Friday, May 19, 2017

2017 CROSS-COUNTRY ROAD TRIP - 4-28-17 - SAN FRANCISCO - PART 1

Friday, April 28th, 2017 - San Francisco

I must have deleted my notes for this day.  I remember doing them, but for the life of me I can't find them anywhere, so I am winging it.

Living in Monterey in the early 80s, we went to San Francisco several times.  Not only on our own but whenever we had visitors.  I enjoyed the city back in those days, and I enjoyed it today.


On other visits we concentrated on the hilly part of the city, and had never explored down by the water.  Today we spent all our time in that area.  We figured that by the time we were done, we would have just enough energy to get back in the car and go back to the house.



We drove around trying to find metered parking spaces but after a while without any success, found this place down the road from Pier 39.  It was one of the old cargo warehouses along the Embarcadero, but now a parking area. The fee was $25 and we purchased the ticket at a machine, to be displayed inside the car on the front window, visible to anyone who checked.  It was comforting to know also that the car would be the shade.



The historic streetcars will take you all over the city, but for the time being we preferred using our own feet.


We stopped by Pier 39 and we were treated to a concert by a girls' choral group. Proud parents were taking photos and videos, along with tourists like me.  They performed beautifully.



Here is a video


The aquarium was at Pier 39, which we visited.  Pier 39 is also famous for their seal dock.  If you look here you will be able to read their story.  You will read that they started arriving at the dock in 1989 after an earthquake in San Francisco, and then I guess the word got around because in 1990 they appeared in great numbers.   If you scroll down that page there is a video from one of the morning shows filmed when they first arrived.  



I am very grateful to sites like Pixabay where they offer Royalty Free photos.  This is where I obtained the above and the following Sea Lion photos.  I would also like to thank Sandra at Madsnapper who posted about Pixabay and let us all know what a great resource it is.



(We didn't actually go down to see them, the reason I am using Pixabay's photos.  I actually thought this event took place at Fisherman's Wharf and not Pier 39, a mistake I won't make the next time we visit San Francisco.  There was more than enough for us to see however.)  



A video at YouTube with seals on the docks can be viewed here.  One thing to note is that most of the seals disappear during their breeding season in July and August.  This link will tell you all about Sea Lions, but below I also found a few facts online.

California Sea Lions are known for their intelligence, playfulness and noisy barking.

Although they usually avoid humans, Sea Lions may bite if provoked.

Male Sea Lions reach 850 lbs. (390 kg) and 7 feet (2.1 m) in length, while females can reach 220 lbs. (110 kg) and up to 6 feet (1.8 m) in length.

You can distinguish males from females: males develop a bump or "crest" on their heads at four or five years of age.  (A majority of the sea lions at Pier 39 are male.)

Sea Lions have external ear flaps, seals do not.

Sea Lions in the wild may live up to 25 years.

Sea Lions migrate to areas across the Pacific Coast, from Vancouver to the southern tip of Baja.  Most pups are born on the Channel Islands located off Southern California in June.

California Sea Lions are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  It is unlawful for unauthorized persons to feed, handle or harass them.

One of the biggest dangers to Sea Lions today is becoming entangled in plastic pollution.




Thank you Pixabay for all these wonderful photos, and thanks again Sandra at Madsnapper for letting us know about them.

So, even though we missed the Sea Lions, we had a wonderful time walking around the Aquarium, which was right there on Pier 39.  You can't miss it.
























































Short video of the crabs. 





We get to see a Starfish from above, but rarely get to see one from underneath.  



Not the greatest movie of a River Otter, but it's a memory.





I liked this cute design nearby.



There was also a turtle exhibit...



and another with frogs....



and another very important message about polution.



That was our tour of the aquarium.  We enjoyed it tremendously, and this is where I am going to leave until my next post.  We took a great boat ride around the bay.





