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Sat, 24 Mar 2012

Sight seeing day trip of San Francisco using public transportation

We had a visitor and I wanted to show her San Francisco.So I decided to dump the car and use public transit to show her around.
We just had 1 day to tour San Francisco so I wanted to cover a few spots.
As we live  in south bay , we took the caltrain to the last stop 4th & King st.If you live in East Bay you can probably take Bart to the city.
Then we took a bus , SF Muni bus #30 to Ghirardelli square inside Fisherman's wharf.There we went to the Ghirardeli restaurant to try some chocolates and their sundaes.
Then we walked down on the Embarcadero st , and booked a 45 minute sight seeing boat tour , which goes under the Golden Gate bridge and shows some of the key spots from the boats of this beautiful city.You can alternatively visit other landmarks here like USS Pampanito
Then we visited Pier 39 and watched the sea lions ,  saw lots of street performers , street vendors and spray painters.
Then we walked down to Coit Tower and took the steep stairs to climb to the top.
Walked back towards Lombard street to see the Crooked street , you can skip this if you don't want to walk too much and directly head to Golden Gate bridge using SF Muni bus number 28(please ensure you don't take 28L as that DOES NOT go to golden gate bridge).
Then we head back to caltrain station via N Judah line and took caltrain back to south bay.
Overall we saved quite a bit of money on parking and could see all the sittes hassle free.Parking is a real pain(difficult to find and very expensive near tourist spots) in SFO , just like in most big cities.Added to that we avoided driving on steep roads , it can be intimidating to outsiders to drive in San Francisco .


Tips
  1. Carry a smartphone if possible and you can use Google navigation App for public transit , which gives you navigation stop by stop on public transit to remove any anxiety of where to get off or how many stops to destination.
  2. SF Muni  offers 90 minute free transfers to complete your journey so you might be able to avoid extra bus charges.
  3. SF Muni also offers visitor passports  and city passes for tourists.
  4. Use google transit to plan your trip via public transit.

posted at: 14:43 | category: /sfbayarea | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Mon, 30 May 2011

Report Vehicles with Out-of-State License Plates to the CHP

Have you noticed any of your neighbors or any other car using an out of state license , inspite of residing in California ?
You can report it to the CHP @ http://www.chp.ca.gov/prog/cheaters.cgi
Here is a small extract from the CHP website
"Did you know that the State of California loses millions of dollars a year in revenue from California residents who unlawfully register their vehicles in other states or countries?

Did you know that vehicle registration fees are due immediately upon accepting employment or establishing residency in the State of California?

Did you know that California law permits only 20 days to complete the process of registering your vehicle without paying a penalty?

The three most common reasons for not completing the registration process are:

  1. People are unaware of California registration laws.
  2. People are evading payments of registration fees and taxes.
  3. People are unable to comply with air pollution control laws.
"

posted at: 02:06 | category: /sfbayarea | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Fri, 31 Dec 2010

Free Water Plant tours

Ever wondered how water gets purified/recycled and distributed in the city and the behind the scenes working of a water plant ?
City of Sunnyvale is offering free tours of the water plant for kids from Grade 5 onwards.
Check it out @ http://sunnyvale.ca.gov/Departments/PublicWorks/WaterPollutionControlPlant/Tours.aspx

posted at: 22:39 | category: /sfbayarea | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

California state snow parks SNO-PARKS , free snow play

As the winter season is kicking in more and more parents and kids want to play with the snow.Our options are generally limited to paid resorts  where it is pretty expensive to go with a family.
In case you are looking for a cheap option to play with the snow then you might want to look into California State Parks Sno-parks.California maintains about 19 free SNO-parks across California which are free for use and ploughed.You just need a parking permit of $5(for day usage) or $25 (for season usage).
More information @ California State Parks SNO-PARKS

There are a few more links which might help you in case you are looking for paid resorts
If you choose to hit the roads then you might want to check out my other post on Road Conditions Sierra/Nevada/Tahoe via interactive map

posted at: 21:20 | category: /sfbayarea | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Wed, 29 Dec 2010

Local resources help with self-reliance resolution

"Do I need to call the boys over to do it for you?"

My dad asked this question as I attempted to build a soccer goal. I was 9 years old, and it did the trick. The thought of boys, or anyone for that matter, building my goal was enough to motivate me to do it myself.

Yet at the age of 29, I find myself calling upon "the boys" (and girls) to do things around my home I should be doing myself. I can't change a tire. I can't sew. I don't know how to start a garden. I can't repair my own bike. I can't fix my sink. Why bother when I can pay someone to take care of it?

But then I hear my father's voice - "Do I need to call the boys over to do it for you?" - and I cringe.

So my 2011 resolution is to become more self-reliant. Thankfully, there are plenty of opportunities for folks like me to achieve this goal. The Bay Area is teeming with people who believe being self-sufficient is as good for the individual as it is for the community. This year, your resolutions can be tangible, and someone is there to help you achieve your goals. Here's a sampling of what I found.


