We woke up and hopped in our rental cars for the drive out to Muir Woods. Hiking though the forest was incredible. The photographers in the group made sure not to let any leaf go unturned, and the adventurers wandered off the paths to see what the woods were hiding. These trees were massive, and the surrounding flora was just as amazing.
It was great to see another side of San Francisco. We rode through the winding hills and went up to some amazing vistas.
We then headed to Toys for Bob, a studio known for its Skylanders francise. We got to explore almost the entire studio and speak with a dozen different employees about their work. We saw their 3D printer and learned about the different stages of the modeling process. Some of us were even able to show our portfolios to a concept artist at his workstation. It was an invaluable experience to speak with all of the designers and explore their quirky place of employment.
The women's bathroom at Toys for Bob was something out of a teenage girl's bedroom. It was so fun to see a female space in the male-dominated gaming industry.
This would be the last excursion of our trip. It was such an incredible experience. We drove up to one final vista and took pictures of the bridge in the bay, packed back into the cars, and spent the rest of our night hanging out at the hostel.
I have never made this many friends in such a small amount of time. With our shared interests and easy-going personalities, the trip was a breeze. All of the gaming and animation studios, museums, shops, districts, attractions, and sites we experienced made this trip worth every agonizing moment of the return flight home.
Two cancelled flights, weather and mechanical issues, 26 hours in the Dallas airport, and two cranky travelers really tested each other's patience. But we snagged a flight into Des Moines and drove the final 2 hours back to our warm beds where we slept in like school kids on a snowday.
Our 5-star sleeping accommodations.
It was a weird ending to the trip, but it didn't take away from our amazing week. Thank you, Peter, for all of your hard work organizing a week's worth of incredible tours. It was one of the best things I've done in my time here as an undergrad. San Francisco, I'll see you in 10 years. But not you, Dallas.