Day 627 OUT OF Beijing: Rest.


Our luggage and us at the Salsa Rueda Festival.

Our luggage and us at the Salsa Rueda Festival.


I tend to think that Jill’s and my life looks incredibly fun and adventurous from the outside.  And it is.

However, we get worn down because we are running from place to place, researching information for SF tourism Tips, interfering with our friends and family’s lives by staying with them, and trying to continually minimize more and live on less and less.  We are even continuing to minimize each place we stop and think we can get down to less than we have now.  And we are pretty dumbfounded by how little we have and how we can get along on it

Also, even though we love taking mass transit and not having to own a car and deal with the hassles associated with that, it can be very tiring.

The 7th Annual Salsa Rueda Festival in San Francisco just ended on Sunday and we spent 5 straight days having fun, dancing, meeting people and helping out Nick and Serena who run the whole thing by themselves (major props to Nick and Serena for a job incredibly well done!).

We are staying at my sister’s house in Walnut Creek and were hoping to see a few last friends before we head off on Feb. 28th for Los Angeles and hit the road for at least 5 more months.

However, we are both so exhausted and worn out that we are trying to stay low key and relax at Stacy’s house and just catch up on things.

Jill is still working 5 days a week, 8 hours a day (or more) on her site and we wouldn’t ever think of going to work in an office again, but sometimes we just need to rest.

I’ll be posting videos of the salsa festival we were at over the next few days but, today, just rest.

I hope you all have a restful day also.

Day 624 OUT OF Beijing: Bus Breakdown.


As we migrate to our new bus.

As we migrate to our new bus.


One of the issues with traveling so much is we are likely to have problems with transportation.

We finally had one on our trips in and out of San Francisco.

Jill has been riding buses for the last 5 years since she went car less and has never had a breakdown while on Golden Gate Transit.  I haven’t been riding as long as she has but I’ve never had one either.

Today that all changed.

We were climbing up the hill to the Marin Headlands when we heard a big “WHOOSH!” sound come from behind our seats.

We were near the back of the bus and it started to slow down instantly.

The driver turned on his hazard lights and we drove for about 500 feet going 5 miles an hour on Highway 101.

As we crested the hill, the driver parked the car in a turn out and tried a few different things to see if he could fix the bus himself.

An alarm kept going off and he notified us that he’d be calling a new bus, and we’d have to wait about 15 minutes.

Being that Jill and I keep our own schedules, this wasn’t a big deal.

There were others commuters and they all seemed pretty calm and just took it as was a normal everyday life event.

A manager drove up and talked to us and he seemed pretty mellow about it and we all started laughing and joking.

As the new bus drove up, we all disembarked, grabbed our cell phones, and started taking pictures since we had a great view and the chances of us every being allowed to park here, take pictures, and have this view are about 0.

The manager, the driver and the technician also took out their phones and took pictures.

I loved that people could have been grumpy, annoyed or angry because they were late but instead of choose to enjoy the view, laugh a bit, and stay calm and cool.

Bus breakdowns really aren’t that bad.


Day 622 OUT OF Beijing: Happy 46th Birthday to Me!


Jill and me celebrating my birthday and enjoying our ride on the SVT Salsa and Rueda Party bus.

Jill and me celebrating my birthday and enjoying our ride on the SVT Salsa and Rueda Party bus.


Jill and I are getting ready to have a major party this weekend at the 7th Annual Salsa Rueda Festival.

The party started last night, when we hired a few private party buses and drove all over San Francisco.

My friends, Nick and Serena, run the whole event and it is one of the biggest in the USA.

Some of the best teachers, performers and fans of Cuban music and dancing come from all over the world just to be at this festival.

Luckily, it is always on the same weekend as my birthday so I get to celebrate with loads of friends and pretend as if this is my birthday party every year.

Jill, always willing to try something new, went on the party bus for the first time last night and seemed to have a great time.

