day on campus!
After relaxing for a bit back at Khalid’s, we went for some sushi (another necessity while in the Bay Area). We went to Fuki Sushi on Khalid’s recommendation.
As I was nursing a sore throat and the onset of a cold, I ordered a hot tea.
I then ordered a California roll and a side of seared fatty salmon nigiri. The nigiri was amazing, and the California roll was good too, just very simple.
We then went to Cream on University Avenue for dessert. As we had just eaten, we all opted for just a scoop of ice cream instead of an entire cookie sandwich. I got salted caramel, which was delicious.
We ate our ice cream walking up and down University Ave before heading out to a party hosted by some of Khalid’s fellow MBA students.
This was a pretty amazing opportunity to meet some very interesting people. Like Khalid, who is from Qatar, most of the students we met at the party were international. We had conversations with international students from Rwanda, Chile, and Israel, and those State side, like New York to Washington.
While at the party, Jessie turned to me and said how inadequate she felt about all she has accomplished in her 23-years of life. I told her that prom the night before had left me feeling the same way. I listened closely to a conversation between the man from Chile and the woman from Rwanda as they compared political situations in different African countries. Although I was interested to learn and listen, I did not feel qualified to join in on the conversation. I didn’t even know how to start asking question to join in… (I mean, I don’t even know if these countries have dictators, Presidents, or Prime Ministers…let alone how the specifics of each countries’ political positions differ…).
Instead of asking and learning from a great source, I kept my mouth shut to avoid embarrassing myself (which is ridiculous, because these students were nothing but nice). What I realized in that moment is that I was surrounded by a group of individuals that had on average five more years of life experience than myself. I know that in five years – or even just two, after finishing my own MBA program – I will know which questions to ask, and more importantly: I will have the confidence to do so.
Khalid again went to work on his project, so Jessie and I spend the early afternoon with my good friend Matt (you first met him here). Funny enough, Matt was my prom date to my Senior Prom. It seems that all my prom dates end up in Palo Alto!
Matt, Jessie, and I met up at Lyfe Kitchen at Khalid’s suggestion. This place was super cute!
Jessie and I both ordered the egg sandwich for breakfast, which was delicious. The banana fig smooth was also great! I ordered a carrot zucchini walnut muffin to go so I would have something to snack on during my drive home – also delicious. This place was very healthy, and if you are like Jessie, offers great vegetarian options.
We then walked around town for a little, popping into stores. As I will need to purchase a bike when I go back to school, I wanted to check out a bike store to get a gauge on pricing. I was thrilled to see this one with University of Oregon Duck colors! The almost $2,000 price tag…not so thrilling.
The three of us then went to get boba (otherwise known as bubble tea) at a place Matt recommends called Verde Tea Cafe. Matt loves this place because you can order boba by the bucket, and I am quite serious. Look at the size of that thing!
Mine on the other hand:
After a nice chance to catch up with Matt, Jessie and I went to meet up with Khalid for lunch. [I know it seems like all I do is eat – which is partially true – but there is much more downtime, conversation, and walking than I describe in my posts!] As Khalid had not had lunch, he chose Local Union 271.
If you cannot tell from the crazy amount of pictures I took of the decor, I loved this place. With the high ceilings, skylights, and retro feel, I was enamored. What made it even better was the delicious food. Jessie and I split a veggie panini, which was amazing and made me miss being a vegetarian.
We then rounded out the trip with another ice cream stop. Khalid wanted to take us to Scoops, a microcreamery that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the ice cream. What is even cooler is that it is made with mainly locally grown ingredients and the company was started by a Stanford MBA student. I got bourbon salted caramel, but was very tempted by Jessie’s peanut butter cup!
With that, we packed up and said our goodbyes! Jessie started her 2.5-hour drive back to Sacramento and I started my 5-hour trek back to the City of Angeles.
It is always bitter sweet saying goodbye to good friends. Lucky for me, with such loving and spontaneous friends as Jessie and Khalid, it never really is ‘goodbye,’ but truly ‘see you later.’
What suggestions do you have for a trip to the Bay Area? Let us know below.