Sunlit and InSPIREd

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When Dear and I arrived in San Francisco January 20th we checked into our hotel and then braved the walk uphill to the Mark Hopkins hotel on Nob Hill. On the way we passed Grace Cathedral. Grace Cathedral is a beautiful church that I’ve posted about before when I did a more thorough visit in 2008. I’ll leave a link to my full posts at the end of this one. We continued on to the “Top of the Mark” for some small bites and a drink. This next photo shows a view of Grace Cathedral from above.

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On our way back to our hotel (all downhill this time) we stopped in at the Cathedral for a quick view of the inside and then I took some photos from the outside during sunset.

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To see more from the inside and outside and to read some history of Grace Cathedral click here and here.

Later today I’ll link up with Sunlit Sunday hosted by Karen at My Little Home and Garden and InSPIREd Sunday hosted by Beth and Sally.

I’m having a carefree Saturday with just a little shopping excursion planned to pick up a few last minute items for our Lunar/Chinese New Year Super Bowl party tomorrow. Dear vacuumed for me yesterday and I dusted and sorted out a lot of junk piles so our house looks crisp, neat and ready for fun. While I prepare this post I’m enjoying some Barclay’s Premier League Soccer on the telly. Yes, I’m a fan of soccer. Dear and our son-in-law are off to our near son’s home to do some hard labor with a jackhammer! I suppose I better have a hardy meal ready for dinner for the workers! Hope you have a good weekend.

The Golden Gate Bridge

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I was so pleased to be able to get many views of this historical bridge that has been photographed by millions. This first photo and next photo collage images were taken on Thursday from the Presidio and from China Beach.

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The name of the bridge has nothing to do with the color but with the fact that the waterway that the bridge spans has been considered a gateway. The Golden Gate Strait is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean.  The strait is approximately three-miles long by one-mile wide with currents ranging from 4.5 to 7.5 knots.  It is generally accepted that the strait was named “Chrysopylae”, or Golden Gate, by John C. Fremont, Captain, topographical Engineers of the U.S. Army circa 1846.  It reminded him of a harbor in Istanbul named Chrysoceras or Golden Horn.

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On Friday I took a hop on hop off bust tour of San Francisco and it was a very grey and rainy day. These are the shots I got from the tour bus.

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This photo was taken from the Top of the Mark on our first day in San Francisco. We walked to the hotel to have a drink and small bites in their top floor restaurant with 360 degree views of the town.

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Don’t forget to look up when you are on the tour bus. I’m glad I didn’t drown or soak my camera lens!


Now for a treasure of a photo from 1959! This is my sister Vera, our lifelong friend Milla with our friends from San Francisco, the Hamzieffs. We must have been strolling across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Hope you all have a great Friday and weekend. An update on me going grey, my hairdresser decided a gentle approach with foils would be the best way to go. A little silver at a time till my hair catches up. She’ll leave whatever grows out naturally uncovered and add streaking to the ends of the new growth. I don’t know if I explained that right but the grey/white will be subtle. Now today I’ve got to get my cleaning skills out of the closet and get moving!

More Signs from San Francisco…

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This time around we didn’t get a chance to have a pint at Johnny Foley’s Irish Pub and Restaurant.

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I have a full post on Old St. Mary’s Church in Chinatown here.

I’m linking up with Lesley for signs, signs with these signs from my time in San Francisco.

I am now all signed up for my Medicare and have sighed in relief to have that behind me. Now I’m getting ready to talk to my hairstylist about going grey and how she can help me transition. I figure I can always go back to color if grey is too drastic for my mirror to face. TMI? On a brighter note I’ve got some great things put together for our Chinese New Year Super Bowl Party! Here’s a blurry but bright tease…


Dewey Monument ~ San Francisco

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Most everyone that visits San Francisco sees this piece of public art.  Two years before the Gold Rush, in 1847, Jasper O’Farrell, the first surveyor of San Francisco,  created a design for the city, with Union Square as a public plaza. By the 1880s, it was a fashionable residential district, and in 1903, this towering monument was added. A monument to Admiral George Dewey’s victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish American War. It also commemorates U.S. President William McKinley, who had been recently assassinated. The figurine at the top of the monument, “Winged Victory”, was modeled, reportedly, from the likeness of a local heiress, Alma de Bretteville Spreckels.

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Designed by sculptor Robert I. Aitken and architect Newton J. Tharp, the Dewey Monument consisted of a 79-foot-tall granite shaft, surmounted by an 18-foot-high pedestal adorned with the bronzed figure “Winged Victory.” In one hand she bears a trident, the symbol of Poseidon and of naval victory, and in the other hand, a laurel wreath, also a symbol of victory.