She was able to meet a lot of my friends that she had never met before, and was able to do a little salsa dancing also.  It isn’t really her scheme but she’s a trooper and danced with me a few times.

Most my friends are new to her since we met only 8 days before I left for China.  Since we’ve been back we’ve been working non-stop since we got back to update San Francisco Tourism Tips, she hasn’t really had a chance to meet a lot of my salsa community.  That is going to change, BIG TIME, this weekend.

Since I won’t be around my immediate family on my birthday, I will be around mi familia salsa.

A wonderful way to start the party and to begin my 47 year of being alive on this little blue marble we call Earth.


Our friends, Nick and Serena, watch as their team practices for their performance.

Our friends, Nick and Serena, watch as their team practices for their performance.


Day 615 OUT OF Beijing: North Beach and San Francisco City Guides.


View from the parking lot.

View from the parking lot.


Jill and I headed off to San Francisco to check out another San Francisco City Guide walk as we continued to update San Francisco Tourism Tips.

We took the bus in and then walked from the drop off point up Columbus Avenue to North Beach.

We were pressed for time, since we had a tour at Anchor Steam Brewery at 1 pm so we knew we’d only be able to stay for about half the 90 minute tour.

Our guide did a great job and introduced us to a lot of the old San Francisco and how North Beach started up with lots of Italian families moved in and started to incorporate their favorite parts of Italy into the USA.

We started at Saints Peter and Paul Church which is located at 666 Filbert.  Jill mentioned this to me and I thought it was rather humorous and a bit of classic San Francisco craziness.

One of the facts that we were told was that Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were actually married at City Hall, since the church wouldn’t let them marry there because she had been married before, and then they took pictures at the Peter and Paul Church because they wanted their families to think that they were married in a church.

There has also been a lot of movies filmed here and it has become quite famous.  It was almost empty and we took our time walking around and enjoying the gorgeous interior.

After we left Saints Peter and Paul church, we walked into Washington Square.  There were a lot of Chinese people dancing and exercising here, at 11 am, because they have started coming here to enjoy the day since Chinatown is so crowded and many of the older apartments have very little room.  So, it was fun to watch a bit of Chinese culture that had been transported here and remind us of something that we truly loved living in Beijing.

We saw one man, in particular, doing his exercises alone and then he hugged a tree for about a minute.  It was so comforting and he seemed so happy as he was enjoying his day.  As we walked by, he smiled and waved at our group.

We then moved over to Liguria Bakery, which is famous for its focaccia.  They are also infamous for their family being rude, abrasive and pushy.  It is all part of their way of being and I hope they never change it because San Francisco would lose some real characters.  And amazing focaccia!

We then walked by Joe DiMaggio’s family’s old house and passed a woman who ran a day care company and her little “bus” of kids that were so cute.  Just in case you wonder, we asked permission to take their picture and she agreed.

Last but not least, we went to the parking lot above a police department for some of the best views of San Francisco.  It is also located above the parking lot for one of the mortuaries in San Francisco and I just loved the perspective that this view gave to the shot.  Sadly, we had to leave so we could get to our Anchor Steam tour but we want to go back and do the whole thing as soon as possible!


Day 609 OUT OF Beijing: Why We Walk, Part 3.


Bill and Rosemary with their Land Rover.

Bill and Rosemary with their Land Rover.


Jill and I were hanging out, working on SF Tourism Tips, and decided we’d go to lunch in Petaluma.

We were going to walk to Lagunitas Brewing Company, have a beer and some food, and then walk back to Randy and Alethea’s home since it was a gorgeous day, we wanted a break from work, and we like getting out and about.

As we know, the best laid plans of mice and men…

We started walking down the main streets and saw Lombardi’s Gourmet Deli and BBQ and decided to take a detour.

We bought a sandwich, some macaroni salad and a bottle of red wine since they had a huge deck and we wanted to enjoy the view.

As we ate our food, we noticed a rather impressive Land Rover in the parking lot.

