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.

 

Driving down the California coast

A view of the Big Sur coast including the Bixb...

Image via Wikipedia

The July 4th weekend I drove down the California coast. It was a beautiful drive because highway 1 goes right down close to the coast.  Some people think that the holiday traffic would be horrifying but in this case it was kind of nice.  It was a nice slow drive down the coast line and I could see the beaches and ocean.

I started here in the southern part of San Francisco and I got on CA Highway 1 outside of Pacifica.  Of course Pacifica has a beach in it and so traffic came to a screeching halt shortly after I got on highway 1.  It took a while to get past Pacifica but then I was able to drive a little more consistently down the coast.

I drove down to Santa Cruz on California Highway 1.  It was nice to see all the small farms along the way.  There was organic farms selling all kinds of vegetables.  I remember seeing Peas and Strawberries.  It was nice to see on one side of the car the ocean and the other side was small rolling hills with the farms.

Once I got to Santa Cruz I started to head inland towards San José.  That was a nice drive because on one side  there was gorge on the passenger side and the other side was going straight up the hill.  It was very nice but again you had to pay attention to the curves in the road.

The trip only took about 4 hours but it was a nice drive that I’m sure I’ll do again and make some stops along the way.  I would definitely like to stop at Bonny Doon Vineyard.  I remember stopping there with my friends on a trip several years ago and it was pretty nice.

Till next time, look for a day trip in your area!  There are tons of things to do in your neighborhood so get out there and find them.

A Day at the Beach

So Thursday I was out riding MUNI and I took the train to the zoo.  Well I didn’t see a zoo but I did end up at the beach.  Ocean Beach is a beach out on the coast of San Francisco.  It was somewhat an interesting ride out to the beach.  There are always a lot of small shops along the streets.  Small coffee shops, restaurants, boutique clothes shops, and every other kind of retail store.

I took some photos while I was at the beach.  It was beautiful and the sand was so soft.  I hadn’t really planned on being at the beach but it was still fun.  I’ll have to go back out on a really nice day.  Here are some pics I took out at the beach.  I’ll have to work on my skills of resizing pictures so that they line up better.

Ocean Beach sign Ocean

Ocean

Ocean Ocean

I didn’t realize it but Ocean Beach is the on the one side of Golden Gate Park.  I’ve been to the park before and there are some wonderful things to see.  Below are a couple of pictures I took.

Golden Gate Park Entrance Sign On a Large Rock. Wind Mill

Hill Side in Golden Gate Park Hill Side in Golden Gate Park

Hill Side in Golden Gate Park

Something I thought was amazing while I was out walking along the beach was the flora.  There were lots of succulents and they had some beautiful flowers.  I was amazed because they were growing wild all along the roadway and paths.

FlowersFlowers

Flowers Flowers

Flowers Flowers

Flowers Flowers

Garden of Succulents