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Monday, March 08, 2010

Schizophrenic Weather 

This was my status on Facebook about an hour ago:

crazy schizophrenic weather in SF today: it's cold. it's sunny! it's raining. it's sunny! it's windy. it's cloudy. it's raining. it's sunny! it's pouring..... waiting for the hail to wrap it all up.

Then, wouldn't you know it... within 20 minutes or so, we had a hail storm!

I took this photo of our back deck. The size of some of the hail was almost pea-sized!

Hail on the Deck!

Then, we had a pretty rainbow!

The Rainbow Connection...

Another 15 minutes or so later, and we had yet another hail storm!

This one seemed to last longer than the first.

I took another photo - this one is of our putting green in our backyard.
(yes, we have a putting green in our backyard... ;) )

Our putting green, covered in white...

What strange weather we've had today. It's about 30 minutes later, and the sun is out again...

Maybe it'll all repeat the pattern again. :)

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tigers, Hearts, Ice-Cream, Fish and Bikes 

First things first:

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Today is Chinese New Year. It's the year of the Tiger! (Dick is a Tiger!)

Today is also Valentine's Day. Happy Heart Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

It was a really pretty day in San Francisco today. We decided to take a bit of an afternoon walk to enjoy the weather.

We walked down 18th Street, passing Bi-Rite Creamery. Usually, there's a really long line here - especially on sunny days. When we passed by today, though, the line was short - only about 5 people long. How could I resist? I took advantage and got a kid's cup of Mint Chip ice cream. Yum! By the time we got my ice cream and left the store, the line was out the door again.

Yummy Ice-Cream!

We walked a few more blocks, and found a neat little alley tucked away between Valencia and Guerrero. The first thing I spotted were these cool Koi Fish painted on the sidewalk.

San Francisco Koi, swimming up hill! ;)

We also passed a really nice community garden on the same street. Very cool.

We went to Stockton yesterday to celebrate Chinese New Year with my family. WE did something new this year - we went to a Chinese Restaurant new my Grandma's house. It wasn't the same as cooking at home, but it was obviously much easier for everyone, and the food was really good. Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos from dinner, but I did manage to take a photo of Dick checking out Uncle Wes's new Harley.

Dick, sitting on "Bad Boy"

...and just for kicks, I took a video of Dick taking Bad Boy out on a short spin.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

The 9th Annual No Pants BART Ride Day 

So, I've never heard of this before, but a friend of mine just posted this on Facebook.

9th Annual “No Pants” BART Ride Day | San Francisco

The 9th Annual No Pants! Subway Ride will take place on Sunday, January 10th in San Francisco. The whole point to is ride BART without any pants (wear interesting undies and colorful socks) but to act completely normal.

Who knew?

Actually, here's the funny part:

Dick and I were walking around on Castro Street today, and saw a group of men with shirts, jackets, socks and shoes (and probably undies), but alas, no pants.

We just assumed they were some of the regular naked guys who we sometimes see on Castro Street. We figured they must have been a little chilly today, so they wore their shirts, and jackets and socks, instead of only their socks and shoes as usual.

So, I wouldn't have given it a second thought if they were totally naked, but since they had on shirts and jackets, we noticed them.

Go figure.

Gotta love life in the Castro! :)

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CA Earthquakes and Sea Lions 

Dick and I were talking this morning about all of the recent earthquakes in Northern California this week. There were 3 (I believe) about 3.5 magnitude (or higher) earthquakes centered around Milpitas between Wednesday evening and Friday afternoon. Then, there was the big 6.5 earthquake that hit Humboldt County yesterday late afternoon.

Then, there's the Sea Lions. Hundreds of sea lions used to live on the docks around Pier 39. They all just kind of showed up around 1990, and have hung around ever since, becoming quite a popular tourist attraction.

However, most of them left very suddenly at the end of November. Scientists were baffled as to the reason of their sudden departure.

I figured the sea lions must have known something we didn't.