Read more @ http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/28/DDAV1GUBLL.DTL#ixzz19Y0jj1IF

posted at: 23:48 | category: /sfbayarea | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Wed, 22 Dec 2010

Road Conditions Sierra/Nevada/Tahoe via interactive map

Sierra/Nevada area for our Winter vacations for skiing or snow tubing , I have been researching on tire chains and the anxiety around it  :-).In any case I prefer to avoid tire chains etc if possible and hence had been looking into a way to find out if that information can be available on the web.So after searching a lot I found Sacramento's transportation agencies wesbite which precisely gives that information that is it displays all the electronic displays which you would see on the way while you are driving on freeways like I-80 and Hwy 89 etc.
You can check it out at http://saweb.carsprogram.org/main.jsf#

I do understand that this some of this information is available @  Check Current Highway Conditions via Caltrans but with an interactive map like what is provided by Sacramento's website I felt is much more user friendly.

Seeing this information so readily available in a very good format I definitely  wanted to share it with more readers and hence I wrote this email to mrroadshow@mercurynews.com(Gary Richards from Mercury News) so that this information can be included in one of the columns of
Mr.Roadshow Columns


Hello Gary,
I have been reading your column for a few months and really appreciate it.
As the Winter and holiday season is starting more people would be travelling to the Tahoe/Reno area for skiing etc.
One of things I always have been wanting to see before I drive is if there are any road advisories(like weather advisroies) which would alert me to all the flashing lights which Caltrans etc have for some of the electronic signboards like say for example if we need tire chains etc.
One of the cool websites setup by the Sacramento Region travel Information(511 for Sacramento) which displays all the electronic display signs on the freeway like I-80/Hwy 89 etc is displayed in real time at a specially created website by them at http://saweb.carsprogram.org/main.jsf# .I am sure Mercury news readers can be benefitted by this information while planning their skiing trip.I hope we can share this information with our readers.
Thanks
Bhavesh



I also wrote this as a suggestion to our local bayarea 511.org with the following content


Hello ,
As the Winter and holiday season is starting more people would be travelling to the Tahoe/Reno area for skiing etc.
One of things I always have been wanting to see before I drive is if there are any road advisories(like weather advisroies) which would alert me to all the flashing lights which Caltrans etc have for some of the electronic signboards like say for example if we need tire chains etc.
One of the cool websites setup by the Sacramento Region travel Information(511 for Sacramento) which displays all the electronic display signs on the freeway like I-80/Hwy 89 etc is displayed in real time at a specially created website by them at http://saweb.carsprogram.org/main.jsf# .I am sure 511.org readers can be benefitted by this information while planning their skiing trip.I hope we can share this information with our readers by providing a link to it on 511.org's website.

Also it would be cool if our own bay areas 511.org would also carry similar information as that would be really "cool"

Thanks
Bhavesh

posted at: 06:59 | category: /sfbayarea | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Wed, 15 Dec 2010

San Jose bans plastic bags

San Jose became the largest U.S. city to ban plastic carry-out bags Tuesday with an ordinance that supporters said was the most far-reaching in the country aimed at encouraging shoppers to bring reusable totes.

The ordinance, approved on a 10-1 vote after two years of study, wouldn't become effective until Jan. 1, 2012, to allow for more public outreach. It would prohibit retailers from giving out disposable plastic bags at the check stand and require them to charge for paper bags.

"This is a great step," said Councilman Sam Liccardo. "It's an opportunity to lead on an important environmental issue."

Read more @ http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_16859889?nclick_check=1

posted at: 05:51 | category: /sfbayarea | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Sat, 25 Sep 2010

Discount on Tech Museum of Innovation

If you are planning to visit the Tech museum of Innovation and have a Santa Clara county library card  you can get a Tech pass from them.
Here are the details on the Tech Pass
"

The Santa Clara County Library and the Tech Museum of Innovation are working together to make The Tech more accessible to the community. Each library is given passes to distribute to library cardholders. The pass allows the library cardholder to receive discounted admission to the gallery exhibits at the Tech Museum for a group of up to 5 people. The discounted admission with the pass is $3 per person instead of the regular price of $10.

To receive one of the passes, visit one of the Santa Clara County Libraries or Bookmobile. The passes will be distributed on a first come basis and must be redeemed during the year they are issued.

"
More details @ http://www.santaclaracountylib.org/services/techpass.html

posted at: 15:00 | category: /sfbayarea | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Mon, 23 Aug 2010

Spare the air day on Aug 23rd, 2010

The San Francisco bay area is observing the spare the air day on Aug 23rd as it is going to be an extremely hot day , so please consider conserving energy, carpooling , working from home or using public transportation .
More info @ http://sparetheair.org/

posted at: 03:52 | category: /sfbayarea | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

Sun, 27 Jun 2010

Free field trip transportation by VTA

It is summertime and lots of field trips are planned by various schools.VTA has come up with the Class pass program  which according to their website

"This popular program allows teachers within Santa Clara County the opportunity to take their students on field trips traveling by VTA buses and light rail for free. Each teacher is eligible to receive up to two .class passes. every school year. This allows students, teachers and chaperones to ride VTA buses and light rail to museums, cultural events, libraries, and other popular destinations for free."

So encourage your schools to utilize this program.
Read more @ http://www.vta.org/schedules/fares/programs_class_pass.html

posted at: 14:59 | category: /sfbayarea | permanent link to this entry | Donate via Bitcoin

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