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Old 10-01-2013, 12:14 PM   #136
podsnel
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Originally Posted by Nora03 View Post
Loved that you had lots of time at Muir Woods. We took a tour and our time was limited. No time to shop.

You asked me if we liked Celebrity Cruiseline and we do. We have also sailed with Princess (Caribbean and Med) and I think it is comparable. Our cabin on Celebrity was larger, but we splurged since it was a special anniversary and booked a veranda and concierge. We certainly got a good price on this cruise to Alaska from SF as it was a repositioning cruise. We even got a huge discount before we made our final payment ($1,000 discount) and that paid for our shore excursions.

My DH wasn't crazy about going on an Alaskan cruise as he likes to take warm winter vacations, since we have such long cold winters, but I convinced him and he was glad I did! We loved it. The scenery is fabulous - better than we ever thought possible. I know you'd love it and you have to put it on your list!

Looking forward to seeing and hearing about Yosemite. I hope you were out of there before the fires started and stayed safe.

Nora
Thanks for all the Alaska tips- it is DEFINITELY on my list with Pods- I was hoping to move it to my list with the boys, though! Glad to hear you like Celebrity- I have only been on once, but I think that is the cruiseline (other than DCL, obviously) that would meet our needs best.

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Originally Posted by OhMari View Post


MY son, the one that just moved today to Long Island City, NY has a picture of the same tree. He did a road trip along the West Coast. He also has a picture of them driving through a tree, which was suppose to be a big no, no with a truck.
Yea- they don't let you drive through them anymore because of root damage, I think. How is he liking NY? A VERY big adventure, moving there from another part of the country.

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Originally Posted by RGirl View Post
Hmm, maybe we should plan a 2016 Alaska cruise! I totally want to do it again - I love the Wonder, and the views from Tracy Arm day were worth the entire cost of the cruise. Gah - I love that cruise! There is still a little part of me sad that we aren't doing it again next summer.

I really need to go on the Wonder, never have been! I have heard that is the amazing thing that DCL does- spend so much time at Tracy Arm. OMG, summer 2016- Timmy will be going into his Senior year of HS and Tyler into his sophomore year of college- I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Well, I met with my mom last weekend, and we have tentatively decided on doing the Cali trip! I am sooooooo excited - first to see all my friends in SF and introduce them to Willow! And then to do that amazing drive leisurely over the course of about 4 days, so we can stop everywhere we want (like, yes, Hearst Castle). And then, because we will almost certainly have DLR APs starting January of this year , another 4 or so days there! GAH - perfection!!!

This is GREAT news!!!!!

And one of the things we will do while in SF? Muir Woods!!! I loved your updates! You know, I have lived in quite a few places as an adult, and I have this terrible habit of never doing the things that one would do when visiting a place. So I never went to Muir Woods! We will. I am kind of excited to experience SF as a tourist and SF as a parent - I know there are a lot of cool things to do with kids there.

Can't wait for more, Ellen - keep 'em coming!
Yea- I know how that goes- I have lived in NJ all my life and never been to the Statue of Liberty. I think you will see your city by the bay in a whole new way- OMG, soooo many parks and playgrounds!! How fun!

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Originally Posted by anewmac View Post
I know I know I know.. Im late... did you expect anything less from me.

Of course not. I'm just Happy you ARE here!

So let me catch up.

-Clam chowda looks YUMMY (so does pods beer!)
-I knew I liked Timmy us lefties got to stick together LOL
-The hotel looks awesome!
-Tall people that are afraid of heights crack me up
-The wine and fruit is awesome what a sweetie!
-Dinner looked amazing, minus the oysters.. I mean I eat them but need a few more of pods' beers to do them LOL
-Muir woods looks breathtaking.
-I hear you on the food issue with kids ugg teenagers LOL I particularly love when they say they are starving then order the biggest or most expensive item on the menu and eat 2 bites.. I want to hurt someone.

Glad I was able to catch up before I missed the whole trip LOL
I am trying to catch up on everything too! Not that easy- it's been busy! It always is great to hear what you have to say, though- thanks Sis!
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:29 PM   #137
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I'm REALLY glad I never had kids! HA HA HA, they would have been warned that this was not allowed , but even if it was in their thoughts, I would have made them explain when in their leftovers the would have ate them. But since I couldn't have got through the "who is going to change their diapers phase?" I never would have had kids, plus there is the whole question of where the sperm would have come from! It just wasn't happening!
Well, that's a whole lot of reasons why you can always be CERTAIN you chose wisely on the Mommy issue, my friend!

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You've been an updating machine this week! Holy photos batman! I have got to get out to Cali for more than work!

Those woods look absolutely stunning! I also love the bridge photo with the fog!

