A almost normal flight - almost..

"Welcome aboard Alaska Airlines service from Oakland to Seattle."

Finally Friday evening, the school is over and we are off to Oakland airport. Quick self checkin, fast security check and only a 20 minute wait at the gate and we were set to take off.

The engines roared and we could feel the familiar drag you can experience every time an airplane takes off. After a very short climb into the night sky over Oakland we stopped climbing and cruised on a fairly low altitude. I wondered why, maybe due to heavy traffic in the Bay Area. We stayed at the same low level for at least 5 minutes and the engines seemed to be at a very low power level. At this point I knew something was wrong. 

Some moments later we heard the voice off captain Tim telling us that we had been hit by a bird shortly after take off. According to him, this had caused a failure in all instruments on the captains side and so the copilot was flying with the remaining systems. He said that he had declared an emergency and that we had to go back to Oakland immediately. This plane was going nowhere that night.

At that moment we felt the nervousness among all the passengers, everyone was talking. A minute later, this noisy atmosphere changed into a focused, concentrated silence. 

After flying for 20 more minutes over the Bay Area with a lot of turns, we finally approached Oakland airport again. Then we touched the ground surprisingly hard, that hard that the airplane pumped up back in the air. Looking out of the window we made out the lights off all the emergency services waiting for us, while we got down again to definitely land this time. But in the end apart from the bird nobody got hurt.
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A night in Las Vegas - how to turn 2$ into 200$

Las Vegas, NV

A lot of stories are told, a lot of films made, and it seems almost everybody has at least been there once: Las Vegas. 
So it did not take a long time being in SF until the idea came up to visit it. Couple of days after the first thought, we were already on our way.
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The tallest trees on earth and a smell you won't forget...

Redwood and Lassen Vulcanic National Parks in northern California

Leaving town for the first time after three weeks was a strange but also a refreshing experience. It was a couple of days before when seven of us at school decided that we should go on a weekend trip to those parks. 7 people and one car, that called for real american vehicle, and so we rented the biggest SUV we could find and it was totally worth it!
We hit the street directly after school to get as close to the Reedwood Park as possible. After a sleepover in Arcata, close to Eureka, we were finally welcomed to the countryside with miles and miles nothing than fields and trees.
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