Tag Archives: walking tours

Row, Row, Smile!

photo boat 1

This scene at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park made me laugh.  I’ve been one of those kids in the boat, silently gritting my teeth in a smile, waiting for each of my siblings to do the same and in unison.  I’ve also been the parent, aiming for “natural” expressions that disappeared once I peered through the viewfinder.

photo boat 2

Note the multi-tech approach this group takes: video recorder, digital camera and cell phone.  I’m sure the kids have darling faces, but it was the adults who caught my eye.

San Francisco Things To Do

Find  San Francisco’s best hotel views at Oyster Locals.


Urban Hiking

San Francisco hill

The uniformed lady shook her head and informed me that my planned walking route into Chinatown was no good. “It’s all hill,” she said, not realizing that she’d just confirmed my decision.

parking "SF style"

San Francisco’s drastic changes in elevation are no exaggeration. Cars systematically park with wheels turned in to the curb. The Metro buses and trolleys run strategically up and down the steepest slopes. Women do not where high heels without ready transportation available, but it’s a great walking city and navigating San Francisco is excellent exercise.

AlcatrazChinatown is always worth a wander as is the Embarcadero along the Bay. After a ferry crossing, Alcatraz is an engrossing ramble rich with eerie histories, and Golden Gate Park holds miles of parkland and gardens.


I walked alone the last time, meeting people, taking photos, and just breathing it all in. I enjoyed wandering with vague purposes and grand appreciations and found myself gently nudging some lingering memories from my last visit there with an 11-year old boy who is now a young man.

A bike ride to Sausalito and late ferry ride back to the city, a run across the Golden Gate Bridge, an exotic pet store in Chinatown, breakfast crepes on a pier…   We jammed a lot into our time there some nine years ago and even more in the years that followed.  Life stayed “busy” the whole way through.

cable car

I’m so glad we took the time to hang off the sides of a few cable cars together.

San Francisco Things To Do

Consider the Fairmont Hotel for your overnight stay and enjoy elegant accommodations and memorable dining.  The historic Tonga Room features live music on a floating stage and periodic “rainstorms,” complete with thunder and lightning.


In-Town Tourist: Inniswood Metro Park

“This is one of the regular parks?”  My daughter Hannah knows most of our area parks for their running trails and frisbee golf courses.  While we’ve wandered through Inniswood Metro Park many times, this was the first time my daughter had noticed metro on the entrance sign.

Most of our area parks here in central Ohio are geared to recreational activity:  hiking, running, biking, birdwatching, fishing and canoeing or kayaking.  Inniswood by contrast, sprawls with cultivated gardens, lush expanses of lawn and woods, and contains kid-friendly creative content such as a “secret garden”, a farm (with a watering trough to splash around in) and a tree house playground.  I always support our park funding at election time, and Inniswood is an inspiring example of tax dollars well spent.

A favored local destination, Inniswood’s nooks and niches have been the focus of many an afternoon’s exploration for us.  A few years ago my youngest son and I found some thrills catching and releasing frogs in one of the Inniswood ponds (until management posted a sign expressly forbidding the activity, oops…).  The secret garden, a quiet stone ruins splayed by twining vines and embedded with jeweled marbles, elicits both romance and mystery.  A story walk maze draws visitors from sentence to sentence, tile to tile, reading and walking to the legend’s end: a statued depiction of the story’s main characters.  The tree house playground includes an elevated walkway with swaying bridges and, of course, a tree house for children and very small(!) adults to explore.

Always familiar but ever changing from one season’s colors into the next, Inniswood Metro Park is a  year round festival of nature.  There’s nothing regular about it at all.

Columbus Things To Do

Coming up:  Kid friendly fun at Inniswood, Drifting down the Colorado River in Glen Canyon, Boston, Frank Lloyd Wright designs in Ohio…


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