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Old 03-20-2012, 04:27 AM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becpee View Post
not fair
Not fair that DH is going alone; or not fair that I can't tag along? Either way....you're right!






Quote:
Originally Posted by viaggiamo View Post
Wow what a great thread.
we are off to SF in October, so have bookmarked this one.
C
Have a great trip! I'm envious!
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:23 PM   #107
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and for the link. As soon as we get back from WDW, I'll start planning my fellas trip to SF in December.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:13 PM   #108
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Santana Row




Santana Row is one of those uber-chic trendy looking shopping precincts. Located at 356 Santana Row, San Jose, you kinda have to be in the area to go visit this place as it is a bit of trek out from downtown San Francisco.






Aside from being a shopping precinct, it also has residential apartments; so it does have more of a village feel to it.






It’s located near a Westfield and the Winchester Mystery House; so there are plenty of other tourist traps to explore around it should the shops here turn out to be too pricey for you.



Just outside the Left Bank Brasserie was what you could consider to be the main square. It really was more like a long passage.






There was a gorgeous building in the middle that turned out to be a watering hole. Not that I’m a big drinker or anything; but it might be nice to check the Vintage Wine Bar at some stage in the future.






We walked down the street admiring the shops and the buildings.






It was a rather colourful little shopping precinct.






I spent a bit of time here admiring the details.






On the day we were here, ee’d arranged to meet DH's family for lunch.

The Left Bank Brasserie is an authentic Parisian-style brasserie and the Chief Culinary Officer, Roland Passot, is one of the chefs that has a small but loyal following in San Francisco.

There are a number of Left Banks in the Bay area and they all serve the same menu. This one had a rather nice prominent corner location at Santana Row.





We didn’t have a reservation; and on Sunday late morning, it only took about 10 minutes for them to seat us. Practically walk-on.






The décor was fairly low-key and informal.






I liked it a lot!






The menu? I liked it even more!






Traditionally French. The sort of French food that you’d expect to have at home, if you cooked in that French provincial way. And yes, cassoulet was on the menu. The restaurant does have a reputation for churning out a decent steak but I couldn’t pass up the Croque Mousier.






It really was much more in keeping with lunchtime than the steak would have been.

The ham was delicious. I gathered that it might have been from France.






DH had the Nicoise Salad. The tuna was seared to perfection!






Well worth a visit.....if you're in the area.




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Old 05-10-2013, 06:15 PM   #109
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Musee Mecanique





The Fisherman’s Wharf area constantly amazes me. There are so many facets to this area that I always seem to discover more about what’s here every time I come. I’d decided to stick around Pier 45 today and walked into here.






Until this visit, I had never walked in here as I had thought there was an entry fee involved. Turns out it’s free.

This place is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of all things coin operated. Entry might be free but it is a for-profit museum. Be prepared to spend quarters!
I understand that this is an individual private collection that used to be housed over at Cliff House, Golden Gate Park and moved over here in the early 2000’s.






There are all sorts of antique slot machines here; and every one that I looked at was in amazing condition and full working order.

There were all sorts of penny arcade games and amusement hall attractions….
Remember the fortune teller machines?

I haven’t seen a Grandmother fortune teller since I was a little girl!






The Wizard Prediction was also tempting; but I managed to resist falling under his spell.






The Love Tester Machine was also another one that I left alone. Afterall….I didn’t really like any of the options on display. None of them seem to fit…Me!






The Asian in me was intrigued by this machine.











Maybe I did put in a quarter in here and was disappointed by it.


And as we were in the Halloween season, this scene seemed appropriate. But scared off by the Opium Den, I gave this slot a miss.






Not this one!







Afterall….it had THE BEST play-me sign I saw in here!






The Song of the Prairie?







Well…..with the cowboys around the campfire cooking baked beans, I think you can imagine the noise….er…..music that sounded from this machine. And after I parted with my quarter, this machine was easily the most popular player from the other people around. Seems like we’re all easily amused.




But the ones that intrigued me the most were the machines with scenes constructed out of toothpicks.