It was covered with stickers from countries all over the world and we had fun trying to guess which sticker was for each country and where the owners had traveled.

After about 15 minutes, a man walked out and started towards the car.  I told Jill, “I want to go ask him what they are doing and where they are going.”  She said, “Go for it!”

I walked over, flag the man down and asked him about their travels.

Bill told me that they had bought this Land Rover in the UK and then driven it all over Africa for a few years.

In opposition to the news we hear of Africa, they loved the Sudan and said that the people are very friendly and that there is very little crime.  It was interesting because I’ve found that the media very often lies about conditions, here and abroad, to keep people in fear and from experiencing new places and meeting people.

They were in Petaluma on their way down to Joshua Tree, after being in Canada for a few months, and were looking for a good campground.

That is why Jill and I travel and talk to people.  We think almost everyone has something to offer and we can learn from them.

Bill’s wife, Rosemary, came up to us and I invited them to sit down with Jill and me and share a bit of time and share each other’s stories.

Bill and Rosemary had traveled all over the world, starting long ago, by using their professions to get them where they wanted to be.  Or, in one case, not where they wanted but then decided to stay for 10 years.    But that is their story and I’ll let them tell it on their blog if they decide to.  By the way, they probably have only half of the stickers from countries they’ve visited because they weren’t for sale or available while they were there.  I would guess they’ve been to somewhere between 75-100 countries.  I’ve been to 16.  It gives me incentive and inspiration!

Jill and I were intrigued by their choice to sell their house and hit the road.  Their idea of minimalism is very close to our’s, except they have a car, and they live inside their Land Rover almost all the time.  They do use other services, like TrustedHousesitters, to find homes to house sit, but they are also very frugal and financially smart so they can travel for as long as they want to.

This trip started about 2 years ago after they had returned back to the the UK to see their daughter and her family.  They shipped their Land Rover to Uruguay and then started driving all over Southern and Central America from there.

After moving into North America, they went through Mexico, the southwest of the USA, and up to Canada.  They stayed in Canada for a few months and are now heading across the USA to the East Coast where they will ship their car, and themselves, back to the UK.

They aren’t sure if they will settle down when they get back home and are trying to figure out what to do next.

After listening to their story, and be totally amazed by their willingness to take chances, live a different life, and not be tied down to possessions and places, we told them more about our plans and beliefs.  They seemed to appreciate them and were impressed that we could do all this traveling without a car and just walk, bike, bus or take mass transportation to get around.

The next day they were planning on going to San Francisco so Jill gave them some ideas and told them she would email them a plan later that day so that they could have more specifics if they wanted to use them.

After a few hours of talking, they needed to get on their way to  their campsite and we needed to get home.  We gave them some directions and they decided to go food shopping.  After we parted, Jill and I decided to skip Lagunitas entirely, since it would be dark before we headed home, and we decided to go shopping also.

We walked about 1 mile to the grocery store and saw their truck in the parking lot.  We smiled as we knew we’d get to say hi one more time and walked in and saw them immediately.  We all started laughing and talked for a few more minutes before we parted and went our separate ways.

In case you want to see their travels, click the links below:

Africa Road Trip

Latin America Road Trip

That is why we walk.

Day 607 OUT OF Beijing: Why We Walk, Part 1.


The 1953 210 in all its glory!

The 1953 210 in all its glory!


Jill and I are enjoying our car-less travels all around the bay as we update SF Tourism Tips.

We walk about a mile to grab the first bus, in Petaluma, and then take it into San Francisco where we might walk, bus or take the street cars depending on our time and destination.

We also bus back to Petaluma and it has been mostly enjoyable.

I’d say about 9 out of 10 Golden Gate Bus drivers are incredibly friendly and love their jobs.

The ones that aren’t happy are probably just having a bad day and have to deal with a lot.

I’ve noticed, as I’ve talked to the bus drivers, most of them just say, “This job teaches you patience.”

