Spring Break 2017: CALI! ✌️

Helloooooo everyone! Whew, this semester has gone by crazy fast. I am now at the halfway point, and it has been a wild. ride. Last week, I got to go to sunny CALIFORNIA with the St. Kate’s Women’s Choir for our spring break! We started our tour in Northern Cali, up in San Francisco. Then we meandered our way down to SoCal, through San Diego and Los Angeles. A lot of our days were very touristy, which was cool because we got to see a lot of places I’ve been imagining for years!

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My favorite place by far was San Francisco. It was very ~artsy~ and had ocean, mountains, and city all in one–you’d never have to pick! We started with the view from Twin Peaks….

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The view of San Francisco from Twin Peaks. So gorgeous!

We passed the house that Full House was filmed in, and we were ultra-tourists as we walked through Chinatown, Market Street, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Castro District.

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My friends and me in Chinatown! Yes, I rock the fanny pack look 😉
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Across the Golden Gate bridge, by Sausalito. SUCH a gorgeous view!

For overnights, we stayed in homestays with primarily St. Kate’s alums. This was my favorite part of touring through Cali–it wasn’t a traditional “vacation”, because we truly got to see how the locals live.

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This is the view from one of our homestays!

After visiting San Francisco, we flew down to SoCal. Our 50-minute long flight was delayed two and a half hours, so we walked around the airport, which was pretty cool! I’m somewhat of an airport junkie, so I wasn’t too upset about the delayed flight.

We walked up and down Hollywood, drove through Beverly Hills and by Rodeo Drive, and visited Santa Monica Pier. Honestly, Hollywood wasn’t as ~glamorous~ as I thought it would be… it seemed to be mostly filled with lingerie stores, smoke shops, and places to buy touristy trinkets. I am still so stoked we visited, because it’s such a famous place! And we did pass the Power Rangers and Larry King, which was pretty cool!

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Stopped for some matcha tea by the Walk of Fame! Such a cool day!
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Taking a selfie with the Hollywood sign was so amazing!

Santa Monica Pier was breathtaking. The view of the ocean was gorgeous, and it was an absolutely beautiful day outside. I felt very Hannah-Montana-celebrates-Lilly’s-birthday-party (from the movie?? Get it??) hanging out on the pier! Although the water was FREEZING, my friends and I did get in a little, because if you didn’t go to Cali and take an Insta on the beach, did you really go? 😉

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Hangin’ in the ocean!
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The amazing view from the Mexican restaurant where we had lunch!

And of course, we did sing in some beautiful churches. St. Catherine’s is, as one might guess, a Catholic university, so we performed in mainly Catholic churches. We sang in one church that is so large, it can be seen from space! We also performed at Gwen Stefani’s home church, where a scene from Spiderman 3 was also filmed. Our choir also did an exchange (we sing, they sing) with an all-female Catholic high school that was founded by the name group of Catholic Sisters as St. Kate’s. I love hanging out with younger girls, so that was really special! Finally, we also performed at Mount St. Mary’s University. They, like the high school, were also founded by the same group of Sisters, so we are operated very similarly. Our choir and their choir did a joint concert. And oh, what a beautiful campus they have! It’s nestled in the hills outside of Los Angeles, and the view was astounding.

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The view from the dining hall at Mount St. Mary’s. Just incredible!
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Goofing off in our choir robes at Gwen Stefani’s church!

I am truly glad I got to go on this trip, and I got to know all the girls in my choir so well! I loved visiting all the shops on Market Street, spotting famous stars on the Walk of Fame, and singing holy songs from the Catholic Church in such sacred settings. It was truly a blessing to be able to explore such an amazing state! The ever-famous orange trees that surrounded us at all times were definitely a plus, too. I’ll be back soon, Cali ✌️

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