Jennifer goes to San Francisco

I’m back to my vacation and the last stop on our tour of California – San Francisco.


Vista along 17-Mile Drive

On the way to San Francisco, my husband and I stopped in Monterrey and drove the 17-Mile Drive. This picturesque road is not to be missed. It winds through Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach. We stopped several times on our drive to take in the beautiful vistas and to see the sea lions and otters.

San Francisco was just as I imagined it and was one of my favorite cities on our trip. The weather was nice, but cooler. If you go, take a light jacket because you’ll need it, especially with the breeze coming off the water.


Coit Tower


View from Telegraph Hill

In San Francisco, we saw the Painted Ladies and went up to Coit Tower, which is on Telegraph Hill. We also went to Alcatraz where Al Capone and Robert Stroud were once inmates.


Painted Ladies

Most of our time was spent at Fisherman’s Wharf, which is huge and offers a variety of shops and dining options. The sea lions have their own dock. They are loud, but adorable.


Fisherman’s Wharf

One of my favorite places was Ghirardelli Square.  We stopped in the Original Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop and got hot fudge sundaes. We also sampled some of the chocolate. This was a highlight for me. It gets crowded — the line was out the door when we went — but it moves fast and is worth the visit.




Sea lions on dock

Now, this leads me to what I believe is not worth the time — the cable car. My husband bought tickets for the cable car because it was the one thing he really wanted to do in San Francisco. The line was long, but according to the sign, the wait was supposed to be only an hour. I later found out that the wait can be over two hours in the summer. We waited about two and half hours and, when we finally got on, the cable broke down. No, I’m not joking. It was another half hour before the cable was back up and we got our ride. If, like my husband, the cable car is a must do, then be prepared to wait a long time. I don’t like long waits and, with so many other things to do in San Francisco, I don’t recommend a cable car ride.


Golden Gate Bridge

You can take the time you don’t spend in line waiting for a cable car ride and go to the Golden Gate Bridge and Walt Disney Family Museum, which is what we did on our last day in San Francisco. I wish we’d planned for more time at the Walt Disney Family Museum. It is an interactive museum, which means you should plan two to three hours. We didn’t have that much time, but I still enjoyed learning about the Disney family and how Disneyland and Disney World came to be.

Have you been to San Francisco? If so, what was your favorite thing to do?


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A review: Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

I normally don’t write book review posts, but I recently finished a book that has so much to offer and was such an enjoyable read that I had to write about it.

The name of the book is Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace. This book might not seem like my usual reading material because it is a management book, but I got a lot out of it.

I was able to relate to the creative process for making animated movies because it’s quite similar to what I do when I write. Additionally, I was able to relate to Ed Catmull’s discussion on the fear of making mistakes and the fear of failure. He explains that fear can keep us from moving forward. It’s something that everyone can relate to. Have you ever not done something simply because you were afraid you’d make a mistake?

It has taken a long time for me to get over this when I write. There was a time when I’d get stuck for days on the same page of my work in progress because I had to get it perfect in the first draft. By doing that, I was keeping myself from getting down a first draft. Now, I worry about fixing the imperfections when I edit.

Mr. Catmull also gives lots of management tips that writers already use (e.g., critiques, brainstorming), but I can see how those tips would work in companies. He discusses these tips by using examples from Pixar. I loved reading all of his Pixar stories.

If you are not interested in reading a management book, you will love this book anyway if you are as big a Pixar and Disney fan as I am. Mr. Catmull tells the entire Pixar story and I highly suggest reading the Afterword about Steve Jobs. You will get a different perspective of him than what you’ve read about before or have seen in the movies.

Overall, Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration is a great read.

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