Muir Beach

We stopped by after visiting Muir Woods National Monument earlier this year on our holiday vaccay to Northern California and Hawaii, Muir Beach. A cove, lagoon and beach that’s nestled along the coast by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Mount Tamalpais State Park. Though it was January it was still busy when we got there near sunset with a switch from the day beach goers to the dusk beach goers. 

We didn’t stop long, only exploring the beach not the beach overlook as we wanted to look around Sausalito before it got dark. It was enough time for me to understand the magic of California beaches. All beaches have their charm. Maybe it’s the hype, maybe it’s because California is known for its beach life, maybe because it was my first California beach, maybe it was the mid winter light. Either way I can see why California beaches and the sea ocean draw people under their spell. 

Continue reading “Muir Beach”

San Francisco Botanical Gardens 

9,000 different plants from all over the world at San Francisco Botanical Gardens take you on a journey across the globe. You can’t just look in one direction ahead! Looking up magnolias, redwoods, looking down camellias, herbs, moss. Each twist and turn of the paths takes you almost if there’s no one around a secret garden on the other side of the world. Or down the road in the California garden!

We had enough of the city, wanting some fresh air when we visited San Francisco earlier this year. The botanical gardens and Japanese Tea Garden were a few places on our list of places to go thinking they’re in the same garden. The Japanese Tea Garden is in the same park, Golden Gate Park but not in the same garden if that makes sense. Golden Gate Park while it looks close to the centre or downtown San Francisco isn’t. For some reason looking at the map of San Fransisco bay area I thought it was like a European town with everything more of less in walking or a metro distance. Err, no! You need a car to get around, unless you want to do multiple buses, taxis or Uber. A car worked out cheaper than Uber. We stayed just outside San Francisco in Belmont, Redwood Shores and I think the garden was a 40 minute drive away. We’d thought we’d have enough time to do both however the botanical gardens were bigger than we’d expected. By the time we’d left (after a who’s right which way back to the entrance! I think we both compromised and worked it out) it was 16.30 winter closing hours.

Bamboo gardenDSCF0072Puffer fish!

We could have easily have spent more time in the gardens. It’s split into Californian indigenous plants within their own geographic location and into South America, Asia Africa and Europe. The Mediterranean Garden features native Californian plants along side plants from South-western Australia, Chile and South Africa all grouped within their own geographical location. The Mild Temperate Climate features plants from Eastern Australia, New Zealand and a Japanese Moon Continue reading “San Francisco Botanical Gardens “

San Francisco: Downtown and Chinatown

Our first day of our California, Oahu holiday vacay was spent in San Francisco! We stayed outside of San Francisco at the Hyatt House Belmont/Redwood Shores residential hotel in Belmont purely for the reason they had a gym and kitchen. We tend to stay if possible self catering as it saves money, allows more time to explore not being tied to finding vegan restaurants, check out supermarkets and we get to have breakfast of our choice. The gym because P knew I’d go crazy if I just did hotel room workouts for 2 weeks. His ears would hurt.

Another reason why we stayed outside was after calculating Uber costs it was cheaper to hire a car which worked in our favour over the next few days. P reserved parking ahead and there was a little culture shock driving to the parking. He picked one of cheaper carparks which was I think in the one of the roughest inner city neighbourhoods. He didn’t know! Neither of us did! $25 all day parking. Others were $35 plus. Lots of homeless people (there are homeless people in Barcelona but not to the extent of San Francisco. This was a whole other level of homelessness) lining the sidewalks, a lot high. I think it was the open drug use and it’s affect that was the eye opener. It was hard not to stare which I knew was the one thing I shouldn’t be doing. While I was curious how they ended up homeless, I got a feeling most were looking out for each other as tents lined the sidewalks. Yes, it made me uncomfortable and at the same time I felt safe. There I said it. The parking turned out to be only a few blocks away from the centre or downtown San Fransisco. Google Maps you know everything!

Driving into San FranciscoDowntown posh part

Okay. I got photosnappy. The chances of visiting San Francisco again are low to never, so I snapped away. It took awhile Continue reading “San Francisco: Downtown and Chinatown”