As I had won this competition, I got a chance to visit the Google HQ at San Francisco, California and also to the explore the beautiful city of San Francisco. My trip lGoogle Code In 2013 asted for two weeks. Taking the advantage of this trip i also visited my grandfather who lived at Kansas City. The Grand Prize trip started on 13th April, 2014. I was accompanied by my mother and my grandparents. We arrived at SF at 12 noon.
We had our reservations at the Hyatt Regency hotel. On that day only we had our opening ceremony in the hotel. It was organized for us to meet each other and introduce ourselves to one another. Most of us had already met virtually but this was the first time we all actually met, so it was really exciting and also it was really nice to meet our organization’s mentors who had helped us during this contest.
We got a bag full of swag items and some Google t-shirts. And the main gift was Google’s chrome book (a laptop).
We left the hotel early in the morning, some of us were feeling weird due to jet lag. But still, we all were excited as we neared the Google’s main HQ. It was like a whole new world. One could see lots of Red, Blue, Yellow and Green colours. Their campus was miles longer than two football fields. Although the buildings were not at all tall.(Highest building had only 4 floors). We saw the buildings associated with different programs of Google like, YouTube, Google Maps, Translate etc.
Then they took us to the main building talks. We sat in a nice conference hall, where I met Chris Di Bona, director of open source programs in Google. He gave a nice talk and then distributed the prizes. And then many other Google engineers came to give a talk on how it is to work at google. We also saw the Google’s self driving car.
After all the events we went back to the hotel at 8 pm.
We were going to spend this day exploring the beautiful city of San Francisco. They took us to the island of Alcatraz, which a old prison with a rich history. After that we went to the “Academy Of Sciences”. It is actually a very big science gallery. There we had a “behind the scenes” tour.
After that we went across the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Then we all went on nice cruise, where we had our rest, food and talks with each other. It was really awesome to be in the company of people working with Google.
This was our last day at San Francisco. They took us to the Google office at San Francisco area. It was only a 6 mile walk from the hotel. The office from inside was very beautiful one although from outside one could not tell it’s a Google office. There we had some programmers giving us a talk on Google’s programing language- GO.
In the end we all got our final gifts which include some more Google goodies and also the Google’s flagship device – Google Nexus 5 smartphone. We all had smiles on our faces. After all the distributions we bid everyone farewell, took emails of each other and then went back to the hotel from where we left San Francisco the next morning.