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.

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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).

The Blue Herons of Kenmore

Tucked away behind the Kenmore Park & Ride is an area of growth where Blue Herons make nests and inhabit every year. Dear noticed increased activity at the sight so I stopped by with my camera. It’s just so odd to see these large birds way up high in these trees in their nests.

The area around these nests is fenced off and this is the closest I was able to get to the trees. I might go back on a day that isn’t so dreary and see if I can catch some of the herons flying in and out.

We have another low key weekend and Dear has Monday off for President’s Day. Katie arrives Sunday night from North Carolina so she can be here for all the last minute wedding details. I’m going to do all the relaxing I can before Tuesday when we hit the ground running! Hope you have a nice weekend.

Walking Again

Oh the Places you will go, Oh the Wonders you will see…

I made the horrible timely mistake of stepping on the scale last Tuesday morning. Right then and there I decided it was time to get serious about walking everyday again. I’ve gotten a little more fluffy and soft then I want to be. So I headed out to see what I could see…

 

The Burke Gilman Trail which spills into the Sammamish River Trail is a great place to walk/ride/run in the Seattle Area. My two walking buddies and I walked this trail every Saturday morning for several years before I moved to California. When I’m back in town we still get together to walk it. The two of them walk it when I’m away. It’s so lush and green in the Spring and Summer! This last Saturday we walked our typical 15,000 steps! On Wednesday of last week after the “stepping on the scale” incident I walked part of the trail starting at Bothell Landing and I clocked 7282 steps. These photos are from that day.

 

LOOK! I even found the MAGIC PORTAL to get to Hogwarts from the Pacific Northwest!

 

On Thursday for my motivation to walk I headed to Juanita Bay in Kirkland, Washington. There’s a wonderful park next to the bay with boardwalks that go out into the marshes and wetlands.

 

I saw this young Blue Heron.

 

Lots of Woodland Ducks. It was so exciting when I looked straight down from a spot on the boardwalk and saw this mama duck with her ducklings just below me.

 

Then I spotted these turtles!

 

This beautiful Dragonfly stayed around long enough for me to zoom in and get a shot.

 

When Dear gets here I think we’ll have to do this walk again together.

 

You can see why it was easy to get in 8694 steps checking out the wonder of this spot. The beauty that the Lord has created for us to enjoy and praise Him for is all around us. I hope to always have eyes that see it and a tongue that gives Him praise for it.

On Friday I went to Bellevue and I already posted about that day and those steps! So for my first 5 days back with renewed inspiration to walk my average steps were 9286. My Saturday walks with the girls really pushes up my average.

I hope to keep walking this week. Have a wonderful week and remember your Creator, the God who made all things beautiful for us to enjoy…

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage on their site and have replaced my photos with black and grey boxes of ugliness. I’m slowly deleting those boxes from my blog and trying to update so many posts, very frustrating.

ABC Wednesday ~ N is for…

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and they have blacked them all out. I’m slowly working at restoring my posts without their help. Such a tiresome bother!

N is for Nests

The Great Blue Herons and their Nests in Kenmore, Washington.

 

A colony of nesting great blue herons is known as a “heronry”. When I was in Washington State over Easter I was able to get some photos of this “heronry” in Kenmore, behind the Kenmore Park n Ride.

 

When my friend Jody and I were walking on the Burke-Gilman trail one day we were approached by some bird-watchers who were looking for this heronry. I was able to direct them to where it was. It re-sparked my interest and I made it a point to take some photos the next day. When I used to pick up Dear from the Kenmore Park in Ride years ago I remembered being in such awe over this nesting area and the acitivity from these great big birds. It was wonderful to watch them fly around the nests and light onto one. This would be a great field-trip and lesson for any homeschoolers in the area.

The Great Blue Heron belongs to a large family that includes herons, egrets, and bitterns. This world-wide family has about 60 species. The Great White Heron of Florida is a local color variation of the Great Blue and belongs to the same species.

The Great Blue Heron’s long legs allow it to hunt in deeper water than most other herons and egrets.

this photo is from Seattle.gov

Herons have special patches of powder down feathers, which they rake with a foot, causing the powder to fall on fish it has caught. The powder causes the fish slime and oil to clump up so that the herons then can simply brush it off with a foot. Herons also rub the powder especially on the underside of their bodies to repel swamp slime and oils.

The Great Blue Heron can swallow a fish many times wider than its narrow neck.

Herons look for food anytime there is enough light. Studies suggest that cloudy weather is ideal for the birds to look for fish. Herons don’t just eat fish, however. They eat a wide variety of prey, including frogs, salamanders, turtles, snakes, insects, rodents, and small birds.

In catching fish, the Great Blue Heron grabs smaller fish between the two mandibles of its bill; with a quick strike it stabs the larger fish.

In the Pacific Northwest, eelgrass beds are important foraging sites for the Great Blue Heron.

Herons nest in colonies. One of the largest colonies in Washington is located in Renton; last year there were approximately 135 active nests there.

For more ABC Wednesday posts head over to Mrs. Nesbitt’s