San Francisco shopping

Chloé and Hakim: On Sunday we went to Westfield Mall. We discovered the fashion in America and a typical American Mall. We went to a lot of shops : American Eagle, Adidas, Nike, Foot locker, Victoria’s Secret, Urban Outfitters. We bought lots of clothes and gifts for our families. Malls here are very different than in France. They are so much bigger.

Sarah, Chloé, Marie-Appoline, Estelle, and Victorine after a successful shopping trip

Sarah, Chloé, Marie-Appoline, Estelle, and Victorine after a successful shopping trip

Hugo:  On Sunday I went to Westfield Mall to see what a real Mall in America looks like. We took the car and I was really surprised when I saw the price of the parking. I didn’t expect it to be so expensive. Not all the things are cheaper in America!  I bought shoes at Foot Locker and I was surprised by the taxes. Indeed, in America you don’t know how much it will really cost before you pay.

To conclude, the principal difference difference between the Mall in America and the Mall in France is they are so much bigger here. We all bought souvenirs for us and our family (except for Hugo who isn’t a good son).

—-Cholé, Hakim. and Hugo

Skating in San Francisco

When I first came to San Francisco, one of the first things i noticed and liked is that
skateboarding is definitely a part of the Californian culture. From the skateshop to the
street, i will relate my amazing experience, as a skater in San Francisco.

Skates on Haight

Skates on Haight

Before leaving France, my dream was to come back from California with a board, making
sure to bring enough money and to leave enough room in my suitcase. Now that I think
about it, I feel like I made my dream jealous, with a zflex cruiser board…. some good stuff!

A flintsone and a longboard glove

A flintsone and a longboard glove

At the skateshop, i felt immediately that brotherhood that links skaters worldwide and that I love so much. No matter my age or the country I came from, I could directly feel
comfortable. And I spent maybe an hour listening to the seller telling me some stories
about his skating childhood in the seventies.

When finally I left the boutique, riding my brand new board, I realised that the entire city was an amazing spot, with its smooth roads on Golden Gate Park, or its steep hills through Haight Street, it is useless to say that I wasn’t the only skater!

Typical San Francisco steep road

Typical San Francisco steep road

As I cruised home, I was happy to learn that my exchange student’s brother was a skater.
This meant we would have fun every day after school, and so did we. Cruising and curving
around blocks, sliding at the rollerskate spot, riding fast, and downhill as the roads were closed for cars on Sundays or just popping ollies in the garage, i think we tried all types of skateboarding.

Glenn doing the cooleman slide on his board

Glenn doing the cooleman slide on his board

In San Francisco, skaters spend their lives on their board, and so skateboarding is more of a lifestyle than of a passion, and for me, it became both during this fantastic journey!


San Francisco

A view from Alcatraz (Camille) Skyline photo by Camille

S‎an Francisco is a multicultural city located in Californie, in the north Bay Area. This city is divided in 3 different parts, the golden gate park, the city center, and the residence area.

The golden gate park goes from Haight Ashbury all the way to the beach! This park contains seven museums, as the De Young museum or the science museum and it is a beautiful green park to practice sport or hang out.

Golden Gate Park by Benoît

Golden Gate Park by Benoît

Sigrid, Victorine, Estelle and Hakim on the roof at the Academy of Sciences

Sigrid, Victorine, Estelle and Hakim on the roof at the Academy of Sciences

The city center includes union square which is the shopping center of San Francisco, it also includes lots of restaurents and hotels which make it a touristic area. The city center also contains China Town, famous for its dragon gate; then  the fishermen wharf where you can find the ferry building which is full of food shops and restaurants. When you’re in the city center you can also drive through the lombard street.

The Chinatown Gate

Chinatown Dragon Gate

SF has many means of transportation‎. The most typical one is the market street rail which is a kind of cable car. There is also a subway that goes from SF to Oakland. SF has bikes that you can rent. Then, because SF is on the océan side, they have ferries to go, for instance, to Alcatraz as we did.

But the cool means of transportation in SF is obviously the skateboard (Glenn!).

Glenn and his trusty skateboard (by Guillaume)

Glenn and his trusty skateboard (by Guillaume)

—Cassandra, Sigrid and Thèma.

