Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Break on the West Coast

Spring Break is almost over! This semester is going so fast! And my first blog post!
What do the international students do for spring break? As an international student you might be a bit worried about not having somewhere other to go than staying on campus during breaks. It would be quite expensive to get plane tickets home every time we have a break from school. You have no need to be worried! The west coast has so many fun activities and PLU also hosts different activities for people that choose to stay on campus!

You will get to know people on campus that can help you get off campus for the weekends or for shorter breaks during the school year. Staying with your friends and their families is a great way to experience authentic American cultures. A few weeks ago I went home with my roommate for the weekend at her house in Seattle. It was great meeting her family and her dog! We learned even more about each other!

Students at PLU come from many different places and it is easy to find a ride if you don’t have a car. PLU also offers Zip cars, which you can rent. There are many buses and a train that can get you pretty much anywhere you want. However I have found that riding with someone else is a bonding experience. You learn so much about each other along the way and keep each other company. Staying with friends or family can really help keep your vacation on a college student budget. Roadtrips to Canada, the coast, Seattle, Portland, California for example? 

Some of the Scandinavian students and I rented a Zip car last semester and took a day trip to Paulsbo where we found lots of scandinavian food we had been craving!
From Left: Me, Lina, Helene and Catherine! (Photo: Helene Sunde Johansen)
Many students are looking for warmer weather during spring break, as it can get pretty rainy in Tacoma during spring. I decided to take a road trip down the Oregon and Californian coast to San Francisco with my grandma for some bonding.

I love the beach if you can't tell already!
The northwest is abundant with wildlife! 
While driving down highway 101 through the thick, green northwest forests we saw a sign for dune buggy rentals and tours. Of course we had to stop and go for a ride. Yes, my grandma is a daredevil! The dunes were absolutely amazing! There were so many people out with their four wheelers, dirt bikes and other vehicles. Afterwards I felt like I had been sandblasted and kept finding sand everywhere for days! 

Stopped by the golf course on the way down! Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is one of the top ten golf resorts in the United States because of its difficulty and its terrain. It is a beautiful golf course situated right on top of a rugged cliff right above the ocean. Spending the first night in Bandon, our room was right on the beach and had a beautiful view of the jagged, rock-strewn coastline that is distinctive to this beautiful northwestern landscape.

Bandon is so beautiful! Our hotel room was right on the beach!
We crossed the boarder into California and took a tour through the famous Redwood Trees! Even managed to fit the car through a tree!

Golden Gate Bridge
Breakfast on the Balcony
View from Coit Tower

                                 Beautiful hills and valleys.                    Sea lions at Pier 39.

                              Had to ride the Cable Car!

Driving in San Francisco is pretty crazy! So many steep hills and double parking... uff. 
There were a lot of other PLU students in San Francisco and I was able to meet up with a few of them while I was there! I also bumped into a friend that I had not seen for almost 4 years! We had a great time together! 

On the way back we stopped at the Oregon Vortex - House of Mystery. It was a really strange place and very interesting. Being inside the house kind of messed with our minds and it was hard to tell which way was up at times. Bottles, Lip balm and golfballs rolling uphill?!?! Brooms standing up by themselves??! What?!!?! You have to see it for yourself! 

We also stopped at Mount Shasta for a night!
There are so many fun things to do on the west coast! I can't wait for next Spring Break already!
Here is to many great adventures to come! Hope to see you there!

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