sf trip: days three & four

Note: I apologize for the terrible quality of these photos. Most were taken with my cell phone, which doesn’t have a flash.

The fun mostly came to a close on Day Three, when the conference officially started. Suddenly I found myself trapped in a bland hotel meeting room for most of the day. Horrifying. The most exciting presentation I saw was given by Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive. If you don’t know about Brewster and the Archive, that link might warrant a look. They are doing important work over there. That’s all I’ll say about the conference, though, because I don’t think the majority of the content would be of interest to readers of this blog.

I snuck down to the Ferry Building on Day Three for more donuts. I just couldn’t help myself. Even though it was almost a 20-minute walk from the conference hotel, it was worth it. What can I say…I have a thing for donuts. And vegan donuts are not easy to come by, at least not where I live.

Goodbye, vegan donuts…

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Pepples Donuts, San Francisco, California

I ate at Loving Hut one more time, too. Even though it was in a mall…blech.

Goodbye Loving Hut…

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Loving Hut Restaurant, San Francisco, California

On the morning of Day Four, I had to check out of my hotel. The room was a bit small but it suited me fine. They also had free fair trade coffee every morning and a free wine happy hour every evening. The irritating thing was there was no free internet anywhere in the hotel, not even in the “business center.” But at least they printed our boarding passes for free.

Goodbye hotel lobby…

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Serrano Hotel lobby, San Francisco, California

We had to leave as soon as the conference ended and headed straight to the airport. As I stared out the car window at the hills, I didn’t feel ready to leave. There was so much more to explore! I knew I would have to return some day.

At the airport, I ate the only burrito of the trip, which was surprisingly good for airport food. I wasn’t looking forward to the redeye flight staring me down, so I consoled myself with a double espresso (on the company dime, of course!).

Goodbye California clouds…

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Sky above San Francisco International Airport

Once home, I consoled myself with a full day of birding on the weekend. The bright songs and flashy colors of the forest songbirds were the perfect salve for the vague unsettled feeling I usually get upon returning from a trip.

Hello green green park lands…

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Susquehanna State Park, Havre de Grace, Maryland

sf trip: day two

Good Morning, San Francisco Bay Bridge!

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, San Francisco Bay Bridge

Oh look, here comes a ferry.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, San Francisco Bay

It’s coming from the Ferry Building!

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Ferry Building, San Francisco, California

Inside the Ferry Building are vendors such as Pepples Donuts and Blue Bottle Coffee. Happiness is a vegan donut and a cup of drip coffee!

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Pepples vegan donut & Blue Bottle hand-drip coffee

While enjoying my coffee and donut, I came across the following tableau.

[Please excuse this egregious example of anthropomorphism]

Fred the Western Gull: Hmm…what do we have here? Why I do believe it’s a tasty crab!

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Western Gull finds crab

Bob the Western Gull: Hey Fred, whatcha got there, buddy?

Fred: Why, nothing, Bob. I have nothing at all.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Western Gulls with crab

Bob: Are ya sure there, Fred? ‘Cause it sure looks like ya got something in yer gob there, pal.

Fred: I have nothing, my good man. Now leave me be!

Bob: C’mon, Fred, just let me nibble a bit on that there crab. Dontcha ‘member me sharing my sea bass with ya last week?

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Western Gulls with crab

Fred: Oh, very well then. But just this once.

Bob: Thanks, Fred. Yer a real stand-up guy.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Western Gulls share crab

Obligatory Western Grebe photo, just to prove I saw one. They kept diving underwater just as I focused in. Taken with my point-and-shoot through binoculars, which is why it’s blurry.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Western Grebe, San Francisco Bay

Coit Tower, as seen from the waterfront. We were so close to it the day before and didn’t even realize it. Still a bit annoyed about that. I would’ve walked back up there if I’d had the time.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Coit Tower, San Francisco, California

A couple of shots from Chinatown. It’s the largest one in the Western Hemisphere!

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Chinatown entrance, San Francisco, California

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Chinatown, San Francisco, California

In late afternoon we took a tour of the Mechanics’ Institute Library with the other conference participants. This is a private membership-based library, and the librarian wouldn’t let us take photos inside the library, so as to “protect the privacy of our patrons.” Instead I took a shot of this spiral staircase in the building. After I took the photo I walked down the staircase and kept feeling like I was going to fall on my face. Vertigo!

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Staircase at Mechanics' Institute Library Building

Next time:  Goodbyes!

sf trip: day one

I arrived in San Francisco on a Sunday afternoon, having gained three hours. My boss (hereafter referred to as DD) and I trekked over Nob Hill, through Chinatown, and up Telegraph Hill. Here’s a cable car coming down Powell Street. I didn’t ride on one, thus missing out on a quintessential San Francisco experience. I don’t feel too bad about that.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Cable car cresting Powell Street into Lower Nob Hill, San Francisco, California

I found this interesting ivy-colored building on the edge of Chinatown. The street was otherwise devoid of greenery.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Ivy-covered house in Chinatown, San Francisco, California

We walked down Broadway where a man who may or may not have been schizophrenic made threats to anyone who met his roving gaze. I looked elsewhere and turned the corner to find City Lights Bookstore. I did not buy anything, although the selection was impressive. I prefer used bookstores. Still, this store is an important part of U.S. literary history so I figured it would be worth popping in for a visit.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco, California

From the bookstore we walked up Telegraph Hill, where I found a Lesser Goldfinch feeding in some exotic tree I’d never seen before. Here’s a view of San Francisco Bay from the hill. DD was likely cursing me on the inside at this point. Little did she know how many more hills still stood between us and the hotel!

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, San Francisco Bay as seen from Telegraph Hill

We finished the day at Millenium, where I had the Maple-Black Pepper Glazed Smoked Tempeh, with olive oil mashed potatoes & horseradish, sauteed spring onion, asparagus & baby carrots, Dijon-dill cashew cream, grilled lemon, parsley & radish salad. It looked like this:

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Maple-Black Pepper Glazed Smoked Tempeh at Millenium Restaurant, San Francisco, California

Dessert was Chocolate Almond Midnight: almond cashew crust, mocha chocolate filling, raspberry sauce, white chocolate mousse.

By then, the three hours I’d stolen earlier began to feel missing so I crashed for the night, a sleepy and satisfied vegan traveler.

Next time:  Vegan donuts at the waterfront, Western Gulls vs. The Crab, a stroll through Chinatown, and the only photo I was allowed to take at the Mechanics’ Institute Library.

  • Recent Posts

  • Navigation Station

    The links along the top of the page are rudimentary attempts at trail markers. Otherwise, see below for more search and browse options.

  • In Search of Lost Time

  • Personal Taxonomy

  • Common Ground

  • Resources