San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities I have seen ever ! The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the water was still, there was a cool breeze, the people were beautiful !
We stayed at the W hotel, (thanks to Google), the most gorgeous hotel I have seen ever ! Colorful bedspreads, a view of the pool, the sofa right next to the window, and of course, the super-posh lounge downstairs. My visit started with a quick visit to Chinatown with Aditi, Kalifa, and Allison. Chinatown is the quintessential touristy place, 2$ San Francisco tshirts, Chinese good-luck charms, and a "last day of Bush" countdown timer ! We got back just in time for the Google reception - a nice dinner, and interesting conversations with some fascinating people from all over the country.
The next day was the trip to Google itself. The highlight of the day was the icecream social, where Larry Page and Sergey Brin, along with a few directors "dropped by to say a hi". I also attended a talk by Peter Norvig which was pretty cooL as well. The Google campus itself is very impressive, surprisingly large, and all the stories about "too many cafes" is completely true. The one we went to had 200 options for food - there was nothing that I could think of which I didn't see - from Indian to Chinese to Sushi to Pizza and fruits and icecream and milk + cornflakes, and yogurt and beef and duck and salads and many many more things. The size and variety were mind-boggling !
I met up with Sumanth and visited the Golden Gate bridge, and Sausalito - one of the most beautiful places I have seen in the US so far. It was so peaceful, and calm and quiet, with pretty boats, and a view of the SF skyline, and so romantic ! I also went for some dinner cruise (courtesy Google), which was surprisingly not that impressive - dinner on a boat, which roams around downtown so you can see the night skyline just sounds much more romantic/impressive than it actually is. Later that night, Vijay and I hit some nightclub, and had a lot of fun ! And then drove from SF to Sunnyvale at 3am, while I tried so hard not to fall asleep, so that Vijay would have company while driving.
Vijay showed me around Stanford - the driveway with the palm trees, the "tall observatory", the church, the lake, and of course the CS building. Stanford is such a beautiful university ! And he also took me to the chaat place - where I had decent chaat for the first time in the US - I was soo happy ! I miss that place now :(
I totally need to go back to San Fransisco ASAP !