» san francisco

San Francisco 2011, Day Nine

I’ve been behind by a day throughout this trip, and it looks like I might finally catch up if I can knock this one out before I fall asleep. Today was our long-awaited Chinatown day. We strolled down Stockton Street and found ourselves in the midst of a bustling food market that extended several blocks in each direction. Every kind of fruit and vegetable you can imagine, seafood, dried who-knows-what, candy, tea, snacks, noodles… the list goes on. But the highlight of the day turned out to be the bizarre toys we found in bazaars and gift shops. These ranged from angry wooden toys to zombie stickers that are designed to attach to your mirror so you can pretend to be a zombie in the morning, to “handerpants”, which, as the name suggests, are underpants for your hands.… Read More

San Francisco 2011, Day Eight

We woke up at the crack o’ dawn on Sunday to drive down to Muir Woods as soon as the park opened, and before all the tourists arrived. Choosing the path less taken every time, we found ourselves on a beautiful two-hour hike through the woods, culminating in a spectacular view across the park. Mist was still blowing through the trees, so the landscape changed every couple of minutes.

Spotted some cute banana slugs, a gaggle of chipmunks, and a couple of hawks. I also made friends with a lizard and he allowed me to get within a few inches for some excellent reptile portraits. He was missing half his tail, so perhaps his amiable demeanor didn’t work with hungry foxes and birds.… Read More

San Francisco 2011, Day Seven

A weekend road trip took us north up the coast to Bodega Bay, where we hoped to spy some Hitchcock-esque scenes. Ironically, Bodega Bay was relatively bird-free and we had a hard time even finding a flock of birds larger than two. Not much going on in a town that I expected to be teeming with avian-themed attractions. We even attempted to find the schoolhouse from the film. Well, we found a schoolhouse circled it twice, couldn’t decide if it was the right one, and eventually left disappointed. Bodega Bay did have some redeeming characteristics, however; some beautiful piers, a couple of lone egrets, and picturesque rows of houses along the bay.… Read More

San Francisco 2011, Day Five

Day five, like day three, was full of nature and wildlife. The California Academy of Sciences took up most of the day, until we were kicked out at closing and hopped on a bus across town for some yummy Thai food. Then on to 13 Assassins at the historic one-screen Bridge Theater, a fun samurai flick by prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike.

As someone who can easily spend two or three hours in even the tiniest reptile exhibit, I was delighted to discover that the museum had a special “Summer of Reptiles” exhibit going on. Among many things, I got to see large and small monitor lizards, boas, camera-shy geckos, an agitated rattlesnake, and an extremely bored Burmese python. It pretty much spent its day watching small children on the other side of the glass and pondering which it would devour first, if given the chance. … Read More

San Francisco 2011, Day Four

Spent the day in the Haight, saw more vintage and thrift stores on one street than I’ve seen in the whole of DC, had a nap in a park, got a panoramic view of the city from Buena Vista Park, and climbed the Lyon Street steps.… Read More

San Francisco 2011, Day Three

Day three was jam-packed with beautiful things: a languid morning at the Conservatory of Flowers, took in some art at the De Young museum, ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in front of a beautiful fountain, visited the rose garden, listened to a Mary Poppins-esque one-man band, and ended the day with a fabulous meal at (in my opinion) the best Indian restaurant in San Francisco.… Read More

San Francisco 2011, Day Two

Because day two was our Japantown day, not many photographs were taken. A lot of Japantown is indoors, with some really wonderful shops selling things like earthenware, bonsai trees, Japanese-language books, knick-knacks, clothing, unusual groceries, and–of course–fresh noodles.

When I wasn’t eating noodles or chatting with Japanese shopkeepers, I took photos of succulents. The thing that always astonishes me when I travel to the west coast is how easily succulents grow in the wild…… Read More

San Francisco 2011, Day One

Even before we arrived in San Francisco, fantastic things were happening. Smoothies and french fries for breakfast, the speediest airport security I’ve ever encountered, and a gorgeous aerial view of the Rockies out my window. On our first day in the city, we visited some fabulous exhibits at the Asian Art Museum, examined a few thrift stores, discovered a delicious lunch spot, wandered up to check out the view at Coit Tower, and finished the day with a sunset by the bay, bread from Boudin, and free chocolate from Ghirardelli.… Read More

San Francisco 2010, Day 5

Our last day was spent revisiting places we didn’t spend enough time in earlier. We made a quick tour of Japantown, where I ate a crèpe. Went into every Japanese grocery store within a 4-block radius, passing up fresh octopus for delicious but hard-to-open fruit drops. Also picked up a pair of handy collapsible chopsticks.Headed back to the Lumiere to watch the animated shorts, followed by a very satisfying dinner at one of the city’s best Thai restaurants. After that, we repacked our things and went to catch a bus to the airport. Instead, the bus breezed right past us despite shouting and waving. We were grouchy the whole taxi ride to the airport.… Read More

1 2