Sunday, May 27, 2012

San Francisco: Goat Hill Pizza


Goat Hill Pizza  300 Connecticut/18th St., Potrero Hill, (415) 641-1440.  L-D daily; $.  Reservations accepted.  Pizza here is prepared with a housemade sauce, then baked in a brick oven until the sourdough crust is crisp.  Choose from many varieties or design your own.  The dinner salad is big enough for two, and spaghetti, ravioli, and lasagna are also options.  Tables are covered with tiny red-and-white checked tablecloths, and pictures of goats adorn the walls.  This place is popular with families and especially enjoyable when the piano man plays in the front room.  

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Way more things to do in San Francisco.

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image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

San Francisco: Presidio Bowling Center


Presidio Bowling Center  93 Moraga Ave./Montgomery St., (415) 561-BOWL(2695).  Sun-Thur 9am-midnight, F-Sat 9am-2am.  $4.75-$7.25, seniors & kids $3.75-$7.25.  This inviting 12-lane bowling center offers easy parking in a spectacular location.  A fast-food cafe (B-L-D daily; $.) whips up a good cheeseburger and fries and 40-plus beers.  

More things to do at The Presidio.

More things to do in San Francisco

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image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, May 18, 2012

San Francisco: Presidio Visitor Center


Presidio Visitor Center  105 Montgomery St., (415) 561-4323.  Thur-Sun 10-4.  Free.  This is a good spot to get oriented to the Presidio and to pick up brochures and maps.  A particularly nice “Frequent Flyers” brochure shows color pictures of the area’s birds, and “Kids on Trails” is a free souvenir activity guide to the Ecology Trail that begins just behind the Inn at The Presidio” (a brochure is available in Spanish for another trail). 

More things to do at The Presidio.
 
More things to do in San Francisco

Way more things to do in San Francisco.

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image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

San Francisco: The Walt Disney Family Museum



The Walt Disney Family Museum  104 Montgomery St., in the Presidio, (415) 345-6800.  W-M 10-6.  $20, 65+ $15, 6-17 $12.  No pets.  Three 19th-century brick buildings that were formerly army barracks now house ten galleries devoted to telling the Walt Disney story.  For baby boomers it is a step into the nostalgic past, while for younger people it is more educational and a bit of a history lesson.  An elevator gives the sense of a “ride” into the interior galleries.  As would be expected, creative use of film and video is used and cartoons are shown throughout.  Framed videos mix in with walls of photos, and you’ll see plenty of Mickey Mouse collectibles.  In addition to peeking into Disney’s magic-making, you’ll pick up a few fascinating factoids, such as that “Snow White” was the first feature-length cartoon, and that “Bambi” was the first to feature only animals.  Near the end is a large model of Disneyland, and appropriately Mr. Disney’s credits roll continuously just before the exit door.  A “Fantasia”-themed theater shows classic Disney films (twice daily at 1 & 4 p.m.; tickets $7).  Don’t miss the special Oscar for “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” displayed in the lobby, and do allow time to browse the well-stocked gift shop.  
The museum Cafe is operated by Wolfgang Puck.  Prices are reasonable, and menu items include some of Walt’s favorites--chili, Jell-O with fresh fruit, chicken cubes, SPAM and eggs with biscuits and honey, cupcakes, and cookies.  The menu changes daily and sometimes is inspired by a movie playing in the museum’s theater. Museum admission is not required to access the cafe.   

More things to do at The Presidio.
 
More things to do in San Francisco

Way more things to do in San Francisco.

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image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Monday, May 14, 2012

San Francisco: Rose's Cafe


Rose's Cafe  2298 Union St./Steiner St., Cow Hollow, (415) 775-2200.  B-L-D daily; $$.  Reservations advised for dinner.  Valet parking.  Known for its house-baked goods, Rose’s is especially choice at breakfast when delicious French toast, scrambled eggs with spinach, and smoked salmon pizza are available.  Lunch offers a soup of the day—perhaps a creamy asparagus—and sandwiches (the turkey breast with avocado, provolone, and whole grain mustard on a brioche is a mouth full in more ways than one) and sometimes a polenta dish.  Drinks  include lavender lemonade, a host of Italian sodas, teas, and espressos.  The menu changes daily.  The small interior is cozy, with large windows to the sidewalk and some banquettes.  In good weather, outdoor seating is available on the sidewalk in front.  

More things to do in San Francisco

Way more things to do in San Francisco.

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image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
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Friday, May 11, 2012

Santa Cruz Mountains: Saratoga, Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards winery

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Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards winery Tasting occurs in the historic Fruit House, and a picnic area shaded by mature trees is out front. Pack up a basket full of goodies, and pick a wine to enjoy with it--the Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay are exceptional, and the Test Pilot F-86 label is just plain delicious fun.  And don't forget your cowboy hat. Special horse events are often scheduled at adjacent Garrod Farms Stables

More things to do in Saratoga.
 

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image ©2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Thursday, May 10, 2012

80 North: Berkeley, Suya African-Caribbean Grill


Suya African-Caribbean Grill  2130 Oxford St./Center St., downtown, (510) 981-8028 .  M-Sat 11-9pm; $.  Started strictly as take-out but now providing a few tables, this very small venue with a very high ceiling specializes in a simple menu of West African and Caribbean-inspired skewered meats, fish, and vegetables.  Consider ordering take-out for a picnic across the street on the green green grass at Cal.  Meals include a main, a side, and a pita bread and are well-priced at $4.95 to $8.95.  My favorite is the tilapia fish seasoned with suya pepper and a side of grilled plantain on a stick.  Jerk chicken with grilled corn is also tasty.  Vegetarians will be impressed with the fat veggie skewers.  Non-alcoholic Chapman red fruit punch is a nice thirst quencher.  

image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, May 7, 2012

101 South: San Jose, Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

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This museum displays the largest collection of authentic ancient Egyptian artifacts in western North America.  Highlights include mummies, fine jewelry, and a full-size reproduction of a tomb--the only one in the United States.  Begin in the After Life Room, where you’ll see plenty of mummies, including a child, a baboon (it is actually an ancient fake), and a partially unwrapped adult.  A guided tour of the composite 4,000-year-old rock tomb reproduction featuring colorful wall paintings is worthwhile for illumination, then just wander around.  Must-sees are the exact replica of Nefertiti (the real one is in Berlin, where people wait in a very long line to see it) and the outside 18th-dynasty Peace Garden featuring plants that would have been grown in that time (people come from far away to see it, even from Egypt).  The planetarium is currently closed.  

More things to do in San Jose.

Even more things to do in San Jose.


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image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, May 4, 2012

San Francisco: Decorator Showcase

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The 35th annual San Francisco Decorator Showcase runs through May 28.  Consider visiting this year's mansion for a lovely spring outing with a friend, or maybe for Mother's Day (tickets for another date would make an excellent gift, too).  The house's striking interior features herringbone wood floors, box-beamed ceilings, and a double-curved grand staircase. 

More things to do in San Francisco

Way more things to do in San Francisco.

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image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

101 South: San Jose, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art


San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art  560 S. First St., downtown, (408) 283-8155.  Tu-F 10-5, Sat 12-5.  Free.  This small venue displays emerging and mid-career artists who are underappreciated and endeavors to make contemporary art accessible and exciting to all.  Exhibitions are presented in three galleries.  My current favorite—a platoon of gurgling water coolers--is part of “The Office”; the series of feathers composed of staples is also quite interesting.  Workshops and special events are scheduled.

More things to do in San Jose.

Even more things to do in San Jose.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.  
More art galleries. 

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways. 

image c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers