Category Archives: California

Bridge Over Troubled Water

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Although I had seen images of it my whole life, nothing prepared me for seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in person. It is massive! I guess that’s how lots of things go- pictures are just not able to do them justice. I can’t wait until the days I can finally see Macchu Picchu, the Millau Viaduct, Petra, or the Cherry Blossoms in Japan with my own two eyes and mark them off my list! Of course my long-awaited trip to California allowed me to knock a few things off that list, one of them being the Golden Gate Bridge.

Sit back and enjoy the view, but believe me when pictures can’t really do justice to this brobdingnagian bridge

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First picture

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Longtime chums finally at the Bridge!
For the record- the sun was blinding so our faces look rather comical.

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I love sun glare photos

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Lenticular art that showed the progress of the bridge through the years

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Ashley and I spent a few hours taking pictures, walking nearly all the way across the bridge, and wandering around the gift shop. It was definitely a fun little half-day trip while in San Francisco, and the views were priceless!

Have you ever been to the Golden Gate Bridge? 

Save Me, San Francisco

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It’s almost been a month since my return from California, and I have yet to type up all the adventures that were had. I guess part of me felt that sharing those moments will stir up all sorts of memories from the trip that are embedded in my mind, and only leave me heartbroken that I’m in North Carolina and not California.

But alas, for my sake and the sake of auld lang syne, here are some images and happenings from the first few days in San Francisco!

 

 

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Walking shoes on and ready to explore!

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Union Square

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at the Chinatown Gate!

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I like this shot

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contrasting architecture

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busy streets

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My last name is an alley!

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alleyway map

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fortune cookie factory!

This fortune cookie factory is kind of off the beaten path, but is a definite tourist find. I mean, who doesn’t love fortune cookies? The space is tiny, so be prepared to squeeze in for a look at the cookie-making process! They charge $1 for a picture, and the bags of fresh cookies are cheap and delicious! They would make a cute souvenir… if you can resist temptation to eat them yourself!

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Am I the only person who always takes pictures of signs?

 

Once Ashley & I figured out how to get to Fisherman’s Wharf, it became our stomping ground- going there to grab In-N-Out, going into those cheap-o stores (that we I, like any tourist, couldn’t get enough of), simply walk around, or go to Starbucks. We felt comfortable there, as we knew where things were, and where to go to catch the bus we needed! 🙂

 

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battleship + birds

 

 

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Alcatraz from Pier 39

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the sign says it all

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I loved the boats in the Bay… so photogenic!

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The Golden Gate Bridge from Pier 39

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It makes quite the statement, no?

Because San Francisco was so chilly and I didn’t pack enough layers, I was constantly holding and drinking coffee! Not so great for my budget, but if it kept me warm, who cares? Seriously, I consumed so much coffee just to help warm me up!

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Coffee and the Bay

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Meeting the locals!

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That sky & that water? Loved it!

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These full-time sun-bathers sure do have the life!

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The sun starting to go down leaves the Bay in shadow

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row upon row upon row

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“when the lights go down in the city, and the sun shines on the Bay…”

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Ghirardelli

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One day, Ashley and I went to Pier 39 and walked around. I think we went into at least half the stores (mainly trying to stay warm) and going upstairs & downstairs & back upstairs.

We found one super fun store with mind-puzzles and brain-bogglers and we spent over an hour in there! Of course I felt really dumb at first with a wooden box puzzle, but then once I got the hang of the puzzles, I enjoyed them! I’m definitely a nerd, because I think working in a store like that would be a blast!

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I’ve heard this place is amazing & has a killer view!

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Ashley on the pier

 

 

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A personal favorite of mine- Ghirardelli Square! (mainly because the smell of chocolate is in the air!)

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SUN

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Cute little park area

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there were swimmers in the Bay!

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I really don’t know why I like to photograph birds…

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playing in the water

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Park

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look familiar?

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a Ghirardelli chocolate cupcake at Kara’s Cupcakes!

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I don’t know why I took so many pictures of my feet and the street, but seeing the street name on the sidewalk helped me keep my bearings with where I was! 😉

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uh oh!

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view from my window at the hostel

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(im)patiently waiting in In-N-Out!!!

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Welcome to the Wharf

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(let’s just ignore my awkward face)
This was my travel outfit for the plane. I was comfy & warm until I got to San Fran…then I wished I had thicker clothes!

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map of SF in the hostel

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Pointing to my last name! (which is not Pho)

After unsuccessfully finding a restaurant in Chinatown with “Americanized Chinese” (I’m looking at you, Ash! hah) I was famished and started searching for the closest decent-looking place. (some places on the outskirts of Chinatown were sketchyyy) We stumbled into L & L and although I wasn’t too impressed with the food, the cashier was friendly, and the place was warmer than outside and we could sit down.