It makes me think that most of the drivers probably practice a type of “moving meditation” when they drive and deal with people so that they can stay calm, mellow and happy most the time.

Otherwise the traffic, the people, and the on time pressure would wear them down.

Our latest driver said to Jill and me that, “I just put on a smile and keep it on.  If I get worn down, I smile and I come back to who I am and who I want to be.”  Imagine if we all did that, a little bit more each day, how different our lives would be?

As we walked towards the bus one day, we turned the corner and noticed this amazing car.

It is a 1953 Chevy 210 with some added flair (some parts from a Plymouth and taillights from a 1954 210 as Mitch liked those more and wanted more “personality”).

We immediately fell in love with it and Jill said, “My dad would love this!”

Jill’s dad, Bill, rebuilds old cars and is a blacksmith and also does leather work.

I suggested we go ask the owner if we could take some pictures and he agreed.

He stated that he hand painted it about 6 years ago and it took a long long long time because each layer is very difficult and time consuming.  He didn’t use any filler or bondo on the bodywork because he didn’t want the paint to crack or break as the car aged.  We couldn’t see any imperfections at all.

We didn’t have our camera, at this time, so we asked if we could come back and he happily agreed.

Two days later we were walking down the street and heard this rumble behind us.  It was Mitch and his 1953 210 cruising down the street.  There really is nothing like the sound of a classic car’s engine rumbling and cruising.

Mitch pulled into his shop and parked it in the sunshine so we could see it really glow.  He then he wiped it down with a cloth to get all the dust off of it.  He had just made some engine improvements and taken it for a test drive so it was a bit dusty and we appreciated his time and effort to make his baby shine!

Mitch, the owner, told us this is his “daily driver” and that he also built a Comet for his wife.  We talked about the joy of doing what you love for a living and how it can be difficult to live outside the expected way of life but that none of us could go back to what we used to do.

Mitch, by the way, was born in Sweden and came to the USA to play music.  It seems he did fairly well for himself and quite a bit of touring.  He lived in Los Angeles but got tired of it and moved up north.  He and his wife now live in Petaluma and he seems to be quite content and proud of his creations.

An artist working his craft.

We talked for about 45 minutes, as we weren’t in a hurry, and it was like meeting an old friend.

There is no question that if we had been in a car, we would have missed Mitch and his 1953 210.

That is why we walk.


Day 603 OUT OF Beijing: The Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco City Guides.


Don Tussey from City Guides San Francisco.

Dan Tussey from San Francisco City Guides teaches us about the cables built for the Golden Gate Bridge.


Jill and I needed to get some pictures for SF Tourism Tips and wanted to take a San Francisco City Guides tour of the Golden Gate Bridge.

We hopped on the 7:11 commuter bus out of Petaluma and settled in for a relaxing ride to San Francisco.

It takes about 1 hour, depending on traffic, and the bus drops us off right at the tool booth on the Golden Gate Bridge.

We then walk underneath the bridge, through a tunnel, and over to the side that allows us to have amazing views of the San Francisco Bay.

We ended up getting there pretty early and decided to grab some coffee and talk with the staff about the Golden Gate Bridge, their jobs, and their dreams.

There were two men there and they both talked about how they will move out of San Francisco when they retire, as it has become quite expensive.  It is sad since they love their jobs but can’t really afford to live in San Francisco anymore.  They both stated that the best part of their job is being able to interact with people from all over the world and to make so many friends.

Both of them said they were probably going to end up overseas, in some place like Costa Rica or elsewhere, when we brought up we were planning on traveling there in about 6 months.

It is interesting to me how many people are talking about leaving San Francisco, because of the financial burden of living there, and where they are thinking of going and what they want in their lives as they make this change.

It seems as if a lot of people are being “forced” to make a change but are also quite excited about this change as it allows them to figure out what is really important to them and their dreams.

These are the kind of people we want to work with helping them figure this out when we debut our new website.

