July 8, 2014

Trip to the United States

I went to the United States from June 21 to July 1 to attend the GDG Organizer Summit (June 23-24) and Google I/O 2014 (June 25-26). I was blessed to be granted a US VISA this time to go there.

We left Manila on June 21 and arrived in San Francisco on the same night. We stayed in Hyatt Regency San Francisco for the night. Our body was still under jet lag because we woke up at around four in the morning. We decided to walk outside and wait for the sunrise. We had breakfast then went back to SF International Airport for our shuttle for the summit hotel.

The GDG summit was held in Googleplex, Mountain View, California. The first day of the summit was in the Olympic Tech Talk of Quad 3 Building while on the second day, we were at the Main Campus. On the first day, we had various talks while on the second day was mostly unconferences. We also went to the Google Store to buy some stuff and to the Android statues to take pictures.

After the summit has ended, we went to Moscone West to register and get our badges and schwags. We checked in to Holiday Inn Civic Center afterwards. While most of the women went to the Women Techmakers Manila, we went to Intel's Official Unofficial Google I/O Pre-Party. We got the chance to receive an Acer Iconia Tab 8 there.

The next day is the first day of I/O. We woke up very early and lined up outside for the Keynote. It feels great to be able to watch the keynote live. After that, we joined the sessions, workshops, and 'box talks. In the evening after Day 1, we went to the After Hours in Yerba Buena Gardens. After the second day, we had a GDG farewell dinner at Google San Francisco office.

On June 27, we joined the GDG/GBG SEA tour. We went to the Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Bridge, and Muir Woods National Monument. We also had wine tasting at Cline Cellars. We also dropped by the Conservatory of Flowers before going back to the hotel. Afterwards, we went to Ross to buy luggages and other stuff. We also went around to buy TSA locks and other different stuff. We rode a Cable car to Fisherman's Wharf and had dinner there.

On June 28, we went to Oakland International Airport for our flight to Las Vegas, Nevada. We will be there just for the night before going to Los Angeles, California. We stayed there in Blair House Suites. It was so hot in Vegas. The temperature was 40 degrees celcius! We decided to rest and sleep first. At around eight in the evening, we walked to Peppermill to have dinner and then we went to the different places there and took pictures.

The next day, we woke up really late. We went to Greyhound Bus Station for our six-hour travel to LA. Celine's Tita Vicky and Tito Deo picked me up from the station and we met with Celine's Tita Dioly, Tita Che, and cousin Stacy for dinner. They are very hospitable and they even toured me around the next day.

Wayne, Chelle, and I met in the Los Angles International Airport for our flight back to Manila on July 1. In the Starbucks near our boarding gate, I was able to use the $5 card I got during I/O and just paid a cent for a Double Chocolate Cookie and an Oatmeal Raisin Cran cookie.

Here is the Google+ story of my short trip to the United States:



My travel to the US is very short. I wish I can go back there again soon, and hopefully with Celine too.