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I’ll be linking up to Tuesday’s Treasures with Tom The Backroads Traveller and…

…to ABC Wednesday started by Mrs. Nesbitt and carried on by Roger and ABC team for D is for Dewey!

So today I’m headed for a meeting to talk and decide about all my Medicare choices. Ugh. It’s kind of shocking that I’ve gotten to this stage of life. You’d think after all these years and all my experience I’d be able to wade through it all on my own. Then again why not let someone who works in the field benefit from my indecision and steer me in the right direction?  It’s not a life and death decision but I do pray I make a good choice! Hope you have a wonderful Tuesday!

Sunlit Sunday…

San Francisco afforded me so many photos to share I’m joining Sunlit Sunday at My Little Home and Garden today.

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Looking up at Saints Peter and Paul church in San Francisco.

S.F. rain tour 040This was my second time to see this beautiful church. This time around I hopped off the bus for lunch in North Beach/Little Italy. My bus tour this day was rainy from beginning to end. So I didn’t take as many photos as my visit in 2008.

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This Romanesque splendor is often called the Italian Cathedral. Completed in 1924, the church has stone-white towers that are local landmarks. Mass reflects the neighborhood; it’s given in English, Italian, and Chinese. (This is one of the few churches in town where you can hear Mass in Italian.) Following their 1954 City Hall wedding, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio had their wedding photos snapped here. On the first Sunday of October, a Mass followed by a parade to Fisherman’s Wharf celebrates the Blessing of the (Fishing) Fleet. Also in October is the Italian Heritage Parade in North Beach. The country’s oldest Italian celebration, it began in 1869.

The first time I saw Saints Peter and Paul was in December of 2008. Click here to see my full post from my first thorough visit.

Old St. Mary’s Cathedral

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Old St. Mary’s in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The first building erected as a cathedral in California, Old St. Mary’s served the archdiocese of San Francisco in that capacity from 1854 to 1891. Once the city’s most prominent building, much of its stone work was quarried and cut in China and its brick brought “around the Horn” in sailing ships

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Old St. Mary’s Church was established by Father Henry Ignatius Stark as a mission. The purpose was to teach the Chinese community about the Catholic faith. It was built by Chinese laborers in 1854 with brick brought around Cape Horn and granite cut in China. It was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and rebuilt in 1909.

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When I was in Chinatown with my friend Alice we got to the church after it was closed for the day. On Saturday before we left San Francisco Dear and I walked to Chinatown and we went into the church. Because of a funeral that was about to begin I didn’t feel comfortable taking too many photos of the inside.


They’ve built a new St. Mary’s that is not in Chinatown and my friend says that the people of Chinatown aren’t thrilled about traveling to go to the new church.

Linking up to InSPIREd Sunday with Beth and Sally.

Hope you all are enjoying the last weekend of January. We are here at this old house. The sun is shining through the clouds for a change and we can see some blue sky. We’ve had a very rainy week so it’s nice to see some blue mixed in with the grey clouds.

Signs and Fences…

Last Friday on a hop on hop off bus tour of San Francisco while it was raining I managed to get some photos of some fences and some signs.

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Jammin on Haight, Head Rush and a more down to earth Haight Street Market! Does Haight Ashbury ring a bell with you?


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This fence/gate was spotted in the historic civic center area of San Francisco and this was across the street from the San Francisco City Hall that looks a lot like the U.S. Capitol building.

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Here is probably the most photographed bridge in the U.S.A., the Golden Gate Bridge. You can see how rainy it was this day. These fences play a very important roll on this bridge. I’m devoting a whole post with all my photos of the Golden Gate Bridge soon.

It’s time to link up with Lesley for signs, signs and with Tex*Wis*Girl for Good Fences #97!

Dear and I continue to walk about our neighborhood after all our uphill/downhill walks in San Francisco last week. We are trying to set some good habits for our health. I have some fences to share another time from our neighborhood walk.

San Francisco Chinatown

We just returned from a few days in San Francisco. Dear was attending an oncology conference and I tagged along to enjoy some sight seeing. It worked out for me to also spend some time with a couple friends from my college days. My Chinese/Russian friend Alice gave me a tour of Chinatown on Thursday as part of a larger tour of the city she knows well. Then on Saturday morning we had a couple hours before we left the city and Dear and I walked to Chinatown.

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The most photographed structure in Chinatown is undoubtedly the large Chinatown Gateway, also known as the Dragon Gate.

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The gate was designed in 1970 by Clayton Lee and is based on the ceremonial gates that can be found in Chinese villages. The gate is adorned with sculptures of fish and dragons and is flanked by two large lion statues. The gate has three passageways. The large, central one is meant for dignitaries while the two smaller passageways are meant for the common people.

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San Francisco’s Chinatown is not only the oldest but also the most famous and largest Chinatown in the U.S. Thanks to the many ornamented houses, shops and eateries the area is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. The lampposts are all very ornamental and have dragon motifs.