This fully functioning amusement park was a delight and well worth the quarter! The rollercoaster, ferris wheel, whirly bird, train, strong man and more all worked; and left me pondering how anything was still in such good working order after nearly 100 years.







And then there were the trips down memory lane into the past…..and how people socialised and met their life partners!







The sign says it all! Not quite politically correct in today’s age; but it shows what a simpler age it was then.





I could have easily spent more than the 60 minutes and $1.50 that I had passed in here. This place was definitely somewhere to come back to with DS and DH. They would be as equally amused with this place as I was.





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Old 05-10-2013, 06:17 PM   #110
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Maritime Museum, of sorts




The San Francisco Maritime Museum is situation at the end of Hyde Street. I had visited it previously and was not in the mood to head down the pier again. What I hadn’t realised was that this museum comprised of a number of location; with the Visitor Centre located at the corner of Hyde and Jefferson; in the Cannery building.

I walked in and was surprised to find that there was a ranger in residence. Believe it or not, this really was a National Park! The display in the Visitor Centre was pretty interesting. It tells the story of San Francisco’s colorful and diverse maritime heritage.






I spent some time in here checking out the various information boards and displays.











And learnt a whole heap of stuff about the wharf and the different things the wharf was used for.

Transportation of cargo such as gold…..







….food….







…and feed for livestock.







It was also used as a main passenger port.







What I didn’t know was that San Francisco wharf had been a major manufacturer of rope. But I guess it makes sense as all those ships needed rope!











Another one of those places that might be worth 30 minutes or so, if you have time; and if you want a little peace and quiet in the Fisherman's Wharf district. If nothing else, it is worth it for the restroom break.



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Old 05-10-2013, 06:23 PM   #111
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Ghirardelli Square




Ghirardelli Square is located a little away from the main drag of Fisherman's Wharf. The Ghirardelli’s Chocolate Factory took over the Pioneer Woolen Mills on North Point Street in the mid 1800's —today’s site of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Manufactory & Soda Fountain and Ghirardelli Square.

It is a historic landmark in the area and well worth a visit.....






....especially if you opt for a little snack.






The snack ended up being my lunch on this day. I also enjoyed a free sample of Peppermint Bark. I think I even came home with a packet.






Despite the hustle and bustle down the other end of Tourist Wharf, this side was rather quiet.






Just how I like to do my sightseeing. I did take some time to check out a couple of shops here.







Did you know that there are 4 separate Ghirardelli chocolate shops just in this complex?






I checked out the time…the clock tower is one of those landmarks of the building.







Yup. Heaps to do and amuse in the Fisherman's Wharf district!




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Old 05-10-2013, 06:30 PM   #112
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An Oldie….but a Goldie….Gate Park





It has been many years since I’ve properly made a visit to the Golden Gate Park. Something that I addressed in my November 2012 trip!

I was delighted to revisit an old favourite tourist destination of mine in this city. The fifth most visited city park in the US is the Golden Gate Park. At over 1000 acres, this park is a veritable green haven in a busy metropolis with many intriguing attractions.

I found a parking spot by Lake Stow and stopped off for a brief walk.






The locals might have been out and about……






…but there was no denying….it was rather early in the morning for the two-legged visitors.





I must admit…..I do prefer things this way.

In the middle of Lake Stow is Strawberry Hill. Someday, I’m going to take a picnic basket with me and head to the island, climb the hill and take in the downtown view from up there.






I got back in the car and headed towards the de Young Memorial Museum. It was too early for opening but I remembered that there were some art sculptures around the museum.











I had remembered correctly. The bronze urn and the concrete sphinxes were originally brought to San Francisco for the 1894 California MidWinter International Exposition and purchased by H.M de Young. The sphinxes are actually replicas; and are showing their age.



There is also another statue purchased from that exposition outside the museum…..the Apple Cider Press.






Yes, I was certainly enjoying the view this morning.






The thing about being in this part of the park is that there are a number of other attractions close by.






You know that California MidWinter International Exposition? The original site was here….where the Spreckels Temple of Music is.






The weekends are the times to visit for live entertainment at Spreckels. Afterall, it has been an open air venue for dances, concerts and performances for over 120 years now.