As 11 am arrived, we walked over to the Joseph Strauss statue (no relation to Levi Strauss of Levi pants fame) and noticed our guide was already there.  Dan Tussey was a very friendly, happy and welcoming person and probably the best person to introduce newcomers, and even locals like ourselves, to the Golden Gate Bridge.  He does 4 walking tours a month, one a week, and rotates the tours so that he does each one each month.  So, this was his once a month tour of the bridge.  He also does City Hall, the Gold Rush and one other.  The City Guides also don’t get paid so this is a very generous gift that he, and the other city guides, give back to this beautiful and magical city.  They do ask for a $5 donation, to keep City Guides running (with a paid staff of 2 people) which is more than fair.  We, of course, gave $10 for the two of us at the end of the tour.



About 15 people, from all over the world, ended up being on the tour with us and Dan told us historical facts that neither of us knew.  I’m not surprised I didn’t know them but I was surprised that Jill didn’t.  Her site is so well researched that she usually knows as much, if not more, than most the tours we go on at this point.  She did, however, give Dan a few new facts that he didn’t know because he hadn’t done the tour for over 2 months and things have changed since then.  One wouldn’t think that this bridge would have many changes in 2 months, but it does, and Jill and he had a great time discussing some of them as we walked around with the crowd.

We went out to the vista point and looked over the SF Bay.  It was a very windy, and for San Francisco, cold day but we did our best.  Since we are minimizing, I only have a fleece jacket at this point.  It is something that I will probably keep as long as possible because I earned it by completing the Hopi Reservation 100 mile challenge.  This is a challenge, to anyone that wants to join, to walk or run 100 miles over 4 months time.  There is a lot of diabetes issues on the Hopi Reservation and this is one way to help reduce it and encourage people to be more healthy.  I’ve had this fleece for about 6 years and I love it.  Luckily it was just warm enough to keep me from freezing.  And I rarely get cold so you can believe the wind was howling today on the Golden Gate Bridge.

We also walked over by the cable installation so Dan could show us how many cables were strung together to build the massive main cables that run all the way across the bridge.  In case you didn’t know, each of these two cables runs the whole way, without a break, across the bridge.  They go up to the top of each tower, and then drop back down to lock into the bases on either side of the bridge.  The main cable is about 3.5 feet wide and utterly impressive.

After that, we walked on to the bridge and up to the first tower.  Dan told us more about the bridge, including the number of people that have committed suicide, which is about 1,600 at this point, and that people usually commit suicide every 2 or 3 weeks by jumping off of it.  I saw a report that 2014 had about 1 a week commit suicide off of the bridge and no one knows why there has been an increase.  I won’t hazard a guess.

The bridge is truly a monument to beauty, and for some reason, one to suicide also.  I think the reason for that is it is so iconic and it is a pull for people to memorialize themselves and “fly away” to some place better.  They are going to put in a suicide barrier, at some point, and I’m glad that they will because studies show that iconic places, like the Golden Gate Bridge, do actually represent something special to people committing suicide and when they are stopped from doing it, they don’t use other means to kill themselves.  There really is something special about places like this and spending some money to save peoples’ lives is more than worth it.

As we walked back to the vista point, we talked more about the bridge and Jill, Dan and I talked about Jill’s site and we gave him a card to check it out.  He was incredibly sweet and said, “You should be tour guides” but after we told him about our idea to do this work from the beach, he agreed that we had a more interesting plan.

Last note: I highly recommend the City Guides of San Francisco Walking Tours to anyone that is visiting San Francisco.  I would definitely recommend finding a tour that Dan is running as he is an incredible tour leader and has a wealth of knowledge.



Day 601 OUT OF Beijing: Bartlett Hall and Cellar Maker Brewery.


Cupid's Span on the Embarcadero. An art installation on the Embarcadero. It is a bow and arrow but I've cropped it close.

Cupid’s Span on the Embarcadero. An art installation on the Embarcadero. It is a bow and arrow but I’ve cropped it close.


