Views from the San Francisco Bay (Estuary)

The Kitty Kat
So my latest travel was with San Francisco Whale Tours.  It was a ninety minute tour out on the San Francisco bay and Eva was the marine biologist that was with us on the trip.  Being from Ohio it just amazes me every time I go out on the bay.  This is my 3rd trip out on the bay I believe and I still love the view from the boat.  This boat in particular is named the Kitty Kat.  The boat takes you out and under the Golden Gate Bridge and returns going around on the back side of Alcatraz island.

While we were out on the water we saw some Harbor Porpoises playing in the water, some seals swimming and sunning themselves, and various birds.  The Harbor Porpoises are a smaller version of a dolphin and they are black.  The seals were all in the water so the best guess is that they were harbor seals.  The birds I saw were sea gulls, pelicans, and a black bird that looked like a loon.  Oh and I shouldn’t forget about the famous seals that you can see at the end of Pier 39.  I have some pictures of them below.

Growing up as a kid we were only two and a half hours from Lake Erie, which would rival the bay in some sense but we never went there.  In case you don’t know Ohio is surrounded by land (the Ohio river on the southern edge) on 3 sides.  Only the northern side of the state is about 75% lake front.  So now that I’m living next to the ocean again (I was living next to the Gulf of Mexico while living in New Orleans) I just love being able to go down to the piers or even out on a boat like this.

If you live in the city or you’re coming to visit I recommend going on a boat ride.  It is a great way to spend an afternoon.  You can take MUNI down to Pier 39 and then have a nice casual lunch at any of the restaurants along the piers.  Then take the cruise at 3:30 PM and be back at 5 PM.  There are a lot of tourist that go there but I think the boat ride is well worth it.  The boat rides are fairly inexpensive and if you go down to Fisherman’s Wharf there are some that you can do on the fly so you don’t have to schedule ahead.  The one trip I took was only $15 a couple of years back and was on a smaller fishing boat.



Wait Wait My Heart Just Skipped a Beat…

Today I was walking down 11th Street here in San Francisco when what did I come across? The Soma Streat Food Park!  I’m sure it’s no great surprise to anyone that food is what got my attention.  The food trucks here in San Francisco have such good food though!  This place looked really nice.

SoMa StrEat Food Park

The trucks were all lined up along the outer edge of the parking lot and they’ve even built a shelter in the middle for people to sit under.  There were picnic tables too scattered  through the lot.  Being from Ohio it reminded me of going to the fair and all the food trailers.  Oh those are some good eats

So I didn’t stop tonight but you be assured I’ll be stopping at some point.  It’s not really in a part of town that I would normally go to BUT I love the thought of supporting the food trucks.  If anyone goes to it please leave us a note and let us know how it was…

Weekend Get Away to Lake Tahoe and Reno

Nevada shore of Lake Tahoe around the barge li...

Nevada shore of Lake Tahoe around the barge line and terminus of the flume (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This past weekend I took a road trip to the Lake Tahoe region.  I say region because I drove around Lake Tahoe.  On my driving extravaganza I spent the night in Reno.  I have to say the views and majestic beauty of Lake Tahoe is breath-taking.  This I could see by driving highway 89, winding my way around the lake.  I took the time to stop at the vista points set up for tourist like myself.

While in Reno I stayed at the Silver Legacy Casino.  The hotel was nice and like many casinos it was a complex that you could walk around which was nice because it was in the upper 90’s outside.  There was a BBQ festival or some such thing going on outside the casino.  I went out once the temperatures has started to drop but I didn’t see much.  There was a pretty cool rock climbing wall on the outside of one of the casinos.  You can see it in my pictures on the photographs page.

The trip wasn’t so relaxing as I was trying to see as much as possible in basically 1 day.  I do know now that it will be a place to go back to for maybe a long weekend.  For anyone who knows me, I won’t be going back during winter either.  Unless I fly or someone else is doing the driving.  Those mountain passes were bad enough during the summer.  I can’t imagine driving on them with snow and ice.

Oh and I don’t know if it was because it was a ‘holiday weekend’ or just normal Sunday traffic but getting home took far longer then driving to Lake Tahoe.  That might be another thing I consider the next time I go.  The driving home went through the Sacramento area which was over 100 degrees.  I was actually worried that the poor rental car might break down since there was so much sitting in traffic.

All in all it was a good trip and I got to see some amazing views.  Be sure to check out my Photographs page to see the pictures I took.