Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas in San Francisco City Hall

Address:1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco

The beautiful San Francisco City Hall is one of the biggest city halls in the States. Its dome is gilded with gold leaf and it's the fifth largest dome in the world. It has very grand staircase and ornate interior. The movies "Milk" and "Bicentennial Man" were filmed here. The City Hall Christmas tree is decorated with thousands of origami cranes for this Christmas. The tree is named the "Tree of Hope". Each crane contains a wish for the world and were made by people from all around the world. City Hall is open for public Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm. Free admission.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

California Academy of Sciences

Address: 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

California Academy of Science is full of surprises...there are white alligators, Vietnamese moss frogs, dragon fish, ecological living roof top just to name a few. Free admission 3rd Wednesday of every month. That's a savings of $25.00 per admission. But you have to be there early. We were there at 10:00AM and it's so crowded already. Check out its site for more information:

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The building is a sustainable architecture which utilizes natural light.

Mini frogs. How many do you see?

Living roof top -- using native plants as roofing material.

Giant cockroaches.

Vietnamese moss frogs - can you find them?

Seahorse decor.

White alligator. Look like it just finished lunch.

90-foot diameter rain forest dome.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

San Francisco Public Library

Address:100 Larkin Street, San Francisco

This is a beautiful library. I love its interior design. There seems to be a nautilus theme going on - the ceiling, the staircase .... In celebration of the holiday, there is a also a toy train display outside the kids reading room on 2nd floor. Kids can light up the fairy wheel, activate the trains and gondola by pressing a few big buttons.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Musee Mechanique

Address:Pier 45 Shed A at the end of Taylor Street,Fisherman's Wharf , San Francisco

A place where many tourists miss when they visit Fisherman's Wharf. Musee Mecanique is a place where you find rows and rows of antique arcade machines. A fun place to experience what kids did for fun in the past. Admission is free. Most machines cost 25 cents a game. It's free when someone else pay for the games and you just watch it :P. Really cool.

X'mas in Japan Town

Address: Webster x Post, San Francisco

Very nice Christmans decor throughout Japan Center. The Christmas tree was fully decorated with origami ornaments.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Chrismas Lights in Hyatt Regency

Address: Hyatt Regency, 5 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco

Went to Hyatt Regency during lunch today. Totally amazed by the beautiful blue lights that shower down the 17-story high atrium - an atrium that is recorded in Guinness World Records as the largest hotel lobby in the world. There were also a few sets of mini town fully decorated with X'mas lights and motorized parts. The atrium is located two floors above the street level entrance of the hotel.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

St. Mary's Cathedral

Address: 111 Gough St, San Francisco

St. Mary's Cathedral has always been my favorite place to visit. Very modern and unusual for a cathedral both inside and out. They offer free concert on Sunday afternoons. It's a block away from Japan Town and Chinese Consulate. Check out for more information.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Address: Albany, CA

Beautiful sunset seen from my home. You can see the Golden Gate Bridge at the end of the horizon.

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Pacifica, CA

Address: Pacifica, CA - from San Francisco, take Hwy 280 then Hwy 1.

There has been a November heat wave in San Francisco the last few days -- 75 + degrees in most places -- we usually don't even get that warm in summer! Heard that it's a record since early 1900s. The sky was clear and blue so we figure it's a good day to visit the usually cool, windy and foggy Pacifica. Pacifica is located along the scenic Highway 1, about 15 mins from San Francisco. It's a fun place to bring kids and pets. Romantic enough for couples. Great place for people watching, wave watching, surfing, or simply relaxing.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Address: de Young, Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118

The top floor of de Young museum is a free observation deck which offers a panoramic view of San Francisco. There is also a wall-size satellite photo of San Francisco. After entering the front entrance of the museum, turn right then turn left by the wall. Walk pass the artsy wire ornaments turn left and take the elevator to the top floor.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Moraga Mosaic Staircase and Grandview Park

Mosaic Stairs: 16th Ave x Moraga, San Francisco, CA
Grandview Park: 14th Ave, San Francisco, CA

Revisited Moraga mosaic stairway today. It's still foggy and windy but not as cold as last time we visited. Took a few close-up shots of the beautiful mosaic artwork. It gives me a feeling of stairway to heaven. We went all the way up to the top and found anther staircase. That one leads to Grandview park. It's super foggy and windy up there. The trees are huge. The soil is sandy and it's said to be one of the last habitat for two endangered plants -- Franciscan Wallflower and Dune Tansy.

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Plants along the staircase

A plague of honor for people who contributed to decorating the stairway

View from the top of the stairway. The end of the road lead to Pacific Ocean.
Further up the hill is the Grandview Park -- a typographical remnant of 140 million year old rock.

Another steep stairway which lead to the top of the park.

The trees are very huge. It's very windy and foggy up there.

View of Sunset district from Grandview Park.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cable Car Museum

Address: 1201 Mason St , San Francisco, CA

Quite a noisy place but it's cool to see how cable car work, its history and the effort it takes to motorize them. You get to try ringing the cable car bell too! Admission to the museum is free. It's only 3 blocks away from China Town and Grace Cathedral.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Kite Festival - Cesar Chavez Park

Address: Cesar Chavez Park,11 Spinnaker Wy, Berkeley, CA

Went to the annual Kite Festival held at Cesar Chavez Park near Berkeley Marnia today. Parking was limited and it looked pretty crowded when we get there so we parked close to Aquatic Park and hiked over the 1-80 pedestrian bridge to Cesar Chevaz Park. The featuring kites were huge. My favorite is the cat that chases after a fish which chases after a penguin. Unfortunately my camera ran out of memory so I was only able to take 2 very short video clips.

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Entrance to the park.

Lots of cool kites!

A closer look.

My favorite cat and dog kites.