San Francisco

san-francisco-painted-ladies

Family and I took the opportunity to visit my sister in Mountain View, Calif. as a chance to also visit San Francisco and Monterey.

Photos on Facebook here.

SACM and I rented bicycles for a wonderful tour of SF, including, predictably but wonderfully, over the Golden Gate Bridge to Monterey, and all the way back to the Mission and the StrEAT Market.

We did the cable cars and Uber to a boat out in the Bay (dramamine actually worked for me!). Saw the Condor Club and Chinatown and Ghiradeli Square and all that, after we started down to Monterey for the aquarium and beach-going.

Assateague Island National Seashore

assateague

Assateague National Park on this 37-mile barrier island south of Ocean City, Maryland is famed for its 300 wild horses, managed by a contraceptive darting program. Here is one at the park entrance

Couchsurfing in St. Louis

Due in Columbia at the University of Missouri for an invite-only journalism roundtable starting Sunday evening, I took the opportunity to fly into St. Louis a day early to explore the Gateway to the West.

I’m sure glad I did.

I arrived Saturday afternoon and was met by my couchsurfing host Alan (read about couchsurfing and my first experience with it a few years ago here). That started a night and a Sunday morning exploring what was the country’s fourth largest city a century ago. Facebook photos here.

Let me share a quick itinerary of the cool things I got to do and see:

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Seattle: a long-weekend in the Pacific Northwest

Standing on the observation deck of the iconic Space Needle in Seattle.

Early this morning, I got home from a jam-packed, long weekend in Seattle, visiting my friend Matt Sheehan, who was receiving some treatment there.

Some of my favorite experiences:

  • Pike Place Market — The city’s very famous, very cool open-air market near to the. Going there during a weekday was key to seeing it live.
  • Space Needle — As depicted above, I made sure to get to the top of the famed Space Needle.
  • Halibut sandwich — With clam chowder and slaw for lunch, right in one of the stands at Pike Place. Photo here.
  • Nirvana — Yes, man, I listened to the 1990s grunge metal heads who originated here as much as I could.
  • Mass Transit— I rode the trolly — new one, not the old one — and the light rail line from the airport to the center city.
  • Starbucks — The first product I ever bought at any Starbucks was a latte at the original location, near Pike Place.
  • Great Alaskan Salmon sandwich — It might not look like much, but this meal, on a beautiful, little tourist island, was likely one of the best meals I ever had. The Salmon was so fresh, with so many tastes, and played so nicely with the slaw and a buttery ciabatti roll.
  • Eat and drink generally — I had lots of local beer and all the fresh fish I could get my hands on.
  • Iced Coffees — From lots of local places.
  • Sports arenas — Like mass transit, something I am always interested in seeing when visiting other U.S. cities are their altars for sport.
  • University of Washington — I walked the campus and ate on its main strip.
  • Walking, walking walking — It’s what I love to do. I was blessed with beautiful weather!

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Cross-Country

Two friends and I went from Los Angeles to Philadelphia – after flying out – Thurs., Aug. 9 to Aug. 24, 2007.

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Memphis Blues

Yosemite National Park

Overlooking a canyon in Yosemite National Park in California.

Overlooking a canyon in Yosemite National Park in California.

Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco

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Pacific Coast Highway

Michael Butler glides along the Pacific Coast Highway south of Los Angeles

Michael Butler glides along the Pacific Coast Highway south of Los Angeles

During my 2007 cross country trip from San Diego to Philadelphia with Michael Butler and Matt Sheehan, I crossed more than ten items off my list. The first was driving along the Pacific Highway, beautiful Route One mostly along the Pacific coast of California.

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