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Hawaiian BBQ chicken for lunch

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BOUDIN BAKERY GOODNESSS

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The gator bread at Boudin!

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sea lions sunning

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again, interesting signage

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I would trip

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inside the brain puzzle games store

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sunset

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challenge: spot the team from NC!

After walking around the pier for hours, Ashley and I were hungry and ready to be warm. We opted for soup bread bowls at Boudin’s, and proceeded to wait in line and snag a table in the corner! The soup was sooo good and worth the wait!

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the best tomato soup I’ve ever had. And the bread bowl was amazing too! @Boudin’s

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Oh hey Rosie!

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yep

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spelled my name right! Way to go, Starbucks!

It’s funny because there were Starbucks everywhere in San Francisco! Some of them were tiny, and they were always full. I loved having my Starbucks card because I bought so much coffee that I ended up getting a few free drinks! 🙂

Believe it or not, those are just a snippet of the photos I took in San Francisco on days 1 & 2. (You better believe it) I was constantly pulling out my phone or camera to take a picture of a sign (as you can tell), food, the water, you name it! I didn’t want to miss a thing, or forget a thing.

 

Next up? Oh, just photos of the most iconic bridge in the States 😉

 

 

 

 

Ten Minutes of Weather Talk

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I’m sneaking away from working on spreadsheets and calling students and assembling tutor training binders for this: ten minutes to type then hit publish. Ready, Set Go.

Of course now that I am actually sitting down to put the thoughts (that have been swimming around in my head) into a post on the interweb, I can’t seem to remember what it is I want to say.

So… I’ll talk about the weather. It’s a safe topic.

A cold front has hit… finally Winter has made her appearance. Last week it was mid-60s one day, and sleet and slushy snow the next night. And tomorrow, that wintry mix is in the forecast again. Color me happy.

I’ve never claimed to be a cold-weather lover, but something about it is comforting to me. The past few nights I’ve gotten home from work, changed into pajama pants and some cozy, over-sized t-shirt, heated up a mug of vanilla soy milk, and jumped in bed to read. Nerd alert. But at least the cold weather gives me an excuse to get into bed before 10:00 and get all cozy and warmed up 🙂 With snow on the ground outside, that’s even more of an excuse for me to make some soup recipe I pinned months ago, put on fuzzy socks, and read another book on my Nook.

It’s funny because I think my love for colder temperatures has only recently started- and I blame San Francisco. Yes, I have yet to blog about my trip and post a ridiculous amount of pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge & Bay area, please forgive me. 

Although I was unprepared for the cold temperatures that I experienced while there, I came to enjoy the cold chill that hit my face as I walked out on the city streets. I came to look forward to bundling up in a scarf and my vest (that was a life-saver & warmer!). I came to anticipate the icy cold wind before even stepping outdoors. And of course I grew to love having an afternoon coffee break in Starbucks, just so I could have a few minutes of warmth 😉

I know I complained about the cold San Francisco temperatures while there, but I honestly miss them. I miss walking down busy city streets trying to get from Point A to Point B, hands in my pockets saying warm. I miss the city lifestyle and the little escapes from the cold on every corner.

One minute left to write. I shouldn’t have looked at the time because now my fingers are going to type faster than my brain can come up with the words and form coherent sentences and thoughts.

I said all of that about the cold weather and city to say this: I miss city life in the Winter. In cities you walk most everywhere and it’s great exercise and it keeps you somewhat warm. In cities there are coffee shops and cafes on every corner, waiting to be entered. In cities there are so many people who are waiting to be met- who knows who they could be?

As I anticipate the even colder temperatures and the wintry mix tomorrow, I’ll be daydreaming about San Francisco and city life in the Winter.

I can’t believe I just admitted to that.

Oh well, time’s up.

High Five for Friday

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Choosing favorite things from this past week was a breeze… except for the narrowing it down to 5 part. There were so many favorites from this week!

1. The tour I took to the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles! I made a new friend on the walk uphill, and got to see the sign super-close up!

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2. Acting a fool in Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. It was fun.

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3. A delicious veggie burger from Kitchen 24 in LA! Seriously, I’m craving one now!

4. Coming home to one excited & sweet puppy.

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5. A blog signature thanks to Design Eat Repeat!!! Mel is sooo talented with graphic design and I highly suggest that you check her blog out!

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Also, this is my first time linking up with Lauren although I’ve been reading her blog for months! 🙂

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