Sunday, March 29, 2009

Chicago's Finest in San Francisco

Many of you might have read about the tragic shooting death of four Oakland police officers last week. This past Friday, police department representatives from all over the world attended the memorial service held at Oakland's Oracle Arena.
Eight representatives from the Chicago Police Department drove 38 hours through a snowstorm in Wyoming to Oakland to show their support.

During my photo outing this past Saturday, I happened to see Chicago's finest out and about in San Francisco. I went over to introduce myself and thanked them for coming all this way to offer their support for the families and our community. They were very nice and allowed me to snap a picture of them by their patrol car.

Thank you guys and have a safe trip home!

- Karen

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Musee Mecanique

As a child, this was my favorite museum to visit in San Francisco. It housed some of the most intriguing mechanical coin-operated arcade games since the turn of the century. If you like nostalgia and oddities, this place is for you.
Click here to read up on its history.

This sign is displayed at the entrance.

This is a shot of its interior. It wasn't too crowded during this particular afternoon when I took a stroll down memory lane.

Happy Weekend!

- Karen

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Franciscan Restaurant

Not far from the bakery on my last post, is the Franciscan Restaurant. Famous for its Dungeness crab, seafood cioppino, and fresh fish since 1957. With those big windows, the view must be spectacular.
If you are hungry, click here to see the menu.

This is the grand entrance into the restaurant.

Pictures of celebrities who have dined at the restaurant over the years are proudly displayed at the entrance. Do you recognize any of them?

- Karen

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Elena

Chief Master Sergeant Paul Wesley Airey
Chief Master Sergeant Paul Wesley Airey
U.S. Air Force

"Chief Airey was an Airman’s Airman and one of the true pioneers for our service," said Gen. Norton Schwartz, Air Force Chief of Staff. "He was a warrior, an innovator… and a leader with vision well ahead of his time. His legacy lives today in the truly professional enlisted force we have serving our nation… and for that we owe him a debt of gratitude."

Chief Airey was born in Quincy, Mass., on December 13, 1923. At age eighteen, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December, 7, 1941, Airey quit high school to enlist in the Army Air Forces on November 16, 1942. He later earned his high school equivalency certificate through off-duty study. During World War II he flew as a B-24 radio operator and additional duty aerial gunner. On his 28th mission, then-Technical Sergeant Airey and his fellow crewmen were shot down over Vienna, Austria, captured, and held prisoner by the German air force from July 1944 to May 1945. During his time as a prisoner of war he worked tirelessly to meet the basic needs of fellow prisoners, even through a 90-day forced march.

Chief Airey held the top enlisted from April 3, 1967 to July 31, 1969. During his tenure he worked to change loan establishments charging exorbitant rates outside the air base gates and to improve low retention during the Vietnam Conflict. Chief Airey also led a team that laid the foundation for the Weighted Airman Promotion System, a system that has stood the test of time and which is still in use today. He also advocated for an Air Force-level Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy. His vision became reality when the academy opened in 1973, becoming the capstone in the development of Air Force Senior NCOs. Chief Airey retired August 1, 1970. He continued advocating for Airmen’s rights by serving on the boards of numerous Air Force and enlisted professional military organizations throughout the years. He was a member of the Board of Trustees for the Airmen Memorial Museum, a member of the Air Force Memorial Foundation and the Air University Foundation.

On the north wall of the Air Force Memorial in Washington D.C., Chief Airey’s thoughts on Airmen are immortalized, "When I think of the enlisted force, I see dedication, determination, loyalty and valor." The Air Force Association honored Airey with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

Chief Airey passed away on March 11, 2009 at his home in Panama City, Florida

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Monday, March 23, 2009

Talk to Paulina

I stopped by the Boudin Bakery located in San Francisco's famed Fisherman's Wharf area to watch Paulina shape a piece of bread dough into an alligator.
Click here to find out more about the Boudin Bakery.

Visitors can speak into the microphone and talk to Paulina. She must have had fielded some interesting questions from passers-by.

- Karen

Saturday, March 21, 2009

San Francisco from the Rooftop

This series of photos were taken from the top floor of a San Francisco parking garage. The view from this angle is quite different than from the street.

How many garbage cans do you see in this alley?

You can see the famous 210 ft. Coit Tower landmark at the far left atop of Telegraph Hill.

From this view, you can see two of San Francisco's grand hotels noted by an American flag flying on their rooftops.
The one on the left is the 19-story Mark Hopkins Hotel opened in 1939. The top floor is a restaurant known as "The top of the Mark". Click here to read about its illustrious history.
On the right is the Fairmont Hotel opened in 1907. The 23-story tower you see was added in 1961 housing the city's first glass elevator that takes guests on a thrilling vertical ride from the outside of the building. Aside from housing tourists and visiting Presidents & royalty to the city, Tony Bennett debuted his famous song "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" at one of its ballrooms. To read about the hotel history, click here.