Although i just found out I'll get to join DS for a weekend before a work conference in Dallas in November. TA Ellen, oh queen, any suggestions for Texas? I'll get to cross off another state from the list!
Yea- REALLY- gotta visit CA for FUN sometime- it's REALLY worth the trip!

Dallas, huh? Mmmmm....BBQ- brisket ESPECIALLY is fantastic there. I can't tell you where I went when I was there years ago to be in my little sister's wedding (from my Sorority- not Loni), and it probably is different now anyway, but make sure to get some BBQ Brisket while you are there- and go up and have a drink in the rotating dandelion. If it still does that. Highly recommend a corvette as the chosen mode of transportation, too- that's what the bride's Dad gave us to tool around in while we were there (as his favorite bridesmaids) VROOM VROOM!! It was too fun, lol!


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Originally Posted by scottny View Post
Wow! You are having a great trip so far and you just got out the door. LOL
The soup looked so good.
A store for me. LOL. I love being a lefty.
All the dinners looked great.
The flowers are all gorgeous.
What a gorgeous view at night from your balcony. Nice place to enjoy wine.
The breakfast looked wonderful.
LOL at him in the elevator.
I would love to go into woods like that. I love trees.
That looked like a great place to visit. I want to go out there and just see the redwoods and visit all of the woods and San Francisco oh and Disneyland. LOL
Wow! People take cabs up into the woods.
All caught up.
They take cabs and buses! I would have been scared shi***** to drive in a bus on those roads- or even to Pass one in a car- glad we missed the buses! But there is so much more to come- hiking Lands End right IN SF on our last day was GORGEOUS too- it's a must do kind of a place, SF, with too many must-dos to only do once!

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Originally Posted by lisaviolet View Post
Oh Ellen. What a trip. THE TREES. Just seem so magical. Seems like they could easily touch the soul. Loved all of the pictures and the video.

What a BEAUTIFUL way you have with words.
Thank you so very much.

And your pictures are breathtakingly gorgeous.
Thanks Darlin- I hope you will go one day, I would love to see the breathtaking photos you would be sure to take-

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Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post
Yay for the redwoods. The smell is the best part!!!!!!! Crazy about the crowds and parking though, smart to beat it.

The breakfast at Pier 23 was really good, I had huevos rancheros and Jeff had a breakfast sammie (ham, cheese, egg on sourdough) with some kind of potatoes. It was fabulous and it's an amazing location. Plus they make a darn tasty bloody!
I would have had the Huevos Rancheros, too- now I need to go back FOR SURE! And love being near the water there.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:39 PM   #138
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Just keepin' up Ellen !!!What are your thoughts on the new DAS???????
Oh, Rosie- it just makes me so sad. I can see why they had to do something, there was so much abuse of it, and I think it is a viable option for some disabled people, although not nearly as wonderful as a GAC. But for developmentally/behaviorally disabled? It makes it impossible. We barely get through the vacation intact as it is- with the new system, I don't know if it can be done-my hope is that it will be modified as they figure out what will work for people- and what won't work for people.

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Originally Posted by JKSWonder View Post
I was thinking of you today. Thinking "Thank goodness Ellen got that trip to Yosemite in before the government shut down!"

I have a friend with a trip planned to the Grand Canyon leaving very soon. She is now sobbing on Facebook since it looks like her vacation was just completely destroyed.
Oh, I am SO SORRY for your friend. That was the first thing I thought of- all the people about to/already on vacation at a National Park. We are headed to STJ in a week and a half and will not be able to snorkel at Trunk because of this- but there is more snorkeling to be had there, what does someone like your friend do? Are they making alternate plans for a different Southwest vacation? I wish these grown ups in congress would start acting like grown ups and figure it out!! And they still get paid? THEY are the ones who should not be paid, not all the employees below them who have no control. Big hugs to your friend-
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:59 PM   #139
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Oh, I am SO SORRY for your friend. That was the first thing I thought of- all the people about to/already on vacation at a National Park. We are headed to STJ in a week and a half and will not be able to snorkel at Trunk because of this- but there is more snorkeling to be had there, what does someone like your friend do? Are they making alternate plans for a different Southwest vacation? I wish these grown ups in congress would start acting like grown ups and figure it out!! And they still get paid? THEY are the ones who should not be paid, not all the employees below them who have no control. Big hugs to your friend-
She is still going to go. Too late to cancel everything now. She was headed out to Arizona for a family reunion of sorts (her husband's side) and they are staying with them for a large portion of the trip. Grand Canyon was one of the things they had built into this several week bonanza vacation that they really wanted to do, since they have no idea when they might get the chance to head out that way again. I feel terrible for her....they were really looking forward to it. I'm sure they will still have fun with family regardless, but its still a huge disappointment.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:40 PM   #140
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A quick update-
We drove back to the city, through Mt Tamalpais-



Which is yet ANOTHER park in the area with some great hiking.

Cali has some trails, man.