At the time of morning and day that I was there, I only saw the Tai Chi groups under the elms.






I also took a wander through the garden of the de Young.






I was rather intrigue by apples in the park today. They seemed to be everywhere!







(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:31 PM   #113
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(Continued from Previous Post)


An Unexpected Freebie – The Japanese Tea Gardens




The other attraction in this section of the garden is the Japanese Tea Garden. The oldest Japanese public garden in the US, it is a firm favourite for me and DH. We’ve been here about 3 or 4 times in the past and I figured I’d just take a picture of the outside.






Imagine my surprise when I got up close and realised that entry between 9 – 10 am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays was free!






Well…..in my case, it was a Wednesday when I visited so I was delighted to take advantage of the offer.


This garden was yet another one of those originally created as an exhibit for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition. The garden holds tea ceremony demonstrations during the day in the tea pavilion. I would not experience it this time; nor was I to get any tea or snacks available here.






I headed down to the Sunken Garden.






This area had been the residential site of the original “owner” and landscape architect Makoto Hagiwara. He and his family were interned during the Second World War and never returned to the garden.






This section of the garden is as zen as they come.






There are lovely meandering paths in the garden that just scream walk down here to me.






Some; that just encourage you to find the hopscotch child within. For those of you interested – that’s the Peace Lantern to the right. The Peace Lantern was a symbol of friendship given to the future generations in the United States from small contributions from the children of Japan. San Francisco was chosen to receive the lantern because the Japanese Peace Treaty was signed in this city in 1951.






This five-stored pagoda was originally in the Japanese exhibit at the Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1915. After the close of the exposition the Hagiwaras had it brought to the Tea Garden.







The Main Temple Gate.







There was a spot a little lower down, near the main pond where I stopped to check the view.







There were koi in the main pond. They were letting people tickle them from underneath!







I always take a moment to climb the Drum Bridge.







It really is a beautiful garden. If you’re in the neighbourhood, it is well worth a stop.







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Old 05-10-2013, 06:36 PM   #114
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Walt Disney Family Museum



The Walt Disney Family Museum is a museum that features the life and legacy of Walt Disney. The museum is located in The Presidio of San Francisco, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco.

The museum retrofitted and expanded three existing historic buildings on the Presidio’s Main Post. It opened on October 1, 2009.


Ever since this museum opened, it's been on my hit list to visit in San Francisco.






The Museum is located at 104 Montgomery Street, The Presidio and is the brainchild of Diane Disney-Miller. Diane is the first daughter of Walt and Lilian.

Why is it in San Francisco? Well, it turns out that Diane lives in NorCal and most of her archives are stored in a warehouse at the Presidio. It seemed only logical that she would set up a museum here.






It is a strictly no photography sort of place; so there will be none posted here.


The museum consists of about 9 or 10 gallery rooms absolutely packed to the rafters with memorabilia and mementoes of Walt Disney, the man. As you progress from room to room, you go through the stages of his life and every item in that particular room tells the story of that stage. There are handwritten notes, pictures, visual artefacts, audio recordings....you name it! There were even sketches and cartoons drawn by Walt Disney himself in the early days.


This museum is mind-blowingly, gob-smackingly detailed! There is stuff EVERYWHERE! I was completely entranced with exploring and reading about the man behind the theme park and that had started the corporation. Be prepared to spend at least 3 - 4 hours here in order to do this place justice.


The various galleries are amazing. The ones that stood out in my memory are his childhood home, the early Hollywood years, the gallery where the creation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is, the optical projector, the large gallery with the 3D scale model of Disneyland and the final touching room moved me to tears.



Definitely worth a visit for us Disney freaks!



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Old 05-10-2013, 07:04 PM   #115
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Cruizin' the Cabrillo


The Cabrillo Highway is a portion of that picturesque State Route 1 highway that runs along most of the Pacific coastline of the U.S. state of California. Most of the visitors to California would drive along the stretch of SR1 known as Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).

For someone that spends a bit of tourist time in the Silicon Valley area, the Cabrillo Highway is a much more familiar stretch to me.

