Monday, July 9, 2018

Everybody's Treehouse

1212 Trail Ridge Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45223, USA
At the end of April I made my way down to Cincinnati to see Haley and her family and to celebrate Cora's FIFTH birthday! I can't believe she's five already! It feels like yesterday that I was visiting to celebrate Haley's baby shower. Unfortunately, I didn't take ANY photos except for one time. Haley knows I love offbeat and unique places, and she always has a list of places ready for me when I visit Cincinnati. I was only there for the weekend and our morning was taken up with Cora's birthday celebration, but she did have time to take me to Everybody's Treehouse in Mt. Airy Forest.
Everybody's Treehouse is came from an idea Michael Flannery, a local television personality, who wanted a place that was accessible to all children. Flannery worked with many different groups to make the dream a reality and it was completed in 2006. I lived in Cincinnati from 2007-2012, and it still amazes me all the places I have never heard of or visited there. The treehouse is worth a visit and if you like to walk you're in luck because it is in the home of Cincinnati's largest park. We didn't get a chance to walk around, but if it's like any of Cincinnati's other parks you'll enjoy yourself. There weren't too many people around when we walked through it, but there were a group of kids coming as we were leaving. It was nice to have the spot to ourselves even if just for a few minutes.
Have you visited this park?

Friday, July 6, 2018

Houses of San Francisco

San Francisco, CA, USA
I love interesting architecture. I think that's why I miss Russia so much and I hate living in the suburbs. I guess a lot of the houses in San Francisco look similar to one another, but I think I'd rather take a 1920s house over one of those manufactured houses you see today. After we went to Muir Woods we realized we could stop by the painted ladies without going too far out of our way. We luckily found street parking right near it and walked up to the hill. There were not nearly as many people here last time I came, but again the weather was kind of crappy. Also, can I just be honest. If you're going to take a picture of something please take the picture and move so other people can have a chance. Some guy walked right in front of me while I was taking photos and just stood there. Luckily he was nice when I asked him to move but still!
People get the Painted Ladies confused with the Full House house, and although they do show it in the intro, it's not the same house. The Full House house is located at 1709 Broderick St. while the Painted Ladies are located on Steiner Street right across from Alamo Park. They are not hard to miss. You know what else is on Steiner Street? The Mrs. Doubtfire House. Unfortunately, I still have yet to see it, but my sister said she saw it. I was just in awe at some of the houses on the street and the fact that people are actually rich enough to live in them. I can't even afford rent while paying off my college loans. I have a dream that one day I'll buy a house in San Francisco.
Later that night it was really nice out so I suggested that we just walk around one of the neighborhoods because I wanted to walk but also take pictures of the houses. When we'd see a house for sale we'd try to guess how much it was being sold for. The cheapest we saw was $1 million, and it was not a nice looking house either! I decided though, if life keeps me in the suburbs and I'm lucky enough to build a house I'm going to ask for the floor plans of my aunt and uncles house because their layout is my dream home! I wonder if I can get that done in Russia too. ;)
I didn't take nearly as many photos as I would have liked on this trip. I think I might be going through a slightly depressive episode where I just don't find enjoyment in photography. On our last day in San Francisco we went to the Ferry Building and I had the most amazing sparkling wine. I think it was the N.V. Bernard Rondeau Vin du Bugey-Cerdon from Savoie, France. Later on Megan and I took the city bus from my aunt and uncle's house to Haight-Ashbury. Taking public transportation wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be, and Google maps is great for helping you get around. We finished our last night with an amazing salad, salmon, and root mashed potato with vegetables we got from the Ferry Building. My uncle even opened a bottle of wine from 1997! It's crazy to think I drank a wine from an era where I wasn't even close to the drinking age. San Francisco is my favorite city in the USA, and I cannot wait to go back!
What's your favorite thing to do in San Francisco?

Monday, July 2, 2018

Muir Woods

Muir Woods National Monument, 1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA
When we were trying to decide what to do both Megan and I thought Muir Woods would be fun. I'd already been there before, but I thought it would be more fun to visit Muir Woods again as opposed to Alcatraz. It's really kind of funny how much I don't remember from my last trip to San Francisco and it was only in 2011. Like the rest of San Francisco, I don't remember Muir Woods being nearly as busy as my last trip (it was also raining a lot so maybe that's why). I also thought the park was much bigger. I remembered walking through the Cathedral Grove, but last time it seemed bigger and more obvious of where you were at. This is in no way dissing the park. I'd recommend it to anyone.
The morning before we left started off with deciding how we were going to get there. My aunt had been having car troubles and so they offered to let us drive my uncle's car. I was super intimated to drive it because it was nicer and longer than cars I'm used to driving. Thankfully Megan didn't have a problem driving it. We spent a few hours walking through Muir Woods. When we finished we were thinking about grabbing lunch at Stinson Beach, but by the time we walked through the park we decided it would be better just to eat out leftovers back home. I had been to Stinson Beach before, and I do recommend going there if you have the time after Muir Woods.
Muir Woods is a great place to visit because they have different paths depending on how much you want to walk and how long you want to spend there. We did the longest loop and it was the perfect amount of time. Maybe we could have gone a little bit longer, but it is what it is. There is also a gift shop and cafe on sight if you don't want to spend all your time walking. We definitely checked out the gift shop, and they have some really cute mugs and magnets. Muir Woods now requires parking passes which you can find at this website. There is also no cell service, so I'd suggest either downloading or printing directions on how to get out of the park.
Do you have any other stops outside of San Francisco that you'd recommend?
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