By way of San Francisco…

Along the way to Lombard Street...
On the road again…
I am on the road to Tahilla by way of San Francisco. We stopped into SF for a family reunion to celebrate my mother-in-law's 85th birthday.  I have written about her over the years, when she was 80 with The Intrepid Traveller and 82 with The Travelling Sisterhood. She is an amazing woman and an inspiration at 85…I have every confidence that she will still be travelling the world at 90. There is no stopping that woman once she sets her mind to something. I love that about her.

People in the know...
Speaking of love…I am passing it on to readers who have left me a trail of San Francisco travel tips between Facebook and Instagram. This is my first trip to SF and while I did a bit of research, I thought it would be fun to ask people who are in the know. I lucked out…travel tips are below.

Uber me….Uber you
But first… Are you an Uber user? If not, and you are planning to spend time in San Francisco, can I suggest you download the App before you arrive? I speak from experience. There are places in the city where you will not find a me when I say, it will be a frustrating experience. After walking many blocks (while on the phone with various cab companies), riding several crowded buses in the wrong direction, we all swore (nine of us)..Uber would be in our life by the end of the day. The flip side of the story is that we were able to visit sections of the city that were not on our list and through it all, we had to laugh. What else can you do?  I am happy to report that several of us downloaded the Uber app as soon as we returned to the hotel and rode merrily off into the evening sunset with the comfort of knowing an  Uber  'black car' was never far away.  We used it a few times during our stay and it is brilliant…a must if you plan to explore the far corners of San Francisco, especially in the evening. Enough said on that subject.

Readers travel tips for San Francisco…what they said
Lisa…go to Hotel Monaco and Maiden Lane Shopping
Kathy..climb Mount Tamalpais near Golden Gate Bridge
Laura..visit  Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in Chinatown and shop Union Street
Paula… try The Slanted Door restaurant for great Vietnamese food
Carren.. visit North Beach to see Beach Blanket Babylon
Linda..take ferry and lunch in Sausalito, shop Fishermans' Wharf, try cheese at Cowgirl Creamery and olive oi ant McEvoy Ranch store.
Hilda..visit San Francisco Botanical Garden
Lisa…try Peruvian food anywhere, drinks at the St. Regis Bar, Clift Hotel Bar and R&G Lounge. Eat at Shanghai Dumpling for Chinese food, hang out with the hipster crowd at Delfina's in the Mission, go to Dolores Park for an intense experience, grab a sandwich at Bi-Rite Market and ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery, try Boulevard Restaurant near the Ferry Building, drive through Sea Cliff neighbourhood to see the mansions, hike Sutro Tower and walk across Golden Gate Bridge, eat at Coi for super refined food.
Karen.. cable car from Union Square, shop Sutter Street.
Sarah…join Avital for a walking food tour
Lisa..visit Farmer's Market on Saturday morning at the Ferry Building
Pamela…shop Bellochio's on 10 Brady Street Gump's in Union Square at Top of the Mark at Mark Hopkins Hotel
Cindy…eat and shop at Ferry Building
Rodney…visit Flora Grubb Gardens
Jean…wear flowers in your hair

To all those who provided their San Francisco favourites, thank you!!

We wandered..planned and unplanned, taking in the city as it came. In and out, up and down, on foot, by cable car, by bus, by taxi, by Uber…and through it all we only managed to capture just the essence of San Francisco. One thing was clear…there is so much more to explore in and out of the city. We will save the rest for another time…for now, here are a few of my favourite shots, in no particular order. More SF photos on Instagram,  here.

A walk along the waterfront is a must.
 Port of San Francisco.
Feeling creative with a black and white moment at our hotel, The Fairmont.

Love museums…this one, is definitely worth a visit!
 de Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco

Docked…SS Jeremiah O'Brien Liberty ship
A fellow bus traveller..

For the 85 year old birthday gal,
 pink peonies with a hint of geranium…
at Spruce Restaurant
A mecca for tourists, Lombard Street, with eight hairpin turns…
a curvy downhill experience.
Can we give it up for the colours of this house and garden?
It all happens in one block…the crookedest street in the world.
Purple paint passion on the streets of North Beach
Wishing on a fish…or two.. on San Francisco Bay.
Buddha Haven…on Havens.
Walking the streets of SF with a camera is a must. If you can, do it on your own,
fellow travel partners will thank you. ;)
This little fellow, Walter, surprised us in a taxi today…
he hopped over the front seat and made himself comfortable.
I can tell you, I was not expecting that!
A painterly moment (above and below) from our trip
 to the San Francisco Botanical Garden this morning. 
For the love of a garden…and a blue veil.

The Blue Veil, 1898
by Edmund Charles Tarbell (1862-1938)

I discovered 'Poets in the Garden' at the de Young museum.. a program for San Francisco Bay Area students. Students are introduced to fundamental principals of art viewing and creative writing and are offered the opportunity to select artwork as inspiration for the poems they create.

One of my favourite paintings and student poems...

Untitled by Jonah Copi
Seventh grade, the San Francisco School
written for The Blue Veil (above)

I shift and change
places with her every move.

I glide, flowing in the air
with the slightest gust
of wind.

I hide her beauty and 
ensure her innocence.

I conceal her emotions
with my blue shadow and
act as her barrier.

It is my duty to protect her
and I do my best.

She is helpless without
my blue, silky shield.

The two of us become one
as I cling to her forever.

I give her clarity 
in a state of confusion.

I give her guidance
in a time of fogginess.

I am not only her veil
but her friend and protector.

With that we say adieu to San Francisco.
Mr. H heads due west back to Vietnam.
Mrs. H heads due east to New Hampshire
and Tahilla Farm.

Catch you on the other side! 

If you would like to add to the San Francisco travel tip list,
please do. Leave a comment or write to me
I will add it to the list, happily!
Thank you! Thank you!

Jeanne xx 


  1. Great the sweet DOG ; )

  2. Wonderful photos of San Francisco, Jeanne. I recognized so many spots. The list of recommendations is terrific. I should have also mentioned Ghiradelli ice cream shop along the pier as well as a day trip into Sausalito and Tiburon...gorgeous! Oh...and that perfectly named.

    1. Many thanks Sarah…I will add them to the list. ;)

  3. Beautiful Jeanne I love all that you share with us.
    Love Jeanne

  4. Welcome back to New England, soon if not already here! :)

  5. Gorgeous pictures! Oh how I love San Francisco - probably my second-favorite city in the country. (Behind my beloved Boston, of course.) My husband lived on Lombard Street during our time there - just on the other hill, facing the crooked side, in North Beach, which is the best neighborhood in the city. North Beach Pizza is the best, the Vesuvius, the bookstore, and walking distance to the water. Love.

    1. I love that everything was 'walkable' Mary…with exception to a few of those hills…which felt like mountains as I was climbing them. I wondered why people would stop and walk uphill backwards. I soon learned…because it is easier! :)

  6. great + good photos + san fran. is an interesting town.

  7. We are about to return to Australia after a month in San Francisco. We mostly walked or took the bus
    however Uber is wonderful and I would also urge visitors to San Francisco to download the Uber app.

    1. Thumbs up…could not agree more! It was so easy…I am an Uber fan forever more. ;)

  8. I hope you liked our city. Your photos, as always, are so pretty.

  9. Wonderful photographs of a glorious city...thank you! I hope that you decide to route through San Francisco as you travel between Tahilla Farm and Vietnam in the is a great intermediate point between the East Coast and S.E. Asia. Safe and smooth travels, Leslie in Oregon

    1. Thank you Leslie…I agree, it was the perfect stopover. I eased through the jet lag…San Francisco is definetly the way to go. ;)

  10. My memories of living there for two years while my dad was in the service are extraordinary! I wouldn't trade them for anything! Glad you enjoyed your visit! I can't wait to go back!

    1. I am with you Carolyn, I look forward to a return visit and exploring further afield. ;)

  11. San Francisco really is one of the most beautiful/energetic/artistic/funky/restful cities to visit. One of my favourites. You've captured it perfectly. You could send some of your photos to a travel mag! xo Carole

    1. Thank you Carole…I like your description of San Francisco, I think you covered it all. ;)

  12. San Francisco is so terrific, I'm glad to hear you had fun. LOVE Walter. Your photos are terrific. And thanks for the Uber App tip. Other friends have said the same things you found, so your post prompted me to go download it. xo, N.

  13. With your short stay you found SF's interesting places. You captured Lombard's crookedest street's colorful blooms.

    Beautiful photos.

    1. Thank you Edgar…next time, I will walk up Lombard Street…might sound better to say so than actually walking up. ;)

  14. I never realised that San Francisco is so beautiful Now I have another city on my bucket list :) Hope you're enjoying Tahilla Farm.

    1. I am Loree, thank you. San Francisco was on my bucket list too…I have a few more places to discover in Northern California. Such a beautiful spot… ;)

  15. Jeanne this trip to San Francisco sounds like the perfect start to your summer in the USA! I have been to San Francisco once but only for two days and sadly we did not get to see or do nearly enough.

    Congratulations and happy birthday to your mother in law, mine will be 88 in a couple weeks and she still travels as well.

    I love all of your photos but I have to be honest, as the owner of three daschunds the photo of the pup in the cab is my favorite!

    I hope that your beautiful farm is shopping up ax you had hoped.

    Have a great summer Jeanne!

    1. Thank you Elizabeth! I thought of you when I spotted Walter…I am sure you would have loved the surprise of having him hop into your lap. ;)


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