Well, it turns out that the sea lions appear to have all moved up to the Oregon Coast. Apparently, this summer's El Niño event along the California coast pushed up lots of food, including herring, anchovies, smelt and squid.

I mentioned that to Dick this morning, and he asked how the sea lions figured it out.

"Did they text message each other?"

Pier 39 Sea Lion: "FML. This place is full of gay people and tourists."

Oregon Coast Sea Lion: Come on up! Lots of anchovies here! FTW!


I'm still not convinced the move was all about the food. I still say the sea lions were on to something that we haven't figured out yet...

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

An afternoon at Nordstrom 

I've said it before: the $2.50 shoe shine at Nordstrom in San Francisco
Center is the best deal in SF!

After getting our shoes shined, I noticed this... is the Miami Vice
look (pastel t-shirts worn under short sleeved button down shirts -
with the sleeves rolled up) back in?! Say it isn't so!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Very San Francisco Christmas (Eve) 

I admit, I haven't been in much of the Christmas Spirit this year. With my Grandfather's passing, and following the period of mourning, we decided not to put up our Christmas tree, or even decorate for Christmas at all this year.

We've done a couple of things over the last few days to try to get into the Holiday Spirit: We watched "Elf" the other night, went down to Union Square yesterday to look at all of the Holiday Decorations, and had a really nice dinner at Pete & Richard's house with Blane last night.

Even so, I was still feeling the Holiday Blues this morning. To rectify the situation, we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood, and specifically, to walk to "The Christmas House" on 21st Street.

This is Tom and Jerry's House in Noe Valley. No, I don't know them personally, but they have their names on the huge stockings on their house. :)

I love walking to their house during Christmastime. It really has a magic about it, and you can just see how much love goes into putting this all together year after year.

Dick, bringing the perspective

We stopped by Dolores Park to take in one of our most favorite views of the City. It's always so beautiful, but even better on a cool, clear day.

View from Dolores Park

On our way back home, we decided to stop by Harvey's on Castro Street for a drink. :)

As if a drink at Harvey's wasn't reason enough to make me happy - they were also showing "The Empire Strikes Back"! :)

Darth Vader at Harvey's

Hello, Bloody Mary!

One last picture to wrap up our walk around the Castro on Christmas Eve:

Here's a night shot of our neighbor's house. They add a little bit to it each year. Always makes me happy to see.

Happy Christmas Eve, to all!

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Good Day/Bad Day 

Today was one of those mixed-bag kind of days:

I found out in the early afternoon that Dick's building at work 9and all of the buildings around it) were without power. Apparently, it had been going in and out all morning, but the last time it happened, it lasted for hours.

so, that's not good.

It's hard to work on computers all day without power.

Dick called me around 1:00 telling me about the power outage, and asking if I was free for lunch. His boss was in town (from Seattle) for meetings all day, but since they couldn't get any work done without power, they decided to come to San Francisco for lunch. He asked if I would be able to pick them up from the Caltrain station.

I picked them, and we headed to the Ferry Building for lunch.

We had a very yummy lunch at Slanted Door!

Very good.

We had parked in a metered spot on the Embarcadero, and had until 3:00 - which gave us about an hour for lunch.

A few minutes before 3:00, I offered to run down to the car to check on it (or feed the meter), but we were just finishing up, and were waiting for the bill, so Dick and his boss both agreed that we could all wait, and we'd only be a few minutes late, and I'm sure it'll be just fine....

You know where this is going, right?

We get back to our car at 3:05, only to see a line of tow trucks on the Embarcadero, and yes, there's my MINI before towed away in front of our eyes.



We all three failed to noticed the "No Parking after 3:00" sign hiding behind a tree a few cars down. Now, I will say this for the SF towing company they are very efficient. Go figure.

So, we get the information about where we're supposed to pick my car up, and take a cab across town....

I walked in, was helped right away, was asked for the make/model of my car, gave them my drivers license, they look up my car, and print up my bill:

SF Admin Fee - Excluding Tickets: $155.75
$ - Extra Dolly or Flatbed Fee $43.75
Tow - Passenger Vehicle: $174.25
Passenger Storage Vehicle: $0.00

Total: $373.75


..and you know there's more coming...

She gives me my receipt, directs me to the car lot, where I had another guy my receipt.

He tracks down my car (which really, was there for less than 5 minutes) and brings it to me...

...with a parking ticket on the windshield:

Parking Ticket: $83.00

Grand Total: $456.75


So, there you have it. One of those days.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Puke on the Porch 

This is a new one.... kind of...

Last night, Dick and I were watching TV in bed around 10:30pm. Suddenly, we all (that would be Dick, Noe and me) heard a strange noise downstairs. Dick and I walked cautiously down the stairs, to see what it was. That's when I saw it...

Someone had (and please excuse the visual) projectile vomited across our porch and onto both of our front doors. (we can see this because our front doors have glass panes, top to bottom.)

Yeah, that's super gross.

After living in the SF for 14 years, I thought I'd seen it all: we've had drunk people knock on our door late at night asking for booze, drunk people stumble into our Halloween Party, used condoms found on our front porch (triple-ewwww!) and yes, have even had someone puke on the porch before.

But, this was the first time that someone walked up our stairs, stumbled around our porch, and somehow managed to puke onto our front doors.

That is all kinds of gross.

We figured there was nothing to do about it last night, so we went back to bed.

This morning, first thing I did was throw on some grubby clothes, armed with rubber gloves and water hose, and cleaned up the porch and doors. It took an hour, but I was very thorough.

Silver lining: The front porch area has been needing a good spray down/cleaning for a while. :)

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

An afternoon of Decadence with Jason 

I love my friend, Jason. We met almost 11 years ago. Actually, we met a few days after my very first date with Dick, so it's easy for me to remember my "Jason Anniversary", too.

At the time, Jason lived here in SF, and we worked together on a website for a company he worked for at the time. We hit it off immediately, and have been great friends ever since.

Jason moved to San Diego soon after, and a few years later, moved to Chicago.

Jason is a talented writer and journalist, and has written for several travel publications. He's currently the Gay and Lesbian editor for Time Out Chicago.

Check out this fantastic article he wrote from his interview with the Cast of "Glee". Have I mentioned how much I love this show?

Even though we are separated by several hundred miles, Jason and I somehow manage to see each other at least twice a year. This always amazes us, and makes us both very happy.

Jason flew in to town this morning, and is leaving again tomorrow morning. He managed to squeeze me into his packed schedule for a couple of hours after he landed. We picked up lunch from Ike's Place, walked to my place, and ate out in the backyard. The weather is clear and mildly warm (high 60s, low 70s) so it was just perfect. After we ate, we walked over to Bi-Rite Creamery for a scoop. It was all very decadent and delicious.

What a wonderful and delicious visit it was. Thanks, Jason, and safe travels!

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

My niece in a commerical for CA Academy of Sciences 

One of my nieces has made her television commercial debut in a new spot for the California Academy of Sciences! Here she is with her fake TV Dad. :)

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fun with the boys 

I spent the afternoon hanging out with "The Boys" - David, Miguel and Christopher.

We met at Christopher's pad downtown, then headed out for an afternoon of food and fun shopping. We started out at Pearl's - a great hamburger joint near Christopher's place. Yum.

The boys are throwing a 70s-themed party next weekend, so we all needed to do a little shopping for costumes.

First stop: the Halloween Store on Van Ness where the boys all found wigs and accessories.

Miguel and Christopher or
Ponch and John?

Next stop: we went into a couple of thrift stores on Polk Street, where we all scored on some great clothes for the party! (photos coming next week! Must keep the element of surprise!) Let's just say, the boys all talked me into buying something that I'm not sure I would actually buy without all of their influence! ;)

It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and we all felt like finding some ice-cream. We went to Grubstake for Root Beer Floats and ice cream treats. Yum!

thanks for the photo, David!