But we had no time for more hiking, we had a lunch reservation at Yank Sing for Dim Sum- you heard me, Captain Oblivious- and then we would be going all over the place with Silver Lion Tours. Just before the GG bridge, there was a string of 5 antique cars out for a spin, including this one-



Yea, that's right, dude- now you're famous. You can thank me later.

The bridge on the flip side-



The fog is gone! And the America's Cup is still going strong-



Pods was trying to convince me those were cranes. Ok.......

We gave the car back to the hotel (THAT was easy!!) and went up to the room for a second to clean up after the hike-



Then set off to find the Ricon Center where the Yank Sing we wanted was located. After only getting a little turned around due to construction near our hotel, we found it-



G'sMaman had helped me choose this one- I was in between it and somewhere in Chinatown- she strongly urged me to go here, even though it was more $$ than a Chinatown DimSum lunch would have been. Was it worth it?

OHHHHHHH YEAAAAAAA!!!!!!!! All of us are STILL dreaming of this lunch, it was spectacular.



Thanks again, Tricia!

Dim Sum means "to touch the heart." Women wheel around carts with plates and plates of food- you choose, they put it in front of you, and they mark a card that is left on the table and at the end you throw all the money you've got on the table and run out the door because the fire alarm is going off. (well- maybe not true about throwing all your money on the table, although it will probably FEEL like all your money, but true about the fire alarm- it goes off a lot here apparently, without warrant). The food is small plated, so you get to try lots and lots of things- OMG, it was ALL soooooooooo good! Here is what we were lucky enough to have that day-

Stuffed Mushrooms-



On the left, Stuffed Crab Claws Light and fluffy crab and shrimp mousse croquette encasing a whole snow crab claw, deep-fried until golden brown. On the right, spring rolls, cut in half-



We got more of those crab claws, the boys LOVED them. Next- Shanghai Dumpling A Yank Sing signature dish of minced Kurobuta Pork, scallion and ginger wrapped and steamed in its own aromatic broth.



I think those were my favorite- I love soup dumplings. These were shrimp dumplings, they had bamboo shoots and waterchestnuts in them, I think-



We had a lot of seafood, go figure! This was walnut shrimp- I am salivating remembering those walnuts and perfectly cooked, sweet shrimp-



Bacon wrapped shrimp- we got another order of this one as well, T&T are BIG bacon fans-



MORE shrimp! This one was Phoenix Tailed Shrimp Whole plump shrimp, with a shrimp mousse croquette encasing, lightly battered and deep-fried until golden brown; served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce.



When we went in, the kids were pretty confused about what was going on- they knew we were going in for Chinese, but that they would NOT be having any chicken and broccoli today, so they were a bit leary. After the first plate, they were SOLD! Dim Sum had touched their hearts for sure!



Pork Sui Mye Hand-chopped shrimp and pork filling, hand-wrapped in fresh pasta skin and hand-formed into a fluted 'basket.'



And the last one- no idea at this point, but it was great like the rest, I am sure! I think it was vegetarian.



Look Ma! Sticks!





I applauded the boys- best chopstick usage ever for them.

It was time for dessert! And even though there was clearly no room for dessert, we soldiered on- Tyler inspected the options-





He chose a frozen mango pie- which they brought to him from the back.



While we had been waiting for our table, I had read in their reviews that you MUST MUST MUST get the Egg Custard Tarts when you are here- and ask for them fresh from the back, so they are served still warm. Pods thought I was CRAZY- clearly waaaay over indulging. Then he had a bite.

Egg Custard Tart Warm oven-baked, velvety smooth and sweet egg custard in flaky pastry tart shell.



OMG, these are soooo GOOD! Says the man who snarfed one down all by himself. "I had no idea these would be so great!!"

Yea. Good thing you have ME around, Mister!

And then....the fire alarm went off. And people started running out of the restaurant.

Except Pods. Who felt it was a good time to hit the head.

What can I say? That man's timing is...not everything. Anyway, it was a false alarm- I had read beforehand that this happens a lot here for some reason.

Ummm....might wanna get that fixed there, Rincon Center. Kind of a good thing to know for sure- if there isn't or IS a FIRE!

So all of us STRONGLY urge you to visit Yank Sing on your visit to San Fran, if you can swing it. Dim Sum is served at lunch time only, and I can promise you, it is worth every calorie and every dime ya got!

Just remember to bring your fire extinguisher- just in case.

Up next- let's see EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!




Last edited by podsnel; 10-01-2013 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:20 PM   #141
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Oh Wow - that looks amazing. Thanks for the tip - you know, about the money AND the fire extinguisher! I am definitely put THAT on my bucket list for when I plan my West Coast adventure.

