Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Parting shots of San Francisco Bay

After viewing these pictures from my inlaws, I am adding San Francisco to my bucket list.

From Wikipedia (link),

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate strait, the mile-wide, three-mile-long channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the U.S. city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin County, bridging both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 across the strait. The bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. It has been declared one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Sitting in the middle of San Francisco Bay is Alcatraz Island.  Again from Wikipedia (link),

Alcatraz Island is located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) offshore from San Francisco, California, United States. Often referred to as "The Rock", the small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison (1868), and a federal prison from 1933 until 1963.  In 1972, Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

What do you know about San Francisco?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, December 6, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 7.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Aloha to Monterey Bay and the SS Red Oak Victory

My inlaws drove south of San Francisco to visit Monterey Bay. 

From the City of Monterey's website (link),

Spanish explorer Juan Rodríquez Cabrillo is credited as the first Euro-American to see the bay on November 17, 1542, which he named La Bahia de los Pinos (Bay of Pines). Sixty years later, in December 1602, Sebastián Vizcaíno became the first European to set foot on the shores of the bay which he officially renamed "Monte Rey Bay", in honor of the Viceroy of New Spain who had ordered his expedition. Under a large oak tree overlooking the bay, near what is now Artillery and Pacific Streets, he and his crew of 200 celebrated mass in honor of their safe journey.

It reminds me of my beloved Hawaii.

They also visited Richmond, California, for the SS Red Oak Victory.

From its website (link),

When the SS Red Oak Victory was launched on November 9th, 1944 in the Kaiser Permanente shipyard, she was the 558th ship built in Richmond California for World War II. The SS Red Oak Victory carried ammunition throughout the Pacific Theatre during the last year of the war. 

In the mid-1990s, the SS Red Oak Victory was identified as one of the best preserved ships from the Kaiser Richmond shipyard in the reserve fleet with the potential to become a floating museum. The Richmond Museum Association enlisted the help of Congressman George Miller, who wrote the conveyance language and added it to the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1996.

1 red oak launching

I love this vintage photo of the ship's christening by Mrs. Edna Reiley, wife of W.S. Reiley, M.D., Mayor of Red Oak, Iowa.

Do you have a favorite town by the water - sea, river, lake, etc.?  One randomly selected commenter wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, December 6, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 7, at SOS Aloha.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Monday, December 1, 2014

Aloha to Treasure Island and the USS Hornet

Continuing the pictures from my inlaws' trip to the San Francisco Bay area, above is the Naval Station on Treasure Island.  From its website (link),

Treasure Island was built with imported fill on shoals on the north side of Yerba Buena Island for the Expo in 1939. The island sits in the "middle" of the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge.

During World War II Treasure Island became part of the Treasure Island Naval Base, and served largely as an electronics and radio communications training school, and as the major Navy departure point for sailors in the Pacific.

In 1996 Treasure Island and the Presidio Army Base were decommissioned and opened to public control, under stipulations. Treasure Island is now part of District 6 of the City and County of San Francisco , though it is still owned by the Navy.

Looking back to San Francisco ...

... and over to Alcatraz Island.

Even the big ships pull into San Francisco Bay.

Alameda is home of the USS Hornet.  From its website (link),

The USS Hornet CV-12 is one of the 24 legendary Essex-class aircraft carriers built during and after World War II. Built at Newport News, Virginia, and the eighth ship to be named “Hornet,” she is one of the most decorated ships of the US Navy.

For 16 continuous months Hornet was in action in the forward areas of the Pacific combat zone, sometimes within 40 miles of the Japanese home islands.

Hornet participated in World War II, the Vietnam War, and the first moon missions ... 

... flawlessly recovered the Apollo 11 space capsule and the first men to walk on the moon. 

A few months later, she also recovered the Apollo 12 capsule and its all-Navy crew.

In 1991, the USS Hornet opened to the public as an aircraft carrier museum.

Today, the F/A-18 strike fighter carries on the name of Hornet.

Have you visited an infamous site like Alcatraz or a large ship like the Hornet?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs win a book choice from my convention stash. Comments are open through Saturday, December 6, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 7.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

USS Hornet flight deck 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Aloha to California's Bay Area, Marine Mammal Center, and UC Berkeley's Campanile

My inlaws recently visited the California's Bay Area ... I share their photos with you.

