L-188
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What To Do In California

Fri Jan 02, 2015 5:49 am

Hey guys.

It looks like I am being forced to take some vacation time from my company. I am looking at two weeks to kill.

So right now I am trying to develop a working plan on what to do.

Right now I am thinking of flying into Frisco, spending a day or two there and then heading up to northern CA to see family and then down to LA. Are the drive time estimates on Google maps accurate?

I do want to spend some time down in LA area and visit Planes of Fame and the CAF SoCal wing. And I understand Squad 51 is at the LA County Fire museum. Any other thoughts on what else I should see?
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seb146
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RE: What To Do In California

Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:08 am

I have lived in Sonoma wine country for five years and I have yet to hear anyone call it "Frisco" so lose that. And, I have noticed, people in the Bay Area consider themselves to be "Northern California" just so you don't sound so much like an outsider.

Also, drive times are wildly inaccurate. Due to the stupidity of the average human, drive times from here to the city (it is 60 miles from my house to San Francisco) can range from 45 minutes to over 3 hours. Bridge tolls on all Bay Area bridges are collected in one direction only.

As far as "what to do" it really depends on what you are into. There are wineries, olive groves, cheese factories, beaches, hiking, biking.... I have found, in five years here, the food leaves something to be desired. But, then, I came from a 30 year stint in the Pacific Northwest, so anyplace else has no really good food places.

You say you are driving north from San Francisco. I don't know how far north, but Luther Burbank was famous for potatoes and the Shasta daisy. One of his homes is in Santa Rosa and there is a farm and museum in Sebastopol, west of Santa Rosa. Also, the Peanuts complex is in Santa Rosa, which was the "children" of Charles Schulz. There is also Guy Fieri's two restaurants in Santa Rosa. Sun House is in Ukiah as well as the Vichy Springs champagne baths, visited by Jack London.

I guess I look at travelling through the eyes of a pessimist. I love exploring new places but, I know I will be disappointed before I even get there, so I try to lower mine (and everyone's) expectations before so we are not disappointed.
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L-188
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RE: What To Do In California

Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:20 am

My Niece and Nephews, who I have never meet are up by Chico, What I am thinking is flying in SFO on the red-eye, which comes in at 8 in the AM and then spending at least one day or three days there(depending if I fly on a Tues or Thurs) rather then trying to drive north.
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Aaron747
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RE: What To Do In California

Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:27 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 2):
My Niece and Nephews, who I have never meet are up by Chico, What I am thinking is flying in SFO on the red-eye, which comes in at 8 in the AM and then spending at least one day or three days there(depending if I fly on a Tues or Thurs) rather then trying to drive north.

So you mean you'll spend 1-3 days in Chico instead of by the bay?

Again, it really helps to know what kind of stuff you'd like to do. There's reasonable and upscale wineries, superb Mexican (or any other ethic) food, great nature spots/hikes with no people around, unique and wacky museums, all within an hour's drive of SFO.
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seb146
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RE: What To Do In California

Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:37 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 2):
My Niece and Nephews, who I have never meet are up by Chico

All I know about Chico is there is a university there. Redding has a neat museum at Turtle Bay. I think that is like an hour or so from Chico. If you were in the Bay Area, just start driving and you will find anything interesting.
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29erUSA187
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RE: What To Do In California

Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:44 pm

Oh my god. Where do I start.
Ive lived in CA all of my life, so I have a decent understanding of what to do.

In San Francisco, I recommend taking a boat across to see Alcatraz, its pretty spooky in there. Definitely WALK across the Golden Gate, and just spend some time walking around downtown San Francisco. The Bay area is pretty, but everything you would want to see as a tourist is in SFO. In the LA area, if you want a nice beach, I recommend Malibu or Santa Monica, or If you are committed to a long drive, Santa Barbara. As an A.net member, If you are near LAX, there is a certain In n out that is calling your name. There are definitely some parts of LA I don't recommend walking around in, such as near the college USC. If you are in that Area, the Science museum is worth a visit, because they have an actual Space Shuttle in there. (I'm not sure if they have mounted it upright yet)

If you are interested in an industrial Area, Long Beach is pretty nice. They have a MASSIVE port up there with some ships that can dwarf and Aircraft Carrier. Theres a bunch of Oil Refineries too, as well as the old McDonnell Douglas Facilities near Seal Beach. If you can, I recommend coming down to San Diego, the nicest part of CA (though I may be a bit biased). Here we have the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, beautiful beaches, great hiking and biking inland, and a very pretty, safe downtown. If I were you, I would fly into SAN, as our approach is something you will remember for a while! Two weeks isn't enough time to get a good understanding of CA, especially if you are going up and down the coast.

