New Korean Barbeque

I had the best Labor Day imaginable. My sweetheart and I went hiking at Muir Woods early in the day (which, for us is noon). Muir Woods is so great because it accommodates people of all fitness levels. There is a wooden boardwalk for strollers and wheelchairs, but there’s also dirt trails for the more adventurous. He and I chose the hillside trail that took us up into the redwood canopy with the view of the babbling brook below. It was so nice. Plus it wasn’t terribly crowded (not like I feared anyway). We spent money in the gift shop and then headed home over our beloved bridge.

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That evening, we ate dinner at a new restaurant in the Castro called K*Pop. It’s named after a popular style of Korean music, and all the food is, of course, Korean too. He and I chowed down on Bimbimbap and Bulgogi with lots of Kimchi and pickled vegetables on the side. Oh, and rice. The food is so excellent and I ate way too much of it. The sauce on the Bulgogi is sweet and spicy and compliments the bbq beef really well!

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The restaurant is very modern and clean with stainless steel tables and kitchen. But the one thing that stands out most at this place is the giant tv playing nonstop K*Pop music videos, complete with barely-dressed, barely-legal Korean girls. I live in America, so I’m not sure I can judge other countries’ music videos (we have Miley, afterall). I was just a little bit shocked that there was so much eye-candy during my dinner. And I was shocked that no one else seemed to notice.

My hubs and I finished out our day at our second home, the Castro Theater, with a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. This movie has a special place in my heart because (a) it’s filmed in SF, and (b) I love Hitchcock! It was especially fun this time because there is a scene that was filmed at Muir Woods. James Stewart walks right past that giant cross section of a Redwood, and we were like “OMG we were just there!!”

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Muir Woods
1 Muir Woods Road
Mill Valley, CA 94941
http://www.nps.gov/muwo/index.htm

K*Pop
18th and Castro
http://www.kpopsf.com

Castro Theatre
Market and Castro
http://www.castrotheatre.com

 

If my brother came to visit…

My brother says that he and his wife want to come visit. Sometime in 2014 maybe. So now my juices are flowing and I started thinking about what we would do while they’re here. They have both seen the notable tourist sites (bridge, wharf, etc) so that means I could go off the beaten path a little.

If my bro and sis-in-law were my guests, it would be different than having my parents as guests, because they’d sleep on my futon. When my parents come to visit, they prefer to stay in a hotel, so that changes the “home base” of the weekend. I assume I’d have two days with them, so here’s my plan:

Day 1 –

Breakfast at Toast.
I like Toast because it’s yummy breakfast without all the snobbery of brunch.

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Shopping in Noe Valley.
There are so many cute shops on 24th street. I really like the quirky bookstore, the pajama store, and Sribbledoodles!

Grab lunch at Ike’s Place .
You know I like Ike! Maybe I need to go tomorrow.

Eat a picnic and play at Dolores Park.
You basically get all of SF represented in one stop at this park. If it’s a pretty day, we’d see, um… everything.

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Ice Cream at Bi-Rite Creamery.
Mmmm I have dreams about crunchy coffee toffee.

Dinner at Taquiera Cancun
Seriously. Everyone needs to experience the world’s greatest burrito.

burrito mojado

 

Day 2 – 

Light breakfast at home. Load up on protein!

Hiking at Muir Woods
This park is wonderful, plus the added bonus of driving over the GG Bridge.

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Lunch at Pelican Inn or Parkside Cafe.

Nap.

Tour Anchor Steam Brewery
because beer.

Dinner at Goat Hill Pizza.

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I chose several geographic “pockets” so we don’t have to rely on a car. I have a Mission District pocket on Day 1 and a Potrero Hill pocket on Day 2 because that’s where Anchor Steam is located. Then we get to eat the best pizza in town.

To my brother: this plan is not set in stone so let me know if you wanna change it. Also, please come soon because I want to do all this cool stuff with you! Xoxo

10 Things to do on a rainy Saturday

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We have had no shortage of rain. In the last 30 days we’ve had 5 inches of rain (which is 30% of 2012’s total rainfall). So here’s a list of things to do when the weather is not cooperating.

10. Musee Mechanique 

The Musee Mechanique is a vintage arcade museum at Fisherman’s Wharf. When I wrote about the Wharf, I told you to skip this attraction, but on a rainy day it would be wonderful. It’s free and it’s open all day. But the one problem is that you’d have to pay to park and then walk in the rain to get there.

courtesy of museemachainque.org

courtesy of museemachainque.org

9. De Young or SFMOMA

These are SF’s two famous art museums. Right now, the MOMA is hosting a collection of pieces by Jasper Johns that everyone is pretty excited about. The De Young is $11 to get in and SFMOMA costs $!8.