Mmmmmm... Root Beer Float!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Out and About 

It's a beautiful day here in SF - mid-70s, clear and sunny. Happily, I was able to get out to enjoy the today.

My day started with a dentist appointment at 11:00. My dentist's office is on the top floor (26) in a gorgeous art deco building just off of Union Square. Here's the view I had from my exam room. You can see Alcatraz on the left, and Coit Tower on the right. Not bad. :)

View from my Dentist's Office

After my appointment, I had lunch with my friend, Philip, at Yerba Buena Gardens. The weather was just perfect. We found lunch at the Farmer's Market inside the Metreon, and ate outside.

Yerba Buena Gardens, with the SF MOMA in the background

I went to the Powell Street MUNI station to catch the MUNI Metro home. They had an interesting advertisement campaign up for the Monterey Bay Aquarium's new Seahorse exhibit. It was actually quite pretty.

The Secret Lives of Sea Horses

Once I was back in the Castro, I stopped off at our local grocery store to buy stuff for tonight's dinner. On my way home from there, I walked past the neighborhood park, and noticed a girls softball game going on. I stopped for a bit to watch, then overheard some kids in the stands cheering for "Rooftop". I realized that's the same school that my 3 nieces attend, and remembered that my eldest niece was playing softball this year! I asked some of the kids in the nearby stands if she was there, and they pointed out that she was playing in Left Field! Go Evie! That was a nice surprise! It turns out that I caught the last 3 plays of the game, and was there to witness their first victory of the season so far. Cool!

"Go Rooftop!"

That was a nice way to end the day!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Candy Land and Pot Stickers 

This afternoon, I drove across town to try to check out the life-sized "Candy Land" that was put up on Lombard Street this morning.

It turns out that today is the 60th Anniversary of the game "Candy Land", and to celebrate, Hasbro Toys converted Lombard Street into a life-sized Candy Land game!

Unfortunately, I was out of town this morning and early afternoon. By the time I made my way across town (2:30pm), they were already tearing it down! Boo.

I found some photos on the web, which gives a good idea of what it looked like:

(photo from :: CandyLand on Lombard ::)

(photo from Lombard Street Candyland: Photos & Video From SF)

It's too bad I missed seeing it. Would have been fun to see in person.

All was not lost, though....

Since I was in that part of town, I decided to drop by my favorite Chinese Restaurant in the City, U-Lee. I figured visit Judy and her husband, Ken, and order an early dinner to take home for tonight. It's been 11 years since I lived in Nob Hill, and I really miss being so close to this restaurant.

While I was there, I noticed this banner which announced that U-Lee is considered one of the Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the Country!! Congrats to U-Lee!!!

Looking forward to Pot Stickers and Tomato Beef Curry Chow Mein for dinner tonight! Yum!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Today's walk around SF 

Dick and I took a little bit of an urban hike around San Francisco this afternoon to enjoy the beautiful weather.

Here are a few of the things that we saw....

This cracked us up. We noticed it as we were walking past a window to a neighborhood bar. We named him "Bloody Mary Man". :)

It's hard to tell from this photo, but it was a crowded day at Dolores Park!

And finally - this was the long line outside Bi-Rite Ice-Creamery.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

My new gorilla-feet shoes 

Fascinating, Captain.... not pretty, but fascinating!

Dick and were walking down Castro Street, on our way home, when we popped into a store, and made the most spontaneous purchase for the two of us that I can remember!

As we walked past the In•jean•ious store, Dick noticed a shoe display in their window.

The shoes are called Vibram FiveFingers. I had never heard of them before, but Dick had recently read an article about them in the New Yorker magazine.

The theory behind these shoes is that we, as humans, were "designed" to be barefoot. Shoes, however, have been designed to protect our feet by encapsulating them. These shoes are like gloves for your feet. They are very snug, but breathe well, and let you feet be as close to barefoot as possible, while still being protected.