Day to Night

Camille shares two beautiful, contrasting San Francisco views.

Aquatic Park in the bright sun of Sunday morning.
Sunday morning Bay view (Camille)

And the Palace of Fine Arts glowing against the night sky.
Palace of Fine Arts by night (Camille)


Preparing for Halloween

Jack o’ lanterns (photo by Enzo)Jack o' lanterns (Enzo)  A halloween house (Camille)
Halloween House (photo by Camille)

On Wedneday, we went to Haight Street to find our costumes for Halloween. We walked through the whole street to find out a Halloween store that was not expensive! At first we went to a real halloween costume store and we wanted to be disney princess. As prices were very high we had to go further, the problem is that walking in san francisco is really exhausting. We finally went to a store that was doing sales for Halloween where we found some disney princess costumes but they did not fit us. We were exhausted and running out of time when the lady showed us burlesque costumes. We immediatly got really excited about the idea as it represents France with “Moulin Rouge”.

Haight Street is the perfect street for Halloween but i would never do my shopping there, this is not my style at all, it is more a hippies’ style as they are a lot hanging out in this street. You can find different types of people over there and some have a really unique style.

–Estelle and Victorine

In disguise (Camille)
n disguise  (photo by Camille)

Scientific phenomena as seen by Chloé

Chloé has an eye out for more scientific sightseeing than the average tourist.


An image of a solar eclipse on October 23, 2014 through a telescope in Urban’s back yard. There won’t be another until 2017!

solar eclipse through telescope (Chloe)


Sunlight refracting in the San Francisco sky
Rainbow in SF sky Chole

A colony of ladybugs in Muir Woods

ladybugs at Muir Woods (Chloe)

Since I didn’t know what was going on with those ladybugs, I sent the photo and a query to Matt Mederios on our science faculty.  He is known for his expertise in moths, but I thought he still might be able to help us out.  And I was right!

Here’s his reply:

Ooh, cool!  They are indeed ladybugs (a type of beetle, not actually bugs, which are a mutually exclusive group in their own right), and they’re clumping together to overwinter [hibernate].  Some gardeners actually seek out these clumps, collect them, and then spread the beetles in their garden, since the beetles eat pests like aphids.

Check this out.

So, now we’ve learned something.  Thanks, Chloé!


More outings

Hakim at the NBA

Hakim realizing his dream of attending an NBA game! The Warriors vs. The Los Angeles Clippers

Victorine and the King Fredels

Victorine and the King-Fredel family in the Marin Headlands

Victorine and the golden gate

Victorine and the Golden Gate

Elijah and Hakim after a game of golf

Elijah and Hakim after a game of golf


Union Square shopping (Estelle)
Shane, Marie, Sarah, Chloé, Estelle, Camille, and Veronica
head out to do some shopping

Group at beach (from Chloe)
Camille, Myriam, Chloé, Marie, Emily, Erika, Juliette, and Sarah
at Stinson Beach

San Francisco vistas

GG Bridge Victorine
From her host family’s house in Sea Cliff–the Marin Headlands, the Pacific, and the Golden Gate Bridge (by Victorine)

city vista by sigrid
A city vista (by Sigrid)

The Pacific coast (Cassandra)
The Pacific coast (by Cassandra)

Bridge in the mist by Thema
The Golden Gate in the mist (by Thèma)

San Francisco panorama (Cassandra)
A San Francisco panorama from bridge to bridge (by Cassandra)

Golden Gate (Julien)
The Golden Gate Bridge (by Julien)

Golden Gate panorama (Julien)
A Golden Gate panorama (by Julien)


group shot-Thema
Jeanne, Camille, Thèma, Hakim and Hugo

Emily and Sarah
Emily and Sarah


Thèma, Jeanne and Michela
Thèma, Jeanne, and Michela

Silly Chloe, Marie, Juliette, Sarah
Chloé, Marie, Juliette, and Sarah

Jeanne and Devan
Jeanne and Devan

Guillaume, Enzo, Sarah, Juliette (Sarah selfie)
Guillaume, Enzo, Sarah, and Juliette

Sarah, Juliette, Marie by Sarah
Sarah, Juliette, and Marie

Silly Sarah and Cassandra (Sarah)
Sarah and Cassandra