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December 13th 2014
Published: June 13th 2017
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Geo: 37.7792, -122.42

I have visited many a national park -- love them. But never Yosemite. So the opportunity to visit in winter -- maybe even in the snow -- was very appealing.

We arrived San Francisco (has it really been 16 years since our last visit?) mid-afternoon, checked into the St. Regis Hotel near Third and Mission, about 2 blocks from Union Square. I grabbed my camera and went out for a quick trot around the block, picking up a few photos and getting a feel for the neighborhood. The stragglers from the "Santa-Con" parade of young drunks dressed up in Santa costumes made for some good photos.

At 4 pm, there was an opening talk by Corey Keller, Photography Curator for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She had a portfolio of photos of the 1906 earthquake and fire that destroyed five square miles of downtown San Francisco. Prior to the fire, SF was the most photographed city in America. Suddenly the number of photos taken doubled. It was the first disaster ever filmed by amateurs so 1000s of folks with their just-invented cameras documented the event.

Then it was time for cocktails at 6 pm followed by dinner in one of
"SantaCon" parade participants"SantaCon" parade participants"SantaCon" parade participants

“SantaCon” is San Francisco's annual city-wide Santas-only pub crawl happening. This flash mob-type event brings together hundreds of slightly sober people dressed in Santa costumes parading around the city, visiting landmarks (like walking down Lombard Street) drinking at bars, and causing general mayhem.
the hotel's ballrooms. A pleasant way to start the week.

Note: We have traveled with Tauck six times now, but this is our first "event" trip. I suppose they told us but somehow we weren't aware that there would be five groups together for this event. We are in the "Teddy Roosevelt" group of 32. But there are four other groups of similar size whom we have dinner with each evening. So one of the things I like best about Tauck trips -- the friendships we have forged with our tight little band of travelers -- is unlikely to occur this time around. I doubt a big group (160 in all) and only five days of touring will be conducive to significant camaraderie. I could be wrong. I will wait and see.

Early start tomorrow. Breakfast at 6:30, Mass for us at 7:30, tour of SF beginning at 8:15. Luckily our body clocks are on Central Standard Time!

PS -- We have lunch plans with Merilyn Preston, whom we met on a Kenya/Tanzania trip. And nephew Pete Douglas and his family might join us too!


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Talk about great SF fire and earthquakeTalk about great SF fire and earthquake
Talk about great SF fire and earthquake

One of the earliest aerial photos on record. Photographer ran camera in air using kites. Sent signal up wire for camera to shoot.
Corry KellerCorry Keller
Corry Keller

Photograhy curator from San Francisco Museum of Modern Art


14th December 2014

You and Patrick match the wreath....good photography! Thanks for bringing me along on your tour.
15th December 2014

Looking forward to your blogs.............hang in there........and hopefully the "crowd" will be well handled..........hello to Patrick...........Gary

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