Great update!
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:42 PM   #142
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Just found your report and read all 10 pages. I live in the SF area, and actually try to avoid going into the city. But I did have a family meal at the same Dim Sum place a few years ago. I don't remember any fire alarms going off back then!
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:12 PM   #143
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The Dim Sum looked so amazing. I just love stuff like that. Plus egg custard. What a great dinner!
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:07 AM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
We drove back to the city, through Mt Tamalpais-
Looks like a beautiful drive, north of the city.

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Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
But we had no time for more hiking, we had a lunch reservation at Yank Sing for Dim Sum- you heard me, Captain Oblivious-
Now look, Koko Head...

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Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
Dim Sum means "to touch the heart."
Unless you're referring to me, of course.


Quote:
Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
We had a lot of seafood, go figure! This was walnut shrimp- I am salivating remembering those walnuts and perfectly cooked, sweet shrimp-
But where are the burgers?!

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OMG, these are soooo GOOD! Says the man who snarfed one down all by himself. "I had no idea these would be so great!!"

Yea. Good thing you have ME around, Mister!
+1 for trip research.

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Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
And then....the fire alarm went off. And people started running out of the restaurant.

Except Pods. Who felt it was a good time to hit the head.
When you gotta go, you gotta go.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:26 AM   #145
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That place looks awesome! I'd be really bummed if I weren't just heading over to Epcot for F&W. Now hurry up bellman! Come back with that second cart for our groceries so we can move over to the Beach club!

I think I'll hit China and Singapore first!

Glad the boys mastered their chopsticks. At least pods knew there wouldn't be a line at the head!
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:08 PM   #146
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That lunch looks crazy good!
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:30 AM   #147
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She is still going to go. Too late to cancel everything now. She was headed out to Arizona for a family reunion of sorts (her husband's side) and they are staying with them for a large portion of the trip. Grand Canyon was one of the things they had built into this several week bonanza vacation that they really wanted to do, since they have no idea when they might get the chance to head out that way again. I feel terrible for her....they were really looking forward to it. I'm sure they will still have fun with family regardless, but its still a huge disappointment.
I'm so happy there was another purpose to the trip, but that is STILL horrible and mega disappointing. I really wonder how some politicians sleep at night...

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Just found your report and read all 10 pages. I live in the SF area, and actually try to avoid going into the city. But I did have a family meal at the same Dim Sum place a few years ago. I don't remember any fire alarms going off back then!
LOL- maybe it's a more recent issue- I think I read it in some Yelp reviews. And LUCKY YOU- living there- Northern California is absolutely glorious!

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The Dim Sum looked so amazing. I just love stuff like that. Plus egg custard. What a great dinner!
It was great- but it was lunch, lol!

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Originally Posted by Captain_Oblivious View Post
Looks like a beautiful drive, north of the city.



Now look, Koko Head...

HEY!!! Who said you could call ME names????

Unless you're referring to me, of course.

And the translation of Koko Head is???????


But where are the burgers?!

At In-n-Out tomorrow.....

+1 for trip research.

I really am quite impressive on the no stone left unturned front, huh?

When you gotta go, you gotta go.
Says another man.....

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That place looks awesome! I'd be really bummed if I weren't just heading over to Epcot for F&W. Now hurry up bellman! Come back with that second cart for our groceries so we can move over to the Beach club!

SO excited you are on your trip!!! I spent so much time reading your updates yesterday that I ran out of time to post!

I think I'll hit China and Singapore first!

How was it? 1st time i am not going in ....many, many years- so I will live vicariously through you-

Glad the boys mastered their chopsticks. At least pods knew there wouldn't be a line at the head!
O.M.G.

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That lunch looks crazy good!
Ohhh....it was amazing.......
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:12 PM   #148
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A+ for food porn girl. I love me some dumplings as well and those egg custard tarts look deadly.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:02 PM   #149
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Loving your trip report!

I live in central California and go to San Francisco at least 6 times a year and I had never heard about The Musee Mecanique or Yank Sing's dim sum lunch.

I'm adding both of them to my to do list! Which seems to be a never ending list. There's just too many great little surprises in that city.

I don't know if you're still in the city, but some of my favorite random bay area things are:
- Seward Street Slides (more info on yelp, super random, mostly just a fun excuse to explore the Castro)
- Rock Wall Wine Company in Alameda (really weird location for a winery, but amazing view of the city from across the bay)
- All the little restaurants on Belden Place (It's a tiny alley off of Bush St between Kearny and Montgomery with at least 5 different, all delicious restaurants. At night with all the lights it looks like a scene out of a movie. Great food and a fabulous hidden away atmosphere. )
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:27 PM   #150
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OMG! You ate at one of my favorite places EVER!!!! Didn't you just love it!!!?????

Ugh - now that I can't eat stupid gluten, I suppose I will never eat there again. GAH!!!!

Still hoping to do the Cali trip next summer, but I am looking at furlough (I work for the lovely federal government) starting next week, so we'll see what effect that has!
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