San Francisco (Christmas 2015)

Christmas 2015: San Francisco

collage combined

The following is a batch of mini-albums from my Christmas 2015 trip to San Francisco. Because the way Facebook handles photos now, it makes it easier for me to just use that rather than creating new albums.  The highlights of the trip include driving along the coast and spending time in different districts of the city.

    • Japanese Garden in Golden Gate Park — What better way than spending a rainy morning at a Japanese Tea Garden in the Golden Gate Park. Bonus tip: free entrance before 10:00 am.
    • Clay-pot Rice — Having an early dinner today after lots of walking. The clay-pot rice, when it’s done right, is a great winter comfort food. Each grain of rice is supposed to be coated with a touch of oil.  The rice is served with other ingredients — in this case, boneless chicken cubed, Chinese assuage and dried mushroom — all cooked in a clay pot. In Hong Kong and China, this would be done over an opened fire. It’s an inexpensive meal. One pot of rice plus complementary soup with tax came to about $10.
    • Rooftop garden — Chance upon a sign that offers free access to a roof top garden. Great view and tranquility in the middle of the business district. And it’s free!
    • Big Sur — The drive hugging the ocean definitely tests one’s nerve. Also have to deal with impatient drivers and trying to come to a sudden stop while going 90 km/h. The hardest challenge is the gusting wind. I could understand how people could literally be blown into the ocean.  Stunning views though.
    • Half Moon Bay — Making a lunch stop on Hwy#1, the Pacific Coast Highway. A stunning drive right next to the ocean.
    • Big Sur — More photos next to the ocean. In the first two, see if you can pick out where the road is.
    • Monterey — In honour of Forest and Steinbeck, I spent an evening in Monterey and had dinner at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
    • San Juan Bautista Mission — There are a number of historic missions dotted on the California  coast.
    • Santa Clara Mission –The Mission Santa Clara de Asís was found by the Franciscan and named for St. Clare of Assisi. Like St. Francis of Assisi, the Order of St Clare takes a vow of poverty.
      According to Wikipedia: It is the namesake of both the city and county of Santa Clara, as well as Santa Clara University, which was built around the mission. This was the first California Mission to be named in honor of a woman and the only one now located on a university campus
    • Nob Hill — Highlights of today included a visit to the Cable Car Museum (free) and a walkabout in Nob Hill and Chinatown (also free).
    • Rainy Day — Another rainy day in San Francisco. Found myself at the Fisherman’s Wharf even though I didn’t plan to go there. As expected, it was quite a tourist trap. Did ride a cable car and walked down Lombard street again.
    • Muir Woods — Started early this morning to take advantage of a sunny day and to avoid the crowd. This batch of photos are mainly from Muir Wood. In previous year, it took 2.5 hours to get here just in time for the park’s closing.
    • North of Muir Woods — After the Lookout over Muir Beach, I drove on Hwy#1 North for a couple more hours. I wish I’d a dash-cam. I thought the drive south to Big Sur was nerve wrecking, well until today.
    • 17 Ave. Steps and Painted House — Last day with my rental car. So I visited a bunch of touristy places that I haven’t been yet.
    • Castro Mission and SOMA — Today’s outing spanned several districts: Castro, Mission, SOMA, and Union Square. I did try to ride the Powell-Hyde cable car from Market Street to the Harbour but gave up due to the long queue. Boarded one on the California line instead.
    • Civic Centre — Most of them were taken around the Civil Centre, a few city blocks that house a number of large government and cultural buildings.
    • Exploratorium — Spending a couple of hours in this renowned centre that has been doing some wonderful work in the teaching of science. The centre was founded by Frank Oppenheimer, the brother of the more famous Robert. Even though Frank had made important contributions to the Manhattan Project, he was blacklisted during the McCarthy era for any physicist job and was only able to land a teaching job in high school despite of his talents. He was eventually “rehabilitated” and became a professor of Physics at U. Of Colorado. He founded this institution in 1969.