It was the summer of my junior year going into my senior year and I needed to go and visit my top colleges and universities that I was definitely going to apply to; I suppose that's what led me to the Bay Area, more specifically to the San Francisco and Oakland area. I had planned basically the whole trip, from the place we were staying at (the Mission Inn) to the attractions we were going to (UC Berkeley, the TCHO Chocolate Factory, etc.). I had wanted this trip to go smoothly and to enlighten me on the whole college experience at UC Berkeley.
The first little bump in the road was at the airport. We had brought carry-on bags on purpose to not have to pay the $25 fee per checked bag; little did we know that a problem would soon arise. The x-ray machines that check the contents of all carry-on bags beeped and let the airport security know that there was a problem in one of our bags. My dad had brought with him a very large bottle of cologne and a long tube of toothpaste that were not permitted in carry-on bags. Luckily, the woman who rifled through the bag was nice enough to let my dad put the cologne and toothpaste in my sister's tiny Dora the Explorer backpack meant for kindergarteners and take it to be checked downstairs. When we arrived at the other airport, we were waiting by the luggage carousel for the little backpack; we knew that it had arrived when the whole airport burst into laughter at the sight of a Dora backpack sandwiched in between two humongous suitcases packed with luggage. Their laughter erupted even more when a grown 14-year-old girl went to retrieve the backpack.
When we finally toured UC Berkeley a couple of days later, it was truly magnificent. The campus was huge, the libraries were grand, the bell tower was spectacular! We all had a great time (except for the fact that a 90 minute walking tour strains the feet) and left to have lunch and take the BART back to our inn.
Perhaps the most shocking and confusing day of our entire trip was the day of the chocolate factory tour. The tour was fine (as chocolate tasting always is), but it was what happened after that headlined the trip. San Francisco is known to have these little bathrooms scattered around the city where one presses a button and the door electronically slides open. That day my dad really needed to use the bathroom and found one of those to use; he pressed the button and went in. Suddenly while he was just about to use the bathroom, the door whooshed open! My dad was frantic and shocked at what had just occurred but nonetheless closed the door and resumed his business. What had happened after that was a real surprise. My dad had told us that he saw a button on the wall that read INFORMATION and so he pressed it. After that, the toilet folded into the wall and water started gushing out onto the bathroom floor and so he pressed the button to open the door and jumped out, narrowly escaping being caught in the flood.
The rest of the trip was a blur. We ate, we slept, we rode the bus; nothing happened that was as exciting as the previous days. Soon enough our trip was over and we found ourselves at LAX, looking for our flyaway bus to take us back home. The trip was great; I almost couldn't believe that everything that happened really did happen. And after a few more weeks, the recent trip became all but a memory.
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