Blogs from San Francisco, California, United States, North America - page 2


Rarely does anyone discuss travel budgets PRIOR to a trip to a far away place. I am so very fortunate to have the inimitable Mr. Mike as the best travel buddy in the universe. We have been all over the world, with rarely a hiccup. He knows how to travel (we both traveled extensively on business during our working days), and does not skimp on anything. Furthermore, we are not joined at the hip, stay in separate rooms, do not fly or sit together on planes, and pursue our own interests once at our destination. But I realize this is a rare occurrence, and most people who know us find this arrangement hard to fathom. We get asked often if people can join us on our trips. And to my great delight, he says I am ... read more

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

On Tuesday 17th March, San Fransisco city started the 'Shelter in Place" order. We were given the news the afternoon before and so Herve went to the local shop (very crowded) to buy some basic supplies. This shop has since been such a saving grace. It is small, open all day and restocks daily. The bigger supermarket chains are crowded, have many rules and regulations and also run out of everything. The order, by SF mayor London Breed, was put into effect to slow the exponential increase in the COVID-19 cases. Case 1 was Feb 1 and this escalated to 872 cases (and 14 deaths) by today 12/04. It was the first in California but the state soon followed suit by ordering Shelter in place two days later. Twitter was ahead of the game and one ... read more
Written on SF sidewalk
Social Distance sign in GG park
Working from home

Ashlea from Afar provides a great framework for dealing with travel withdrawal, or as she calls it, "travel grief." For myself, I would not call it grief, it is more like withdrawal. But I am so fortunate to have a wonderful situation here at home, the ability to work as much as I want, and still enjoy a wonderful life. Anyway, she calls it the Five Stages of Travel Grief. Of course, she travels for a living. I do not. She spends half of her year on the road at Afar's Editor at Large. I am fortunate if I go somewhere, even nearby, once a month. The corona virus not only changed her travel plans, it has changed travel. It may even cost her livelihood, at least in the travel business. But better than ... read more
Travel happy

Is the Corona virus altering some or all of your travel plans. Where do we stand right now? The travel industry's refund policies are changing almost by the minute. Here's what they look like now: Airlines are waiving their change fees for flights in March and April.Cruise lines are offering credit for sailings until the end of spring.Hotels are loosening their cancellation policies for certain areas affected by the coronavirus o... read more
Corona?  Which one?

url= Today, March 14, is pi day. That is pi day, not (national) pie day, which is celebrated in January. Pi day is observed on March 14, since the first three significant numbers, in decimal form, are 3, 1, and 4. Was it the former professional and college basketball star, Jerry Lucas, who memorized pi out to hundreds of digits? ... read more
Big Al's birthday is 3-14

North America » United States » California » San Francisco January 11th 2020

Pre warning- this first blog is for the 10th of January, which lasted 43 hours for us, so it’s a little long. Honestly, I kept looking at the date and going, “really? It’s STILL the 10th of January?”. So, you’ve been warned. We left Brisbane at 11am and the 13 hour flight to LAX was actually not too bad. We thought we’d made it through the entire journey without any issues until 2 hours before landing the little girl in front of us threw up her strawberry yoghurt- you can imagine the smell. But other than that it was a pretty good flight, as far as long haul goes. Arrived safely in LAX at 7am (still the 10th of January, we went back 4 hours in time), and then went through border security which was terrifying ... read more

North America » United States » California » San Francisco January 1st 2020

We have arrived in San Fransisco! Having spent a beautiful family Christmas in Marin and saying goodbye to the forests, we moved into the Inner Sunset district just in time for New Years Eve. It is winter but sunny. The house is beautiful: cosy and open with a lovely patio overlooking a sweet little garden. we live right near the Golden Gate park with 1,017 acres (412 ha) of public grounds: bicycle paths, walking paths, forest paths, sports fields, bison grounds, music concourse (outdoor concerts) Art museum, science museum as well as duck ponds, botanical garden and Japanese garden. Already we have visited the last two gardens on the 1st and 2nd January 2020. A very nice introduction to the area. Lots to explore. Looking forward to an interesting and exciting year ahead.... read more
Driving to new home
New home outside

North America » United States » California » San Francisco December 17th 2019

Things taken out by Eloise on the bike today - pole = 1, barrier = 1, mother and child (almost) = 1. The 1906 earthquake had nothing on this kid, except that she gave a little warning, in the form of a high-pitched squeal, audible only to dogs, before she connected with her target. Other than the path of destruction, and the mid-Golden Gate meltdown, a lovely day was had by all, as we cycled from Fisherman’s Wharf to Sausalito. Despite warnings that we would freeze in the middle of the bridge with the wind and our relatively light clothing, we were actually shedding layers after the huffing and puffing (and crashing) on the approaches and the hairiness of the descent (given lack of directional control, someone’s mother may have strongly suggested she walk the steep ... read more
Very brief mid-bridge photo opportunity

North America » United States » California » San Francisco December 16th 2019

Another glorious sunny day here...which we made the most of by sleeping in...almost over the dreaded jet lag. Today’s mission was just a wander around some of the tourist hot-spots - Fisherman’s wharf, Lombard St and Ghirardelli Square. A walk to the street car took us through the beautiful streets of the neighbourhood we’re staying, enjoying some of the lovely houses. First box to tick was the Pier 39 sea lions, which were out in force. Lucky we also had our resident marine biologist in attendance who was able to bombard us with facts about them and their predators. Taught the scientist in the education centre a few things. Luckily she had enough words left over to whinge her way all the way to the ‘world’s steepest street’, but was temporarily silenced by some ice cream ... read more
Some of the neighbourhood houses
More houses

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