Non Recipe – SFO Golden Gate Bridge

The last day of this mega marathon and yes I completed two mega marathons this year. This month was pretty crazy with lot of festivals and I was posting two recipes in a day which I would never do. I hope you all enjoyed the series and I will be doing the round up posts soon. Between October is going to be a slow month. As I did more cooking, loads of coding work is pending. ;-) But you can see my regular posts in my FB page and my weekly digest emails.

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How many ever times I visit this city there is something new to look forward. Each and every trip is unique and different. I am talking about San Francisco – the home of Giants and 49ers. I have already written about SFO Ferry building this January. This month I became the tour guide of SFO as M was out of town. We were hosting his uncle and aunt and I was showing some places around bay. I took them by Bart only. I am not yet ready to drive in SFO and the other main thing is I don’t have patience to find parking in SFO. Bart and Uber helped us a lot.

I hope everyone know Mark Twain’s quote – “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” SFO will be always cloudy, windy and foggy. Thanks to the cold Pacific ocean.  It was a very clear day and not many days are clear like this in SFO.

Now coming to the main part of this post – Golden Gate Bridge. Why so much hype about this bridge? It is the symbol of SFO. The golden gate bridge is a three mile long suspension bridge connecting the northern tip of SFO and Marin County. The golden gate is because as it covers the golden strait and it’s the gateway to enter into the SFO bay so hence the name.

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The color of the bridge may look like red but it’s not red, it’s International Orange. (The hex code is #ff4f00) The interesting thing is the painting work is ongoing process. They keep painting the bridge so as to avoid the corrosion. For the first time I got the full view of the bridge without fog. Here are some ferry pics and other pics from SFO.

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Port of SFO / Ferry Buidling

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Tried BnW pic. Ferry ready for departure

Fisherman’s Wharf, Crooked Street, Ferry Building, Golden Gate and China Town, City Hall are some of the famous places in SFO. This time I took them to Ferry Building, GG and China Town as we had only half a day.

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China Town Entrance

 

Hope you all enjoyed this month’s series. Love to hear your feedback and will be back with the recap post soon.

 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 56

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Non-Recipe : The Flavors of South Tamil Nadu

If you are in my Facebook group friends list you might have seen these pictures. But I am posting it here again – the flavors of South Tamil Nadu. This is how my India trip looks like – a visit to Chennai and a quick 3/4 day trip to Bengaluru (this time it became a weekend trip and I spent more time on roads) and then a trip to either my native or M’s native to visit the temple and then back to Chennai, visit friends and family. That’s it vacation gone. (Err it’s not vacation. India trips are always hectic) Last time I went to Periyakulam so this time we went to M’s native temple at down south. To be precisely the temple in a small village called Puliangudi-Kaaduvetti and the closest town is Sankarankovil.

This time we planned as 2 day trip so that we can go to Kutralam.  It was amazing and I am visiting Kutralam after 15 years. The weather was awesome.      It was end of the season so it wasn’t that crowded. We did enjoy the water and at the same time we did enjoy the street food – Masala chai, Masala Gooseberry, Pickled Green Mango, Hot banana chips and also lychee fruit. I couldn’t take any pics as it was drizzling the whole time. Pics in phone didn’t come that well. 

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That’s our temple and it is in the middle of the farms. Its Dharma Sastha’s (Lord Ayyapan) temple. Sabarimalai is in a straight line behind this temple. The belief is that Lord Ayyapan  rested in this place when he came in search of Puli Paal (tigress milk) for his mother. Its a very small temple and they kept it in this way and we really enjoyed it. No big queue, no waiting time. It was peaceful. 

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Coming to main part and one my favorite city Tirunelveli – we always book our return tickets from TVL (Tirunelveli)  so obviously the visit to Nellaiappar temple is mandatory and also Pothys. :-)  

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Me and my SIL go crazy and we pretty much complete all our purchases there and come back with our hands full. (We ignores the stares from FIL, M and BIL)

I didn’t forget the most important part – irutu kadai halwa. It’s dimly lit small shop which sells only halwa and it opens at 5pm and closes at 8pm, sometimes even before that. They serve the halwas in lotus leaves. This time I gave the camera to M and asked him to take the pics. The kids were with my SIL and in-laws. So me and my BIL stood in line and got 10 kgs of halwa after 15 minutes of struggle.  Its worth the struggle for that yummiest halwa.

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Big Queue even before the shop is opened

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Irutu Kadai

Here are some other food that we enjoy – Madurai famous jigarthanda and cane juice

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Jigarthanda

 

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Cane juice

Seems like my travel post became food post. :-) Hope you all enjoyed.

 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 56

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Non-Recipe – Our visit to Dubai and Abu Dhabi

I think I have bombarded you with enough recipes, so for the last week of this BM it’s going to be non-recipes. The next three posts will be non-recipes and I thought of writing about my recent travel and keep it picturesque. (I don’t know if my pictures are visually attractive but still let me use that.) Whenever we travel to India as a family, we tend to take mini vacation before going to India. So this time we stopped in Abu Dhabi. Hubby’s BFF was inviting us for a long time so we thought of stopping in Abu Dhabi and booked our tickets via Etihad. But just couple of weeks before our travel our friend got shifted close to Dubai – which means we got a chance to visit both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Basically Dubai and Abu Dhabi are 150KM apart. It took us less than 3 hrs. to reach Dubai.
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The San Francisco Ferry Building Market Place

Whenever friends and family come over to place, we take them to San Francisco. What to say about this city? It is the financial center of CA, restaurant city and the home of Giants and 49ers. :-)

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I am not going to talk about this city, but just about one place – The Ferry Building Market Place. The Ferry building or the Pier 1 is the port of SFO. Every time we go with friends, we just see this place from outside and directly go to Pier 39, which is the fisherman’s wharf and from where most the city tours start.

When I saw this episode of Ina Garten, I was so surprised. The Ferry Building Marketplace is located along the Embarcadero at the foot of Market Street. I am living so close to this place and I don’t need to drive even. Take Bart (Train) and get down in Embarcadero and less than a mile walk, I am there at SFO ferry building market place.  We started to go to SFO exclusively for this market place.

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So what we get here or what’s the specialty? In short I would say its food lover’s paradise.  Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday you have farmers market. You get locally grown fresh produce. You can find artisans cheese, breads, flavored olive oils, ice creams, restaurants, flavored vinegar, and of course fish and meat and more. I am sure I might have missed something. You can find the list of shops here. When you enter the ferry building you will be    welcomed with the smell of cheese, fresh bread and cookies and freshly brewed coffee.

What we do here?

  •         Get a piping hot coffee and mac n cheese for the kiddo and enjoy them watching the ferries depart.
  •         Go to the exclusive mushroom shop to see the different varieties of mushroom.
  •         Taste different varieties of olive oils and bread.
  •         Wait in the biggggg queue, minimum half an hour at Humphryslocombe to get the plain vanilla ice-cream. It may be plain vanilla but the richness and creamy texture yummmmm

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  •         Visit the farmers market and get fresh fruits.

If you visit SFO, do allocate some time for this marketplace. You can even plan your brunch/lunch here.

See who I found in the building? The Father of our Nation. You can read about this statue more here.

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