The description from their website:
The typical human foot is an anatomical marvel of evolution with 26 bones, 33 muscles and hundreds of sensory receptors, tendons and ligaments. Like the rest of the body, to keep our feet healthy, they need to be stimulated and exercised.

That’s why we recommend wearing FiveFingers for exercise, play, and for fun. Stimulating the muscles in your feet and lower legs will not only make you stronger and healthier, it improves your balance, agility and proprioception

Because I live in the City, and because I walk so often, the shoes that I wear are all about comfort (and if they're cute to boot, all the better). These shoes are meant to be comfortable, as well as healthy (because they stimulate your muscles in your feet and lower legs).

The one possible drawback of all of this: the sales guy was telling us all about the benefits of wearing these shoes, including building the muscles of your calves. Well, dear blog readers, as you know, this girl does not need to build the muscles in her calves any more than they already are!

Anyhow, as I mentioned, this was a very spontaneous purchase. Considering I hadn't even heard of these shoes 5 minutes before I tried them on, I was intrigued enough with the idea of them (and the instantaneous comfort when I tried them on) to buy them on the spot! Dick bought a pair, too.

As it turns out, In•jean•ious is the only store in San Francisco to carry this brand. They also happen to be in a store in our neighborhood, and I got the last pair of shoes that they had in my size.

It was meant to be.

I was meant to have gorilla-feet.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Skydivers to descend along Embarcadero 

Just read this article on sfgate.com.

I barely have a downtown view from my upstairs windows, but I'll see if I'm able to see anything.

If you're in downtown SF today around 12:15, be sure to look up! :)


Saturday, August 01, 2009

Lunch at the Cliff House 

After our Saturday morning golf game, Dick, Andy, Aditya and I headed
out to the Cliff House for Brunch.

Bloody Marys and Pop Overs. That's all I need. :)


Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Walt Disney Family Museum 

I'm the first to admit that I'm a big geek when it comes to seeing any archived Disney production art. Most of my knowledge of it comes from when I used to work at the vintage animation gallery, and also from when I was an animation student. My fascination of it goes much further though - I've loved looking at it since I was a young kid. Always thought it was some of the most beautiful and "alive" art I'd ever seen. I also love seeing any old photos of footage of the early days of Disney - whether it be the man, the park, or old films.

I remembering hearing about this sometime ago, but I had no idea how far along it had gotten, or when it was planning on opening.

Opening date is October 1st!

The Walt Disney Family Museum

The website is up, but doesn't have much information yet. I'm curious to see what the permanent exhibit it, what's on the calendar, etc.,

It looks like it's going to be a really great museum. I'm looking forward to visiting!

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Bloody Marys, Camera Obscura, and Ocean Beach 

This afternoon, I met my old friend, Lee, for a drink at the Cliff House. Lee and I go all the way back to 6th grade together! We reconnected a few months ago through the wonders of Facebook. We both live in San Francisco, and saw each other for the first time in over 20 years in April.

We had a nice visit today, catching up over Bloody Marys (well, a Virgin Mary for me, since I was driving, and I'm such a lightweight!). The Cliff House makes my favorite. Yum.

After we finished our drinks, we decided to go down to check out the Camera Obscura.

from wikipedia
The camera obscura (Latin veiled chamber) is an optical device used, for example, in drawing or for entertainment. It is one of the inventions leading to photography. The principle can be demonstrated with a box with a hole in one side (the box may be room-sized, or hangar sized). Light from a scene passes through the hole and strikes a surface where it is reproduced, in color, and upside-down. The image's perspective is accurate. The image can be projected onto paper, which when traced can produce a highly accurate representation.

Using mirrors, as in the 18th century overhead version (illustrated in the Discovery and Origins section below), it is possible to project a right-side-up image. Another more portable type is a box with an angled mirror projecting onto tracing paper placed on the glass top, the image upright as viewed from the back.

