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The West Coast Tour

Whatever it is, I've had an itch to go check it out. I've been there a few times before but didn't explore much and certainly didn't see it through the eyes of a resident. So this time I'm heading that way in the RV.

This Thursday I'll head West from Austin, and hopefully drive 20 hours straight to Las Vegas. I love Las Vegas and have a few friends there, so it's hard to pass up an opportunity to visit. After Las Vegas I'll go to LA. I might stay for a few days, for a month, or something in between. I haven't decided yet.

Then from Los Angeles I'll go to San Francisco. I have a ton of friends there, some from middle school back in Boston, some from Austin, and a few from the old pick up days. I'm also hoping to make friends with some of the people involved in the tech community there. I've heard that parking won't be easy, but my friends have a couple ideas on places that might work.

San Francisco: A Dreamer's Paradise

On Imported Blog

Dense clusters of billowy white clouds blanketed the ceiling-to-floor window walls half-way around my room on the 23rd floor of San Francisco’s cool blue tower. The clear view of Bloomingdale’s from a day earlier -- completely masked. “This fog generally burns off around noon,” a housekeeper passing me in the hallway assured as I stood trying to photograph the street below from the window just outside my door. I wasn't worried. Fascinated; but not worried. From what seemed a plumb vantage point in the Intercontinental San Francisco Hotel, even behind the morning veil, the personality of the city shined.

[gallery columns="2" type="slideshow" ids="406,410,413,414,411,415,559,558"] As soon as I arrived, I set out on what I expected to be a 20-minute errand to the drug store. Instead, I walked the SoMa {South of Market} district surrounding my hotel for two hours. I was in love. Beautifully mild weather, libations from The Coffee Bean and a quick trip through the Union Square shopping area ... San Francisco had me at hello.

Stay here: InterContinental Hotel San Francisco Thirty-two stories above San Francisco’s vibrant South of Market neighborhood, the Intercontinental San Francisco Hotel became an instant landmark with its erection. It sits at Howard and 5th Streets -- a brilliant blue glass structure of 550 rooms, visible for miles. A complete package for all manner of traveler, the four-year-old luxury hotel’s amenities include: the Michelin-starred restaurant and bar Luce, a health and fitness center, indoor lap pool, jacuzzi, full-service spa, conference center, business center and an option of pet-friendly rooms. Outside, it’s situated next to the Moscone West Convention Center as well as within walking distance of Union Square, a blend of trendy and upscale restaurants, coffee shops and bars, and museums including the Museum of the African Diaspora, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

Wear this: Scarves & Blazers Layering is a must. Pack a lightweight scarf or pashmina, a blazer and comfortable shoes.

Culturally rich, it’s no wonder that San Francisco is also the backdrop for Steve Silver’s “Beach Blanket Babylon,” the longest running musical revue in theater history; nearly 37 years to be exact. Musical spoofs of pop and political culture, constantly retooled with parodies of current events and popular icons, are what audiences flock to Club Fugazie in the heart of the North Beach district time and time again to see. Add to that -- extravagant costumes, shimmy-inducing music and the likelihood of hobnobbing with celebrities who also drop in to catch the world-renowned show. If this sounds like something you'd enjoy, you'll need to plan ahead. Selling out shows for “Beach Blanket Babylon” is the norm.

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