Jill and I are headed back to our cross San Francisco tour to gather more information for SF Tourism Tips.

We decided to walk down the Embarcadero and then up Market Street until we arrived at Barlett Hall.  This is a relatively new establishment, just over one year old, and they have done a beautiful renovation on the location.

It is all mahogany and dark wood inside the restaurant and brewery, and the there is a very long bar with TVs hanging above it to watch news and sports if you so choose.  There are also a lot of tables and booths if you want to enjoy your beer in a more quiet setting.

We showed up for happy hour and were glad we did.

They choose one of their beers to sell for 5 bucks at happy hour and also a bunch of delicious appetizers for the same price.

Sadly, since SF Beer Week is in just a few weeks, they had to save their own beer as they are very small and are afraid they will run out!

So, we had a different beer, which was just fine but a bit disappointing as we really want to taste all of the locally made beers and compare them for a page Jill is writing on her site so people can do a full SF locally made brew pub tour very soon.

Did you know that there are already 17 different locally sourced brew pubs in SF?  And that SF is adding another 10 more this year?  It is true.  Also, a little known fact that SF has finally gotten back to the amount of brew pubs in SF that it had before prohibition happened in the USA.  It took almost 90 years to get back to where we were.  History repeats.

After talking to the two bartenders, drinking our beers, and eating our appetizers, we headed out to Cellar Maker.

We walked down to it, about 20 minutes away, and loved this tiny, hole in the joint, brew pub.

Actually, it is more like a bar than a brewpub since they don’t serve food and don’t allow anyone under 21 years of age there at this time.

It probably only holds about 40 or 50 people and the beertenders were very friendly while also moving around like lightening to serve everyone.

They had about 12 beers on tap and we tried all but two of them because of time constraints.

We really enjoyed all of them and were pleasantly surprised that they have a “5 oz” tasting option that allowed Jill and me to share a beer (about $2.50 per 5 oz) and therefore try them all and not get drunk.  We also were taking a bus so we didn’t have to worry about drinking and driving.  Just another benefit of going car-less as we travel this world!

We called my dear friend Sonia, who showed up, and we caught up with her after not seeing her for almost 2 years at this point.  Sonia is one of my dearest friends and we met salsa dancing about 10 years ago.  It seems like we’ve known each other for ever and we almost have.  She’s quite a bit younger than me and I sort of think of her as my younger sister in a way.  She’s incredibly sweet, talented as a producer and sound engineer, and an amazing salsa dancer.

We hung out for an hour or so, talked about what changes have happened in our lives, and she was able to meet Jill and Jill was able to meet her.  Sonia sort of “knew” Jill because of my blogs and Jill sort of knew Sonia from my pictures of us dancing and my stories of her but this was a first meeting and it was fun to see how quickly they got along and that they both enjoyed each other so much.

After we finished our beers, we headed off to the bus and back to Petaluma. It was a nice, quiet, and easy ride home.

Good times, good fun, good food, good beer, and good friends.

A perfect day in San Francisco.

Day 595 OUT OF Beijing: Cable Cars, Alcatraz and Clam Chowder.


A cable car getting ready to leave on its journey.

A cable car getting ready to leave on its journey.


As Jill and I hopped off the bus, we knew we had a number of places to visit today and needed to be time sensitive since we had so much to do and research for SF Tourism Tips.

The first place we needed to visit was the Aquatic Park area and get a few pictures, and videos, of the cable cars there.

It would be a long day of walking all along the Embarcadero and this would be a perfect first stop.

The Buena Vista Cafe, which is world famous for its Irish Coffee was right across the street but we decided we’d wait a bit and take our time before imbibing as we planned to hit a few of the new breweries later in the day.

The cable cars were running, on their usual 10 minute schedule, and we were able to get all the pictures we needed.

We enjoyed just hanging out, watching the fog roll away, and seeing the signs of pure joy on the peoples’ faces as they began their journey on the Cable Cars through the San Francisco hills.


