Blogs from North Beach, San Francisco, California, United States, North America


How many of you have walked across the Golden Gate Bridge? Better yet, how many of you have bicycled across the bridge? I have done both, on numerous occasions. It is a great thrill every time, as the conditions are always different. The weather can range from typical San Francisco fog, or a pristine clear and sunny day (and everything in between). The bride opened in 1937. The cost was $35 million or $523 million in today's dollars. My first time, crossing the bridge by car, was in the 50s. Our bridge toll was 50 cents. Today, the cost is $9.05. Forty million cars cross the bridge each year. It translates to $145 million in revenue, to pay for employees, maintenance and paint. The bridge is not golden, but rather international orange, creating the illusion that ... read more
What a view!

How about some totally useless information to distract you from the pandemic, lack of sports on TV, and general societal malaise? According to Lexico: Over the years, the question of the most used letter in English has been analyzed repeatedly, by everyone from Samuel Morse to contestants on "Wheel of Fortune." The rankings vary from source to source, but one letter is consistently at the top: From the 19th century to modern analyses of Google Books, "E" is the most common. According to an analysis done by Lexico, the letter "E" makes up 11.1607% of the Concise Oxford Dictionary — a full 2% more than the next most common letter. This is reflected in the game of Scrabble, too: There are 12 "E" tiles, nine "A" and "I" tiles, eight "O" tiles, and six "R" and ... read more
the, of course!
Lucky seven

I wrote this back in 2013. I am reposting, in the hopes that you might donate to City Lights Bookstore, as they struggle through the quarantine in San Francisco. It is by far, the most historic, and unusual bookstore I have ever visited. They have been running a successful "Go Fund Me" page. ​From 2013: Today is a special day for someone very dear. This lady grew up in San Francisco, in the Mission to be exact. But she has never been to the famous City Lights Bookstore. Today is the day! We also had dim sum at City View in Chinatown, and topped it off with some Blue Bottle Coffee at the Ferry Building.This is from a previous email written a few years ago. I probably stepped into City ... read more
Seattle Public Library

North America » United States » California » San Francisco » North Beach September 10th 2019

Day 2 ~ We woke up at 11 so today’s blog for yesterday might be a bit short. As soon as we woke up and got dressed we walked down to Pier 39. I got a salted pretzel which took a while to get because all the America’s were pushing in line. Then we walked around the pier to see some seals. They were very noisy and they loved a good fight with each other. We then walked to the bus stop to get on the double decker bus. When we got on bus we plugged our headphones in and listened to the tour guide. After driving around for a bit we decided to get of at the Haight Ashbury District and got some lunch. We walked through the streets for a little bit and then ... read more
Golden Gate Bridge
Bella and I eating ice cream
Dad eating crab

North America » United States » California » San Francisco » North Beach September 7th 2019

Day 1 We left our house at 5:45, but before that sadly we take Luna down to Nan’s house because she could not come with us. We checked in at the airport and put our bags on the thingy. We then went to the Qantas first class lounge and had something to eat. I had a cheeseburger and Zoe had calamari. We got on the 13hour plane ride, that left at 9 o’clock (Melbourne time) it was smooth sailing except for one part where the plane hit an air pocket( turbulence). We got a lot of food. We pretty much just watched movies the hole time. we landed at 5:15 (San Francisco time), we all just wanted to get home! We got a taxi out of the airport and we arrived! My first impression was it ... read more

After about sixty years of air travel, airports, and airplanes, I have seen many crazy things. Here are just a few: Poor hygiene-well, first of all, most men do NOT wash their hands after using the men's room. That in itself is as disgusting as it gets. But some other culprits will clip their toe nails on board, file their nails, clean their ears, or place their stinky feet on the back of my seat!!! Or how about the amateur dental hygienists on board who must floss their teeth after EVERY meal?? Don't even get me started on dandruff, acne pickers, and nose hair trimmers. Pet stuff-you can guess what happens when a "therapy" dog has to poop while on the plane, even in first class. Not fun!!! Worse yet, how about a pet snake? Yes, ... read more
Always necessary.
Kim chee on a plane?  NEVER!!!

" All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware." Pearson International Airport, Toronto, is huge and one might say what! But it is that big and that impressive that it is worthy of comment. And it is "home" to Air Canada which has also latched onto the airline industries subtle extortion game. Bear in mind that we were checking in on an international flight to a destination in the USA. Well, here's the thing. They found it perfectly normal and commercially acceptable to charge $25.00 per bag checked in. An absolute first for me! Got over it and of far more importance than figuring out the meaning of "extortion" was the destination on that day. San Francisco! The mere mention of this name evokes a treasure trove of memories for many. These ... read more
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco

North America » United States » California » San Francisco » North Beach November 13th 2017

Cloudy - 58°F Our alarm goes off at 7 and, although I can’t see outside of our inside stateroom or “tomb” as we call it, I can assume we are docked in San Francisco. There’s no detectable vessel movement or faint hint of engine vibration, signs that our ship is at rest. Unfortunately, a state of rest is reserved for the ship, not us. We have to be out of our room for the last time in just one hour. Our suitcases were sent out last night and all we have are the clothes we left out for today, toothbrushes, medicine, documents and other items to be hand-carried off. We’re ready to go by 7:45am and, after leaving a small gratuity for our stateroom steward, we’re off to the Lido for breakfast. While it’s pretty busy ... read more

It’s Sunday morning and last minute preparations are in progress. I’ve tried to limit the number of suitcases we will be taking with us but Karen expresses no interest in my effort. Leaving directly from the San Francisco port, we will not be taking any flights and because of this, she feels the need to pack everything. It reminds of the time we cruised from SF to Alaska for 10 days with 10 bags, one for each day. With limited room in our stateroom, we were forced to keep four suitcases out on the balcony. I can only imagine what our cabin stewards thought. When we put out our luggage the night before disembarkation, I spread it up and down the corridor so no one would know we had so much stuff. On this trip we’re ... read more
Our Trip for the Next 15 Days
New Cruise Terminal at Pier 27.  Our first time here.
L & L Limo Service at our door

I had arrived yesterday morning, but didn't really get up to much. Just had a chill day going to the supermarket, I was so excited by that, being able to buy cheese, deli meats, and hummus, that wouldn't cost the price of a kidney. I had also taken a walk along the beach and caught my first glimpses at the Golden Gate Bridge. However, back to today. I was staying in the Fort Mason area of San Francisco at a hostel. One thing about travelling in the US, I am not used to paying Western prices for hostel accommodation. At least breakfast is included in the price. The hostel has a cafe and the breakfast is served in there. There was quite a decent spread on and I got some fruit, juice, bagel and a coffee. ... read more
Fort Mason
Those Stairs
Steep Streets

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