We’re leaving in four hours for our annual 12-hour drive to our hometown for Lent. I’ve been busy preparing for the trip because unlike in the past, this is going to be such a major production — the dogs are coming with us.
It’s both ‘Yey, we’re bringing them to the beach!’ and ‘There’s going to be chaos inside the car! For 12 hours!’. Because I can’t share in the driving duties, I’m in charge of the little savages and I probably won’t have time for much else, including snapping photos along the way.
These are pictures I took this time last year of the usual roadside scenery just before we reach Sorsogon. It’s harvest time so the rice fields are green and gold and calming and, though not as majestic as other landscapes, really beautiful.
I hope you all have a calm and peaceful week ahead.
Last weekend, we drove to Clark Field in Pampanga (a province north of Manila) for the 18th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. We arrived early enough but there was already a huge crowd milling about. As I fiddled with the camera, I enviously eyed the ones who were able to secure a good spot for the expected photo ops and complained to the husband that everyone around me seemed too tall!
Here are some more photos from our trip to San Francisco, some of them taken while driving down those hilly streets, while waiting to cross the street, while crossing the street, or from the parking lot at Best Buy.
If there’s one kitchen skill I’d like to master, it’s breadbaking. I simply enjoy watching and learning the process and really, who doesn’t love the smell and taste of freshly-baked bread? I know how to make only the most basic of loaves and I am in awe of anyone who knows her sourdough and who is not confounded by starters, active yeasts and such.
In search of dinner on our second night in San Francisco, we were enticed by the wonderful smell coming from the famous Boudin Bakery. They have a shop and cafe area called Bakers Hall where one can stop for a quick meal and a cup of coffee and load up on kitchen supplies (or be sorely tempted to).
San Francisco’s Pier 39, considered by many to be the city’s premier tourist trap, is usually teeming with both out-of-towners and locals. But we got there on a late night, famished after some poorly thought-out shopping and desperate for dinner. Some watering holes and family restaurants were still open but with most shops closed or about to close, the place was practically deserted.
We had no intention of buying anything and enjoyed just looking through shop windows at some gorgeous displays. I walked around and took lots of pictures — as anyone would, I think, who had been given access to a theme park after everyone else had gone home.
After the Golden Gate Bridge, the Golden Gate Park was next in our San Francisco itinerary. We parked at JFK Drive and started our leisurely stroll, quite hopeful that we’d see a good part of the park within a couple of hours.
Oops. It soon became apparent that we would need a lot more hours to do that. The Golden Gate Park is quite sizable: it is more than a thousand acres in area and is 20% larger than New York’s famous Central Park (which can take at least a couple of days to explore).
Here’s a satellite view of the park. The yellow splat shows the area we managed to see.
What can I say, we had ambitious plans. Anyway, here are some pictures I took from ground level:
It has been called the most photographed bridge in the world and for many, it is also the most recognizable landmark in the United States. Those of us who were already alive during the pre-Facebook era remember that the very first postcards sent home by family and friends newly-arrived in the USA (particularly and usually in California) almost always featured the Golden Gate Bridge. The Empire State Building, the lights of Las Vegas, the big ‘Hollywood’ sign, the Grand Canyon and, I daresay, even the Statue of Liberty were second stringers.
The Bridge which turned 75 years old last year is now visited by more than 10 million people every year. On our recent trip to San Francisco, my sister and I decided that adding two more to that number wouldn’t hurt, so off to the orange bridge we went.