Earlier this week, my class went on an epic field trip to Downtown San Francisco’s Civic Center. We were invited to (actually got tickets that we requested) for the San Francisco Symphony’s Deck the Halls Community Day concert. The kids were so excited to ride the MUNI bus to and from what they had labeled to be a “big music class”. Once we got there, they were excited to see the dressed up gingerbread man, Frosty the snowman, and even Santa Claus. During the concert, we quickly found out that the San Francisco Ballet Institute had dancers perform acts from the Nutcracker and there were even singers, too. It was quite the show!

After the concert, we did a quick tour of the San Francisco Public Library (main branch, which is always huge and impressive). Then we checked out some street art before eating a picnic lunch and then ending our day with a self-guided tour of City Hall. Of course, before getting back on the MUNI bus, we took one last picture with Santa. What fun!


{sf} saints peter + paul

November 18, 2017

Recently, I was exploring San Francisco, one of my most favorite activities and headed up toward Washington Square Park where I most surprisingly came across Saints Peter and Paul Church. Seeing this church reminded me of visiting other countries where I love visiting churches, seeing the stained glass windows, and just marveling at their architectural beauty … and what a stellar this one is!

A saintly photo adventure:


Earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to visit the tiny country of Luxembourg as part of a longer trip to a few countries in Europe. I took a 45 minute train and bus ride to a small town called Vianden in the north of the country, where you can find the Chateau de Vianden, or the Vianden Castle.

The view of the castle as I was walking down the hill back into town

I chose a good day to come – there happened to be a medieval festival happening at the castle the week I was in town, which really brought the restored time-period architecture to life. Pictured here is a dueling knights show!

I also got to try my hand at shooting a crossbow – I definitely need some more practice with this. My aim was not the best…

Check out this supposedly medieval era carousel ride! The operator needed to hand crank the wheel for the seats to start moving. There was way more than I can fit here, but the festival also had a glass blower, many stands selling handmade goods and sweets, medieval dancers and music performances, and even a hawk you could pay 2 Euro to hold!

Here is a model of what the castle would have looked like in 1643. In the 1800s, the castle was essentially reduced to ruins, as pieces were sold off for money, but it was restored to its former glory in 1983, which is how you see the castle today.

Overall, a very satisfying day. Luxembourg in general is such a beautiful country (apparently, 30% of the country is covered in forest), and Vianden had just the right amount of quaint small-town feel for a day trip out of Luxembourg City.

Until next time,


Did you know that the waves in the San Francisco Bay play music? Well, that’s what the waves on the edge of the Wave Organ located in the Marina District are supposed to do. In fact, there’s an elaborate stone “organ” set up with pipes that go down under the water. When the waves and wind are just right, they lap against the pipes and create some kinds of melodies. Hearing about the Wave Organ, I really wanted to visit and hear what it was all about. Of course, it just so happened that the day I went, the wind was a bit too strong and the waves not strong enough, which meant not much besides a few whistles were coming through the pipes. Next time!

A waving photo adventure: