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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

First I want to say to Jon Stewart and his “Rally to Restore Sanity” crowd, welcome to our city. We’ve been waiting for you! It’s been two years of over-wrought red-staters with misspelled signs, fanny packs and racial epithets leaving McDonald’s wrappers in their wake for those of us who call the nation’s capital home. We need a real party – not a tea party. A party like we threw on November 3 (and well into November 4th), 2009. You know what I’m talking about.

Washingtonians collectively giggled over a recent guide to visiting DC written by some random tea-party blogger in Maine ahead of Beck’s Rally to Restore whatever. He’d been here once before and decided to share a thing or two with his compatriots. You can read excerpts along with the acerbic commentary of some elite liberal media here. As a counterpoint, I offer this guide to visiting DC for the Sanity Ralliers. Because who needs a tea bag when you can have a nice cocktail? (more…)

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Two of my favorite things were the Japanese Tea Garden, and the California Academy of Sciences, both in Golden Gate Park. The park itself is lovely, and has many other attractions – and is entirely worth wandering through on it’s own merits. But these two particular locations should be included in any trip to San Francisco!

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During our 8 days in San Francisco, we took day trips. The first was a bike ride over the Golden Gate Bridge and down the (steep) hill into Sausalito. It was a cold, windy ride, but the other side of the Bay was in sunshine — yes, even while San Fran and the bridge are shrouded, the other side of the Bay glitters in bright daylight. Sausalito was really cute, full of beautiful homes, and we ate the best tacos there.

Photo ops before our bike ride over the bridge. So cute!

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Various images from our touring of San Francisco’s neighborhoods.

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The Marina Motel, our home in San Francisco

We left San Diego on Sunday afternoon and flew in to San Francisco. After our awesome shuttle driver went out of his way to give a scenic route to the Marina district (he diverted to bring us into the Marina via Pacific Heights, both to show us the mansions of that neighborhood and to show us the view from the Pac Heights hills before you descend toward the Bay and the Marina area) we arrived at the most charming little motel I’ve ever seen.  We were just five blocks from the Bay, and the street behind our motel was bustling with markets, boutique shops and fantastic restaurants. Quiet, charming, and jasmine-scented, Marina Motel was our little home-base as we toured the city each day. (more…)

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The first weekend of our honeymoon trip was spent in San Diego, where we had a great gathering of improvisers known as Barrel of Monkeys. When not improvising, we enjoyed some of San Diego’s fine offerings, mainly beaches and brews.

Blacks Beach, San Diego

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If you make it this far into my city, I'll tell where to get a great burger.

Get off the beaten path as quickly as possible. Look at my city as a collaborative collection of smaller towns, and learn its neighborhoods. Bring a map and know how to read it yourself. When you find a neighborhood you like, visit the shops. When you find one you like, ask the salesperson or owner what is the best bar or restaurant in the neighborhood, for locals. Go there, and get a seat at the bar. After a couple of drinks, ask the bartender where you should visit to see the best parts of my city. Say hi to the person next to you, and ask them, and write down the suggestions you get. Pick the ones that sound most like you would love. Accept the fact that you might miss landmark attractions of my city, but that you can get to know my city so well you love it enough to come back. Make use of public transit and pay attention to where you are as you pass through. Stay out of the Starbucks and the Ruby Tuesdays (except for bathroom stops) and buy your coffee from our local cafes and eat your meals in our good local places. Buy fruit and cheese for a picnic in our parks. Treat my city like a place you might live, and you’ll find it’s a great place to visit.

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