Have a nice weekend,

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Super-sized Spider Sculpture

This spider at the University of California - Santa Cruz's Arboretum spun quite a large web sculpture.

If you view it from the side, you can see its long legs. No arachnophobic person would want to be tangled up in that.

- Karen

Wednesday Hero

This Weeks Post Was Suggested By Kathi

Kevin Baker
Kevin Baker
U.S. Navy

Kevin George Baker, a disabled Navy veteran, had been riding his hand-propelled bicycle from his hometown through Washington, D.C. and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Marseilles, Illinois to support a new flag designed to honor fallen members of the military. His trip began at his home on Saturday, March 7 and sadly ended on March 13 when he passed away in his sleep. Baker, who is unable to use his legs due to a neurological impairment, was flying the Honor and Remember Flag from his bike and encouraged people along the way to sign a petition urging Congress to adopt the flag as a new national symbol by passing HR Bill 1034.

You can read the rest of Baker's story here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hot Dog Stands

If you have ever eaten at a "Hot Dog on a Stick" location, this was its first stand opened at Santa Monica's Muscle Beach back in 1946.
I'm not a hot dog fan, but I love their lemonade. You can see the lime lemonade, original lemonade, and cherry lemonade dispensers through the window. The green one might be appropriate for today.
For more about this franchise, click here.

I saw this quaint little stand in Solvang, CA during my last trip. I couldn't find too much information about it on the internet, but I thought the signs on its windows tell the story. Click on the picture for a larger view.

Happy St. Patrick's Day,

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Banksia Serrata

I saw these unusual Australian & Tasmanian plants at the arboretum last week. In the first photo, doesn't it look like one has eyes and a mouth?

- Karen

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hummingbird Day

Last Saturday was "Hummingbird Day" at a local university's arboretum. The hummingbirds were everywhere swooping in and out of bushes. I was lucky enough to capture this one in flight.

Graduate students at the university were helping kids put nectar on these little contraptions to attract hummingbirds. This wasn't very effective since kids rarely can stand in one place for a long period of time.

This is the entrance to the arboretum with bird-related craft table activities. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see the "Hummingbird Day" posters.

- Karen

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cozumel Tourist Stops

This Volkswagon is outside the Senor Frog's Restaurant & Bar as you might have guessed. The car is not operational, but you can go inside and pretend you are driving this hip automobile.

Senor Frog greets customers from outside. Senor Frog's restaurants are located mainly in Mexico and the Caribbean areas. I heard it's a pretty wild establishment that is not for the faint of heart.

Or, you can tell your friends and family, you caught a BIG ONE during your vacation.

These last 3 are the standard put-your-head-through-the-opening tourist photo-ops.

- Karen

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Towel Animals

If you have ever been on a cruise, you probably have seen these towel animals placed in your cabin by your attendant.
Can you guess what each one is?
Has anyone seen these other than on a cruise?

- Karen

Monday, March 09, 2009


We ventured over to Margaritaville once we disembarked into Cozumel. It was the only place where we could find a free wi-fi signal. The cruise line charges an outrageous $0.50 a minute or $25.00 for 60 minutes.

Margaritaville is a restaurant/bar establishment. This is the interior at this particular location. The DJ sits inside the big shark to control the music and sound system.

I didn't get a chance to sit at the outside bar, but the bar seat is a swing. After a couple of drinks, you would sure to fall off.

Happy Monday,

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Sealife Statues

These colorful statues are posted all along downtown Cozumel. The streets and shops were fairly empty of tourists, but these statues looked cheerful with no care in the world. You can't help but feel festive.

- Karen

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Docked in Cozumel

Last month we took a cruise to the Western Caribbean. Unfortunately, the seas were so bad, we were only able to dock at 1 of our 2 ports. After 2 days at sea, we were so glad to see land and feel the ground. You can see the passengers streaming out of the ship. In this photo is our cruise ship docked in Cozumel, Mexico.

Before we were able to disembark from the ship, we can see Cozumel in the distance.

This is the "beach" by the port. It did not look too enticing to step into that marshy area.

- Karen

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Cruising out of Tampa Bay, Florida

On a recent cruise out of Tampa, Florida's port, here are various sites we passed along the way like this lighthouse. I could not locate its name, but with land protruding out into the water, it seems like an appropriate place for a lighthouse.

We also passed this light plane airport.

When I first saw this plane, I thought it was waiting for our ship to sail by before taking off, but on second thought, there was no runway. In actuality, it was advertising to passing sailors to learn to fly.

As darkness approached, we sailed underneath the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. To learn more about this bridge, click here.

- Karen