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While in Chinatown with my friend Alice we enjoyed Dim Sum at one of the restaurants.


Alice celebrates Chinese New Year so we shopped around the town so she could pick up some things for her celebration. I bought a few souvenirs to create a Chinese table setting and I think we’ll pick up some takeout for Chinese New Year and celebrate, too. It’s the year of the Monkey.

I’m linking up to ABC Wednesday created by Mrs. Nesbitt and carried on by Roger and the ABC Team.

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I’m also linking up to Tuesdays Treasures hosted by Tom The Backroads Traveller

Friends Touring San Francisco

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About forty six years ago I met Alice through my Russian Baptist church friends in the Los Angeles area. She lived in San Francisco and would come down and stay with her good family friend, another Alice she was named after. When she visited we had some fun adventures. The photo above is of Kathy (a New York Russian friend) myself and Alice at the Rose Parade in Pasadena. This was New Year’s Day in 1971. My friend Alice’s family came out of China to the United States years ago.

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Fast forward to January 2016 and since I was in San Francisco I messaged Alice to see if she had the time to get together. Happily she was more than willing to pick me up at our hotel and take me on a incredible driving/walking tour of the city she knows well. We started by driving the scenic route to Golden Gate Park to see what we could see. We started at the Conservatory of Flowers but were very disappointed to find it was closed for maintenance. We found a great alternative at the botanical gardens in the same park.

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Magnolias were the feature of the day. I also captured this great Blue Heron.

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We left the park and drove through the Presidio where there were some good views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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China Beach past the late Robin Williams’ home gave us another great view of the bridge. The stone reads Since Gold Rush times this cove was used as a campsite by many of the Chinese fishermen who worked in and around San Francisco Bay. Their efforts to supply the needs of a young city helped establish one of the areas most important industries and traditions.


At this point we headed to China Town to have lunch and walk about and shop. It’s good to know what garage to park in because parking is difficult in China Town. Alice chose a restaurant nearby and suggested the Dim Sum sampler. “Dim Sum” refers to a style of Chinese food prepared as small bite-sized or individual portions of food, traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. It reminded me of High Tea. We had fun shopping about the streets of China Town with all the special wares offered for Chinese New Year (Year of the Monkey) that is coming up in early February. Many of the celebrations start the last weekend of January. I bought some fun items in hopes of setting a Chinese New Year table. This year Chinese New Year will be competing with the Super Bowl and all the preparations for that. I will share more from China Town tomorrow.

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Our last stop of the day was at Twin Peaks high above the city of San Francisco. You can see that the city is going all out for Super Bowl 50!

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The views from Twin Peaks were incredible. From here we drove through lots of traffic and made it back to the hotel in time for Dear and me to walk a couple blocks to dinner.

My visit with my old friend Alice was so good. We had so much time to catch up as we drove around the city. So much life happens in 46 years! Thank you my friend for spending the day with me and showing me your beloved city!

I’m linking to Sunlit Sunday at My Little Home and Garden and Amaze Me Monday with Cindy at Dwellings (The Heart of Your Home).

San Francisco Day One…

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We arrived to San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon and hailed a taxi to take us to our hotel in the theater district. Anytime there is a conference going on hotel prices seem to get jacked up. Since we had to find our own digs for this conference we found a better cost option with a boutique hotel. The rooms are smaller and no room service but at half the price we are good with that.

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We got checked in and headed out on foot to the Moscone Convention Center to pick up Dear’s badge for the conference. After Dear was all checked in we came back to the hotel to drop off his materials and started our uphill walk to the Mark Hopkins Hotel. We wanted to experience the view from the “Top of the Mark”.

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You know the streets are steep when they put in stairs! We were huffing and puffing by the time we hit California Street.

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The Top of the Mark affords beautiful panoramic views of San Francisco. The prices are a bit steep but we planned for it enjoying small bites, a drink and beautiful views!

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The sun set and we got some evening views, too.

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I will share the photos we took of Grace Cathedral later that happens to be on California street, too. We walked through it on our way back to the hotel. Downhill all the way, woohoo!

San Francisco '16 046It was a wonderful beginning for our time in San Francisco. We had some dessert when we made it back down the hill in the restaurant connected to our hotel.

I’m posting this now because today has been a rainy day in San Francisco and I’m spending the evening in my hotel room while Dear has a business dinner. I was quite the Seattlelite today venturing out on a hop on hop off tour of the city in the rain…on the top deck of the bus!! I’ll share the raindrop photos later!

I’ll share the rest of our San Francisco experience next week. Tomorrow we are being picked up by my first year college roommate and her husband for a few hours to catch up on what’s been going on in our lives the last 35 years or so before they drop us off at the airport for our trip back home.