Friday, November 26, 2010

Photo of the Week - Sea Lions at the Pier 39

The Sea Lions at Pier 39 were a highlight of our trip to San Francisco in August. At first I was unsure where they were. I knew they were down by Fisherman's Wharf, but where was still a mystery to me. After a quick look on our IPhone we knew they were at Pier 39. We were going to try to avoid Pier 39 as we aren't fans of the touristy places. Some we are good with but Pier 39 looked over the top to us.

It was really busy and cold (August can be really cold in San Francisco, around 60 F). We had just finished an awesome segway tour with City Segway Tours.

We were going to skip it but I insisted (I have a way of doing that). I really wanted to see the famous sea lions. So we braved the cold wind and walked to the pier. Pier 39 is a typical tourist attraction, packed with people, shops and restaurants like Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and the Hard Rock Cafe.

Once there we figured out we had to go to K Dock. We started out upstairs by the restaurant. There weren't many people there, but it was really cold with the wind.

So I went downstairs where most of the people were. There was a great guide there that was telling people about the Sea Lions and their hypothesis on why the Sea Lions liked to hang out here. They have only been doing this for about 20 years. They think that the big earthquake may have changed where they used to beach, and San Francisco Bay is free of predators for them, but had a great food source.

No one really knows why they started coming to Pier 39, but I can tell you the tourists are ecstatic, as I am sure the businesses on Pier 39!

When you are next in San Francisco, make sure you check them out. They are a lot of fun to watch!

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Photo of the Week - San Francisco Fairmont Lobby

This past summer, Warren and I were looking for a place to visit that was cooler than everywhere else. We chose to spend a few days in San Fransisco as part of our 2 week adventure to Las Vegas and the Central Coast of California. We got our wish as it was quite cool but we didn't care as we loved the city!

Since Warren travels to Calgary a lot on business and stays at the Fairmont, he is a presidents club member so it only made sense that we stayed at one of the two Fairmont's in the city. The Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square was sold out, so we chose the Fairmont San Fransisco. We were very happy with this choice.

The Lobby of the San Francisco Fairmont

Located in Nob Hill (at the top of a Hill) it was central to most everything we wanted to see. The Cable cars (which we loved to ride on) stopped just outside of the hotel and made it easy to get around (although they can get quite busy). There were many restaurants within walking distance and the lobby (as you can see in the photo) is beautiful. The staff were accommodating and friendly, and we were upgraded to an amazing main building suite .

The best part for me was when I discovered that this was the very first Fairmont. The history on this property is quite incredible and dates back to the beginnings of San Francisco. Tony Bennett first sang "I left my heart in San Fransisco" in the Venetian room.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Photo of the Week - Observatories on the Big Island Hawaii

One of our absolute favorite trips was our tour up to the top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island in Hawaii. We were staying for a few days at the Mauna Kea Resort area and knew that we wanted to do the trip up to see the Observatories. We did a tour with Hawaii Forest and Trail Tours, primarily because they were voted in the top five on Things to do on Kona on TripAdvisor.

It was hard to believe the weather changes. We started in the afternoon, swimming in the pool at 90 F, and by the end of the day we had climbed up to below 30 F. Thankfully they included parkas and gloves!

It was a spectacular tour and we will do it again! This photo is of the observatories at sunset. We stayed at the top (about 14000 feet) until the sunset then went down to a lower level (to the information center) and pulled out the telescope to see the stars.

The Observatories at the Top of Mauna Kea at Sunset

Friday, November 5, 2010

Photo of the Week - Port Douglas, Queensland

Recently I was going through photos of our trip to Australia. I am in the middle of transitioning the website's look and feel (we would love to know what you think) and was working on some pages in Australia. I came across this photo. We had just arrived in Port Douglas, Queensland, after flying in to Carins from Melbourne and driving for the first time on the other side of the road for 2 hours.

We visited Australia in August of 2008, and it had been quite cold and windy in Melbourne and Sydney. We were happy to have found some warm weather so Montana and I went to check out the town. We found this park down the way from where we were staying. People were hanging around enjoying the we joined in.

Have you been to Port Douglas in Queensland?
Please comment below on your experience in Port Douglas, or on our website's new look and feel...We would love your feedback!