40 comments:

  1. Hi Denise, and another wonderfully varied post, the girls choral group looked interesting, and the Sea Lions all sleeping! but your trip to the aquarium is tops for me. Great post, all the best John

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    1. Thank you John :) and all the best to you too:)

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  2. Nature is amazing have a great weekend

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  3. Denise, what a glorious experience! Your photos are absolutely gorgeous and crystal clear! And I really enjoyed the videos...the otter, the singers and the crabs. A fascinating post and very entertaining. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Linda, and you are very welcome :)

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  4. I love the outside of the aquarium. And your shots of the fish are superb!! I especially love the jellyfish and starfish. In picture #4 with the streetcar, the leaves make the most beautiful pattern on the cement! I had not known the difference between seals and sea lions before you explained.

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    1. Thank you Ginny, I loved those shadows also. The jellyfish are always fascinating to me and so are the fish. I learned a few things about the seals this time, such dear animals.

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  5. Such fantastic photos! Wow...I would love to go to the aquarium!

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    1. Thank you Marie, it was a great place.

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  6. We always enjoy visiting the aquariums whenever we are vacationing, have never been to San Francisco yet, thanks for the tour.

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    1. Thank you Jimmy and you are very welcome.

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  7. Oh I want to tour around he bay via boat too! I'm taking notes! I really should explore the city more. Perhaps for my birthday next month. . . . .

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    1. That sounds like a great idea Cloudia :)

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  8. The aquarium is simply glorious. And some of your photos exceptional. Thank you.

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  9. What a fantastic trip around the city on the bay. Love the aquarium pictures!

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  10. Great to see and hear the girls' choral group ...
    Oh those fish are such gorgeous colours, lovely pictures.

    All the best Jan

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    1. They were a lot of fun to listen too, and the fish so interesting. Thank you Jan :)

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  11. Hello, Denise! Fantastic post on your tour of San Francisco. The aquarium shots are awesome, I like the jellyfish. I will have to remember the Pixaby website! Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thank you Eileen :) you have a great weekend also.

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  12. My visits to Calif. have only been in the Southern half. I have gone as far up as Santa Barbara. Rode up there with my son from San Diego to pick up my daughter in law at college. Made a stop by Port Hueneme at the front of the base so I could say I returned to the scene of my birth! Hope to maybe one day get to SF. That would be so cool. Thanks for sharing all your pics of your trip. I enjoyed it.

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    1. That is very interesting Pam, I hope you get up to SF on one of your visits :). Thank you!

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  13. I would have been in my element touring the aquarium. Thanks, Denise, for the lovely pictures, both yours and borrowed.

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    1. I know I was Valerie and you are so very welcome:)

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  14. it is hard to type because i am still gasping over the 25 dollar parking fee.... yowsa.. i need to get to our aquarium because your gorgeous pics are making me want to go. been here 33 years and it is 12 miles away and have not been. your trip has been amazing

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    1. Thank you sandra. Same for parking in DC. I will look forward to your aquarium photos :)

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    1. Thank you Christine, it certainly was and very interesting.

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  16. I can't get over your incredible photos, Denise. They are all so beautifully formatted and crisp! Wow!

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    1. Thank you Kay :) I have to give half the credit to Gregg also as he takes many.

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  17. Yep, Heather and I need to get back to San Francisco.

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    1. Already thinking about it ourselves :)

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  18. Oh gosh -- your aquarium pictures are so good it makes me want to go and destroy my poor attempt at showing some of the Sarasota one -- yikes it is hard to get good pictures in that kind of place (at least it was for me, you didn't seem to have any trouble...maybe it is the photographer, ya think?) We loved our visits to San Francisco and it has been wayyyy too long. I didn't know, or had forgotten, that you once lived in the area. Fun to revisit old memories!

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    1. Believe me Sallie, I had a lot of poor attempts and only a few good ones. You should see how many photos I took! I just kept snapping. Love this digital age :) Living there seems like another lifetime ago.

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