Waiting for the journey to begin.

Waiting for the journey to begin.


After getting what we needed, we headed down to the waterfront, to grab some breakfast. We had left the house around 6:45 am and it was already about 10 am and we were starting to get a bit hungry.

One our way, we spied Alcatraz prison, off in the distance and shrouded in fog.

As people say, “It is a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”

It always amazes me how close Alcatraz is to the shore and yet how desolate it feels when you are there.

It is definitely worth a trip, if you haven’t gone, and worth visiting again if you have!


Alcatraz peaks out of the fog.

Alcatraz peaks out of the fog.


We walked down Jefferson Street and listened to the barkers as they called out different attractions people could enjoy, like renting bikes or little go-carts, to travel around, and finally got to the area where all the fisherman sell their clam chowder in sourdough bread baskets.

We both love these delicious treats and missed them greatly while we were away.  The clam chowder was delicious and the bread was nice and toasted.  All in all, a perfect way to start our getaway in San Francisco.  It also only cost $7.07 for a meal that filled us both up and warm us up at the same time.

Doing research can be wonderful if you love your job as much as Jill!


Delicious Clam Chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl!

Delicious Clam Chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl!

Day 594 OUT OF Beijing: You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Til It’s Gone!


After coming through the Marin Headlands Tunnels approaching the Golden Gate Bridge.

After coming through the Marin Headlands Tunnels approaching the Golden Gate Bridge.


Jill and I ventured into San Francisco today to do more research for SF Tourism Tips.

We love taking the bus in, relaxing while we ride, and just watching the traffic as we pass by it.

Once in a while we get stuck in the traffic, since even the carpool lane is full, but most of the time we have a pretty fast ride and we enjoy sitting in the front seat so we can talk to the bus driver a bit and see the best views.

Most of the other riders are usually reading on their tablets or phones or working away but we prefer to be present in the ride and the enjoyment of being back in Northern California.

You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.

We do know what we have because it was gone and now we are back.

At least until February 28th when we head off to Los Angeles.

We’ve already set up plans to see lots of friends and relatives down there and can’t wait to hit Cancun so Jill can see her sister and her sister’s family and I can finally meet some of Jill’s family in person instead of on Skype.  Being that we met 8 days before I left for China, I’ve never met her family, in person, and she’s never met mine.  This will be a fun trip around the USA!

The Bus driver, this morning, seemed a bit grumpy, which was oddly out of place since he looked a lot like Santa Claus with a huge white beard and big belly.

We thought he’d be friendly and happy, since basically every driver we’ve met on the Golden Gate Transit system is incredibly happy and friendly, but he wasn’t.

Since I started out using a silly phrase, might as well use another one: I guess you can’t judge a book by it’s cover also.

We made sure not to ask any questions and just took some pictures and said “Hi” to passengers as they got on and off the bus and most of them replied with the same.

We weren’t in any hurry to get in since we knew exactly what we wanted to do, what times the places we wanted to visit were open and when we wanted to be home.

It is a wonderful way to live a carefree life and even though it seems as if it is all easy, it isn’t.

Jill puts in many hours of work, especially over the last 4 years, to make her site well respected and easy to use for tourists and locals alike.

She receives a lot of compliments, on her page and on her Facebook page, about how well it is put together and how “real and down home” it is.  That is something Jill specifically worked at instead of just being the generic, “This is what you want to see and do” kind of site that so many other people have built.  It took many hours of walking, busing, and hiking around San Francisco and it still continues to each day.

The fact that she continued to build the site, and her business, while living in China for 1.5 years just goes to show that incredible research, photographs and knowledge that she had stored up in her mind and her computer.

Now that we are back, we will be updating a lot of stuff and building even more pages because we are so excited to help people see more about San Francisco and see it through our eyes so that they can then see it through their own.


Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Karl the Fog in the distance.

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Karl the Fog in the distance.