The Marine Mammal Center is located in Sausalito. From its website (link),

Our mission is to expand knowledge about marine mammals—their health and that of their ocean environment—and to inspire their global conservation. Our core work is the rescue and rehabilitation of sick and injured marine mammals, supported by state-of-the-art animal care and research facilities, a corps of dedicated volunteers, and an engaged community.

The coastline is stunning.

My father-in-law attended UC-Berkeley.  Below is the Sather Tower (link),

Sather Tower, known to most as the Campanile, is perhaps UC Berkeley's most famous symbol. Visible for miles, it stands 307 feet tall and is the third tallest bell and clock-tower in the world. The observation platform, located 200 feet up, provides visitors with a spectacular view of the entire Bay Area and of the campus. It is reachable via the combination of an elevator and stairs. The Campanile was completed in 1914.

I can't imagine attending school on the bay ... I think it would be too distracting!

Have you visited California's Bay Area?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, December 6, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 7.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

My inlaws met this gorgeous cat at their friends' home.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Aloha to NYC - Rockettes' Christmas Spectacular


I traveled to NYC for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade at this link.   Following the parade, Lisa and I walked north on Fifth Avenue, stopping in St. Patrick's Cathedral.

From its website (link),

The story of New York’s great cathedral mirrors the story of the city itself. Created to affirm the ascendance of religious freedom and tolerance, St. Patrick’s Cathedral was built in the democratic spirit, paid for not only by the contributions of thousands of poor immigrants but also by the largesse of 103 prominent citizens who pledged $1,000 each. St. Patrick’s Cathedral proves the maxim that no generation builds a cathedral. It is rather, a kind of ongoing conversation linking generations past, present and future.

The cornerstone of St. Patrick’s Cathedral was laid in 1858 and her doors swept open in 1879. It was over 150 years ago when Archbishop John Hughes announced his inspired ambition to build the “new” St. Patrick’s Cathedral. 

The cathedral is undergoing restoration.  Despite the scaffolding, inside and out, it remains a beacon to the city.

We stopped in FAO Schwartz.  This iconic toy store also offered holiday items. including The Wizard of Oz nutcrackers!

Walking south on Sixth Avenue, we arrived at our destination - Radio City Music Hall.

From Wikipedia (link),

The Rockettes are a precision dance company founded in 1925 in St. Louis, Missouri and since 1932 have performed out of Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, New York City. During the Christmas season, the Rockettes present five shows a day, seven days a week. Perhaps their best-known routine is an eye-high leg kick in perfect unison in a chorus line, which they include at the end of every performance. Their style of dance is a mixture of modern dance and classic ballet.

The Rockettes performed non stop for 90 minutes.  Their energy is inspiring.  The show ended with a live Nativity scene - it was awesome.  I recommend their show!

Across the street is NBC Studios and the Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center.  We boarded our train at 9 pm for the three hour journey back to Baltimore.   Although it was a long day, I checked off two more items from my bucket list.  Thank you, Lisa, for a wonderful day!

Have you seen the Rockettes in person or on TV?  


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

I spotted these flowers in a local market where we stopped for hot chocolate.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Aloha to NYC - Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

I spent Thanksgiving with my friend Lisa in NYC to enjoy two holiday icons - Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rockettes' Christmas Spectacular.  Rest assured, I made reservations at the Fort Meade Officers' Club for my family to enjoy a turkey dinner. 

My family was still sleeping as I boarded my 0-dark-hundred train from the BWI (Lisa caught the train from DC's Union Station).

We thanked the NY National Guard for providing security at NYC's Penn Station.   We spent considerable time navigating the crowds and walking around the closed streets to find a spot along Sixth Avenue.   By the time we arrived, the parade had already started and the crowd was ten deep from the street. Lisa worked her way up to the curb as the snow flurries sent some families home.  I stayed back against a bank window with an overhang. Hence, my view was blocked ... but the balloons were still awesome!

I'm a fan of Hello Kitty ...

... and Paddington Bear.

Here's Finn and Jake from Adventure Time on Cartoon Network.

This fireman made me chuckle ...

... and I craved cookies from the Pillsbury Dough Boy!

My sons grew up with Pikachu ...

... the Red Power Ranger ...

 .... and Sponge Bob. 

Here's Virginia from "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" ...

... and Santa himself.

Have you watched the parade on TV ... or seen it in person?   Stay tuned for more pictures from NYC!


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City