As a pinhole is made smaller, the image gets sharper, but the projected image becomes dimmer. With too small a pinhole the sharpness again becomes worse due to diffraction. Some practical camera obscurae use a lens rather than a pinhole because it allows a larger aperture, giving a usable brightness while maintaining focus.

I love the Camera Obscura, or the Giant Camera, as this one is called. The image is gorgeous, and totally memorizing. Lee and I stayed in there for a long time, staring at the image, and taking photos. (I'm sure he got some great ones. I only had my iPhone with me.)

Lee, taking photos of the image projected onto the screen

After we left the Cliff House area, we walked along Ocean Beach over the Beach Chalet, and the adjacent Park Chalet. I still can't believe I've never been to the Park Chalet! (my bad, Lee - next time!)

Ocean Beach

I had a really nice afternoon, catching up with an old friend. Thanks, Lee! I look forward to our next outing!

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Muni Fare Increase 


I just read that the price of an adult fare on Muni increased to $2.00 today. (It was $1.50.)

That's quite a hike.

Here's a list of all of the fare increases

and another of all of the Bay Area Transit fare increases.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

The view from The View Lounge 

Dick and I are having a drink with his Uncle Edward at The View Lounge
at the top of the Marriott.


Friday, May 22, 2009

House of Prime Rib!! 

We're having dinner tonight with my parents at HoPR!! Yum!!

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Tomatoes in San Francisco? 

I've heard of stranger things. Let's see how this goes! Thanks to my
Mom and Dad for helping me out in backyard today!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Riding on the Metro 

We're trying to take the MUNI Metro downtown, but all of the cars have
been full with the Bay to Breakers aftermath. Here are a couple of
Elvis zipping away...


Saturday, May 16, 2009

The view from my rear view mirror... 

I met Dick and Andy for lunch at the Cliff House after they finished playing their round of golf. (I'm still nursing tendinitis in both my arms, in case you're wondering why I wasn't playing.)

Dick and I drove separate cars on the way home - not very green, I know, but we came from two separate places. It's absolutely gorgeous in SF today - sunny, clear and high 70s. We drove home along Highway 1.

When I came to a stop light for a turning lane onto Sloat, I noticed that Dick was stopped immediately behind me. :)

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Dick playing Golf at Lincoln Park 

I'm kind of cheating, because I'm not actually there to take the photo, but Andy just posted this picture of Dick on the 17th hole at Lincoln Park.

What a great photo! The view doesn't get much better than that, does it?

Today is Dick's first attempt at playing an 18-hole course! I hope he enjoyed it!

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Omar was right... 

This is the line at Comcast this morning. I don't think the picture
shows it, but it's at least 20 people deep. I arrived at 9:10am - I
figured that was pretty safe since it opens at 9:00. I guess there's
no good time to come. There are a lot of grumpy people here.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

San Francisco Fog 

It was clear at my house, but this is what I saw as I drove to the
other side of Twin Peaks. (about 10 minutes away.)

Gotta love those San Francisco micro climates !


Monday, April 27, 2009

My Sis!! 

Here's my Sis - in her swingin' Vegas Pad!

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cherry Blossom Festival 

Today, Dick and I decided to drive over to the Fillmore area to walk around.
We parked next to the park on Scott and Jackson, and walked over to Fillmore. We strolled down Fillmore and did a bit of window shopping, then decided to head into Japan Town.

To our surprise, we happened upon the first weekend of the Cherry Blossom Festival! Fun!
There were lots of festival booths, yummy food, and lots of people. We eventually found our way towards the main stage, and were able to watch a Taiko Drum group perform. (so cool!)

Cherry Blossoms in bloom!

Taiko Drumming

After we hung around the festival for a while, we decided to make our way down to Union Street. It was a really nice, clear day, and we saw lots of sail boats down in the Bay.

The view from Fillmore @ Pacific

We strolled down Union Street, then walked back to our car through Pacific Heights.
What a nice day to be out and about!


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