8. Cable Car Museum

So many people have recommended this place to me. They say it’s really informative, your outta-town guests will love how SF-tastic it is, it’s kid-friendly, annnd…. IT’S FREE!!!

courtesy of cablecarmuseum.org

courtesy of cablecarmuseum.org

 

7. Anchor Steam Brewery

This is a really popular attraction in SF. So popular in fact, that you’ll have to make a reservation. If you have family coming to town and you think it might rain, I say go ahead and make a reservation just in case. Personally, I love their pale ale called Anchor Steam.

6. Bay Model

This is a complete scale model of the entire Bay Area created by the Army Corps of Engineers. The website says that they offer three different tours based on the geek level of the group. I am going to have to visit this place, and take the most geeky tour, for sure. Then I’ll tell you all about it. This great attraction is not in SF, however. It’s across the bridge in Marin County.

5. Cartoon Art Museum

Why haven’t I visited this place?? It sounds awesome! It’s basically a history of cartoons, comic books, and animation. Last month they had a whole feature on 3D animation and how they create movies like Monsters, Inc in 3D. It’s at Mission and 3rd and costs $7 to get in.

4. Exploratorium and Cal Academy

We have two science museums! I am a scientist and that makes me giddy with excitement. I have visited the Exploratorium and I can’t recommend it enough!! I spend hours wandering around and totally geeking out! But unfortunately, it’s moving and will be closed Jan-Apr 2013. So in the meantime, you should visit the California Academy of Sciences, which I heard is also awesome. And it even has penguins!! The Cal Academy is $30 for adults.

exploratorium-sign

3. Ferry Building

I had a friend come into town about a year ago on a rainy. I took her to the Ferry Building and we had a blast! I distinctly remember finding the quintecential rainy day meal – a bowl of tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich – that knocked my socks off.

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2. Walt Disney Museum

This museum is giant tribute to the life and vision of Walt Disney. I have heard that there’s so much to see that you could easily spend all day there.  Admission is $20 but that also included gorgeous panoramic views of the bay.

1. Muir Woods

This may sound crazy. Muir Woods is an outdoor venue. But I have talked to so many people who say that it is magical when it rains. There is no crowd, and the rain on the trees and babbling brook is unmatched. Just grab your rain gear and head out to your own private Redwood hideaway.

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Giant Redwood Trees

I spent Saturday afternoon at Muir Woods: one of the only remaining habitats of the Giant Redwood Tree.

Sequoia sempervirens is the sole living species of all the Sequoias. Common names include coast redwood, California redwood, and giant redwood. It is an evergreen tree that can live 1200–1800 years or more! This species includes the tallest trees on Earth, reaching up to 379 feet tall and up to 26 feet in diameter. Before commercial logging of the 1850s, this massive tree occurred naturally all along much of coastal California and Oregon (where it rains a lot!). They estimate that more than 95% of the original redwood forest has been cut down, and Muir Woods is one of the few places the tree grows today. (Source: wikipedia)

Notice people vs trees

This park is beautiful! It’s very secluded and cut off from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s 15 miles up a windy road with gorgeous views during the drive. When you get to the park, you’ll notice that it’s colder, so bring a jacket!

The park is fenced off and protected by the National Park Service, so you know it’s nice! There is one main trail through the park with a creek in the middle (nothing beats the sound of a babbling brook!). The main trail is about a mile long; I did it in an hour, but you should plan to take your time and enjoy the forest around you. The park also includes a few off-shoot trails for those seeking more adventure. A total of 6 miles of hiking, all with great views of the redwoods – the tallest living things in the world.

I bet this tree is a pretty fun guy!

cross-section of a giant redwood

I don’t think this picture needs much explanation, but I did want to mention that I am 5’6″. That means if you do some fancy calculations (with that software they use on CSI), you can find out that this tree was 46″ in diameter. Okay, I didn’t do any math… there was a plaque. The rings are labeled by year, and the distinct white ring closest to the edge is the Declaration of Independence.

Not only is this park a great retreat to nature, but it’s also a fun thing to do on a foggy day. This park is located in a valley, so the fog rolls right over. So if your bridge-gawking plans were thwarted by the fog, why not try Muir Woods?

I tried to capture people in some of my photos so you could get an idea of how big these trees are!

Muir Woods is located north of SF in Marin County. Just drive across the GG Bridge and take the Stinson Beach exit, then follow the signs. There is plenty of parking (if you don’t mind walking) and nice clean bathrooms. It’s $7 for adults, but on Sept 29 admission is free. Most of the paths are paved and very wheelchair accessible. And it’s pronounced meer. Apparently, the person who named this park didn’t understand how letters work. More info at www.nps.gov/muwo.

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