After Muir Woods, Dania and I headed south across the Golden Gate and to the Palace of Fine Arts. We were both looking forward to this, as we had seen pictures and passed it the night before (but missed the turn).
It did not disappoint. This was probably my favorite stop of the whole trip. Not only because it was so beautiful (and so was the weather) and it was still early enough that we had energy...
...but also because of our awesome parking spot! That blue car is Dania's. Considering my low expectations for all parking on the trip, this was like an awesome gift. Close, free parking.
The park is lovely and so is the neighborhood around it. I decided that if I had to move to San Francisco, I'd just buy one or two of these houses.
One of my favs. And yes, I did Zillow some of these to check the price. I was actually surprised at some of the prices at prime spots in SF--I expected them to be higher.
Dania and I walked around for awhile and I don't know about her, but I took a ton of photos. And yet I was still wishing I had taken more, because afterwards I realized some angles I had missed.
In case it's not obvious, this is looking up at one of the archways.
I love all the stuff going on in this shot. Oh and someone left their child. ;)
My future neighborhood.
Interestingly, all the lady sculptures are facing inward and have their hands at the sides of their face, so you can't see them.
I guess I can understand why they're sad.
Have a great rest of your weekend! More SF photos coming soon eventually.
I've been trying lots of new things this year. This weekend I've been working on some videos of my computer screen while I use Photoshop to possibly help some friends who use it and are curious how I do things. I may post some tutorials here in the future. I've been wanting to do more macro photography outside, but it's still a bit too cold and dead out there.
I feel weird calling this post "San Francisco" when these are Muir Woods pictures, but I wanted to keep with the series name. :) This was still the San Francisco trip, after all, even if it's a few miles north. Someday, I'll thank myself for being consistent.
Speaking of, you can view my first set of photos in this post.
We woke up Friday morning ready for another day of tourism. After packing up and having hotel breakfast (that was only so-so, but at least it was free), we headed south. We got to Muir Woods at a good time when there was still parking available and it wasn't too crowded. It was another beautiful day of sunshine and 60s, though in the woods it was shady and cooler. Still, by the end of our hike I had taken my light jacket off.
Part of the reason we wanted to see Muir Woods was because it was featured in the movie Vertigo. :D But also, it has some nice trees, and we were in the area.
I haven't seen Vertigo in forever, but Dania says this particular exhibit is shown in the movie. We're famous!!
Here's a closer look. As you probably guessed, it's showing the age of the tree based on the rings. In the center it shows that it was "born" in 909 A.D., and then it shows the rings/size at various points in history. It fell in 1930.
There are a few different paths in the park, and Dania and I went around a big loop. I appreciated the other people on the path to give some perspective to my photos.
Dania by a tree that everyone was getting pictures in front of, and then a creek that was pretty dry. I don't know what it normally looks like, but I know they've not had very much rain this year and I imagine it's very low compared to normal.
A cliché photo.
Part of our hike was on the side of a cliff, and it made me a bit nervous to watch other people walk close to the edge. I thought it was ironic that there were no railings on these paths, yet they had them on the ground paths (to keep people out of the forest, I suppose).
Have you been to Muir Woods? Have you seen Vertigo? Have you seen Vertigo while in Muir Woods?
DISCLAIMER: I wasn't thrilled with my photos during the trip, but I'll try not to criticize them beyond this disclaimer. I had rented a lens that was very helpful in terms of being flexible for my needs (and I don't regret it), but I'm not sure I loved the resulting photo quality. There were also lots of lighting issues, and the fact that you can't just stop anywhere you want while in SF. You have to make do and take pictures from the vantage points that present themselves. So maybe I didn't capture all the amazing photos I wanted, but I have lots of pictures and memories, and that's what's important.
Dania and I left on the morning of December 26th. Our first stop was UC Berkeley, because I had never been and was curious about the campus. (I think I'll link you up on some of these places that we actually visited in case you want more information.) My experience with Berkeley was always just passing it by on the way to SF, which isn't a very accurate depiction. It's a cute little town, and the campus is nice. And I'll probably say this a lot, but the weather was AWESOME. 60s and sunny.
We didn't know the best place to park, so we ended up in meter parking on one of the outer streets. I dumbly didn't put enough quarters in and had to walk back and refill it later. Meanwhile, we were trying to find a bathroom during Christmas break when everything was closed on campus. It was all a bit hectic in that sense, and we didn't see quite as much of the campus as we could have due to time constraints. But walking around on campus was nice, and in the end we found a bathroom and didn't get any parking tickets, so I guess it was a win!
It's hard to tell here, but I happened to catch both a bird flying past and a girl jumping through the sculpture hoop without even trying.
I love the trees and general foliage of the bay area. There's so much variety and nice feelings and memories attached.
Next stop (after much delay at the Bay bridge tollbooths and then the parking garage): Pier 39. This was our usual meetup place with friends several years ago, and we had to include it on our itinerary.
Lots of people had the same idea due to the holiday and nice weather. It was pretty crowded for a mid-week winter afternoon. We even ran into our former worship pastor/choir director!
We went to Bubba Gump for lunch, because even though it's touristy, it's also delicious! Huge thanks to Dania's sister for hooking us up with a gift card for this lunch. We splurged and bought these drinks that came with light-up glasses to take home!
We both ordered the delicious crab-stuffed shrimp that Dania introduced me to a few Bubba Gump visits ago. It's so good! I want this right now.
Of course we had to go visit the sea lions! Normally I can watch these guys for quite awhile, but the bright sun and flies were a little off-putting, so I just took a few pictures and moved on.
This cargo ship was so huge. El Gato del Goldeno is in the background, there. (Yeah, I know I said "cat.")
You can see the new part of the Bay bridge in the background. It's pretty!
More of the general scene on Pier 39. When spending a whole day there, there are lots of fun shops and things to see.
Next, we went to Lombard St. First we parked and got out to take some pictures after driving up many steep hills to get there. Dania was a little freaked since I was driving, and I know how it is when you're a passenger and don't know how manageable it feels. But her car did a great job! It was a little nerve-wracking to drive up such steep hills and worry about pedestrians, but everything worked out.
Then we went around to drive down it. I had never driven down it before, only ridden. It was very easy since things were moving super slowly and people aren't supposed to walk in the street, so I was able to take some pictures between turns.
After that, we decided to try Coit Tower since we were in the neighborhood, but there was construction and limited parking, so we turned around and headed back down. The road on the way down had this nice view, though.
And this one of Lombard.
After that we attempted to go to the Palace Hotel, but it was rush hour and really difficult to figure out a place to stop and park (let alone to avoid getting in an accident). Part of this is just me not being very experienced with driving around there. But while sitting in traffic, Dania and I took a few pictures of the scene. Here's the lovely Transamerica building and some green building near it.
We were both kind of tired at this point, too, and so after driving down town and passing the hotel, we just kept going. We knew we'd have to make some sacrifices in what we did/saw, and that was one of the casualties.
We decided to head to our hotel, which was in Novato (about half an hour north of SF). On the way up, we stopped at the viewpoint on the north side of the Golden Gate bridge for pictures. It's kind of an odd angle, but I missed the exit on the other one and we got a great parking spot here anyway. I practiced some night shots, but it was fairly windy and hard to get crisp photos.
We were very grateful to get to our hotel (which was nice!) and order room service for dinner. We ate our cheeseburgers in front of the TV and recharged for another day of tourism, which I'll show you next time.
PS These are just a select few of several other photos I took at each place, and I'm thinking about putting them all in a gallery for you guys to peruse, if you feel like it. Feedback welcome. I'll let you know the link if I do it.