So it was in the November 2012 trip that I spent a couple of days just hitting sights along the way.

Santa Cruz is at the northern end of Monterey Bay.





Less well known than Monterey and Carmel, this little town is a charming spot to visit; without the hustle and bustle of too many tourist.

On this trip, I stopped by the Boardwalk for a trip down memory lane.






At the weekends, this place is BUSY!







Another stop was the Natural Bridge State Park. It will cost you $10 for car parking; but if you pay it once at one location, you will be able to park at every state park/beach along the rest of the Cabrillo for the day.






It is a very pretty beach.....













....and if you go at the right time of year, there will be Monarch Butterflies to go see as well.














In November, it was a little early in the season for the Monarchs.


I stopped for a walk at Ano Nuevo. Allow for 2 hours if you want to walk out to see Elephant Seals in the winter months.







I didn't have that much time on this trip so I just walked out a little bit to enjoy the views. If you spot the white building in this picture, that's pretty much where you start from.
















A little further down the road, you'll find Pigeon Point Lighthouse.







I sure hope that they raise the funds to restore this lighthouse back to it's former glory!







My favourite town down this way is Half Moon Bay. I've already posted heaps of pictures earlier on this thread of the town.


I do like the drive down the Cabrillo. There usually is enough to see to entertain me and it is not so busy that I feel overrun by other people.

Should you ever have the opportunity to do so, take a cruise down this stretch!



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Old 05-16-2013, 09:43 PM   #116
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PIO - I'm so glad I stumbled upon your thread about what to do in SF. We are faced with the challenge of planning our last-minute trip there and your posts have been so informative! We are staying at the Argonaut Hotel at Hyde and Beach Street.

On to more fun reading and planning now!
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:21 AM   #117
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PIO - I'm so glad I stumbled upon your thread about what to do in SF. We are faced with the challenge of planning our last-minute trip there and your posts have been so informative! We are staying at the Argonaut Hotel at Hyde and Beach Street.

On to more fun reading and planning now!
Fancy bumping into you here!!

How much time do you have in SF?

How cool! Hope you have a great trip. The Argonaut looks great. I took a look at it in November when I was at FW. It is in a great location.
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:47 AM   #118
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PIO you make me want to revisit SF. It seems I've missed so many great places. Love your photos.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:38 AM   #119
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Hi PIO and anyone else who wants to jump-in! We are going to San Fran for 3 days in September and ave just found out that the America's Cup is on while we are there. So my guess is it's gonna be busy (and now it all makes sense why hotel prices are so excessive!)

We want to go to Alcatraz, and because of America's Cup, apparently tickets will have to be purchased early (but no more than 90 days out). We also want to see the Golden Gate Bridge and the Disney museum would be cool too. We won't have a car.

We are considering a hop on hop off double decker bus tour - has anyone done one in San Fran that they can recommend? Or any other tour suggestions?

(Something like this http://www.city-sightseeing.us/alllo..._alcatraz.html )
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:53 AM   #120
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Hi PIO and anyone else who wants to jump-in! We are going to San Fran for 3 days in September and ave just found out that the America's Cup is on while we are there. So my guess is it's gonna be busy (and now it all makes sense why hotel prices are so excessive!)

We want to go to Alcatraz, and because of America's Cup, apparently tickets will have to be purchased early (but no more than 90 days out). We also want to see the Golden Gate Bridge and the Disney museum would be cool too. We won't have a car.

We are considering a hop on hop off double decker bus tour - has anyone done one in San Fran that they can recommend? Or any other tour suggestions?

(Something like this http://www.city-sightseeing.us/alllo..._alcatraz.html )
Hi Kristin5. Sounds like a great trip. I would recommend buying tix to Alcatraz if you know you're going to want to go.

Perhaps someone else can recommend a hop on hop off tour company. I tend to use the public transport to get around San Francisco; or drive.

There is public transport that will take you to the Presidio and there is some walking involved from there to the WDFM. So, if you find a company that will get you to the door for the price you're prepared to pay, go for it. I certainly thought it was worth a visit if you're a Disney freak.
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