If you drive down from Northern CA to LA, I recommended stopping by VCV. The old metal there is pretty impressive. Last time I was there, there was a KL MD-11, QF 763, BA744, and lots of QF 744's clearly visible from just the perimeter road!
 
L-188
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RE: What To Do In California

Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:12 pm

Well I've modified the plan a bit since then. I found out that the first week I will be down there is the same week that they younglings have spring break.

Instead of flying into SFO,I think I will end up flying into Sacramento, and then heading north to visit family and then fly down to LAX.

San Fransisco really deserves its own trip, thanks for the advice Seb146

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 3):
So you mean you'll spend 1-3 days in Chico instead of by the bay?

My first plan was to fly into SFO on the red eye, and I didn't think I wanted to make the drive north without resting, and since I was going to be there anyway my first idea what to check out the town.

Quoting 29erUSA187 (Reply 5):
If you are interested in an industrial Area, Long Beach is pretty nice. They have a MASSIVE port up there with some ships that can dwarf and Aircraft Carrier. Theres a bunch of Oil Refineries too, as well as the old McDonnell Douglas Facilities near Seal Beach. If you can, I recommend coming down to San Diego, the nicest part of CA (though I may be a bit biased). Here we have the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, beautiful beaches, great hiking and biking inland, and a very pretty, safe downtown. If I were you, I would fly into SAN, as our approach is something you will remember for a while! Two weeks isn't enough time to get a good understanding of CA, especially if you are going up and down the coast.

If you drive down from Northern CA to LA, I recommended stopping by VCV. The old metal there is pretty impressive. Last time I was there, there was a KL MD-11, QF 763, BA744, and lots of QF 744's clearly visible from just the perimeter road

and
Well my working plan is park myself in Camarillo for a couple of days. I may rent a car then and have some driving. I am also thinking then moving into LA proper and trying to do some basic tourist crap in that town but using the public transportation rather than paying for a rental.

Any thoughts on that plan?
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seb146
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RE: What To Do In California

Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:39 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 6):
Instead of flying into SFO,I think I will end up flying into Sacramento, and then heading north to visit family and then fly down to LAX.

That would probably be better since Sacramento is close to Chico and you will not have the Bay Area traffic. SMF is not anywhere near Sacramento, so you can simply hop on I-5 and go. IIRC, it is only about two or three hours drive. I have done it so often, I lose track of time and space.

Both San Francisco and Los Angeles deserve their own vacations, IMO. We are leaving on a road trip in the morning and stopping for one night in Burbank to visit in-laws then head east to Sedona and Grand Canyon. Because we have decided we are not going to stay anywhere else in Southern California, that takes care of what to do for us there!
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mirrodie
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RE: What To Do In California

Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:45 pm

As an av enthusiast, you have to schedule in 1-2 hours for a burger and fries at the In and Out burger while plane spotting outside LAX.

There is so much to do there though. Union Station, Olivera Street for Mexican food.

See what the cousins recommend  
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L-188
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RE: What To Do In California

Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:57 pm

Quoting mirrodie (Reply 8):
As an av enthusiast, you have to schedule in 1-2 hours for a burger and fries at the In and Out burger while plane spotting outside LAX

I was think of trying to find the one that is over by Larry Sellers house....I think it is on Pico.

Seriously though, that is one thing on the list as a generality, find some good local places to eat, or chain restaurants that we don't have in Alaska.
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LAX772LR
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RE: What To Do In California

Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:43 pm

Quoting L-188 (Thread starter):
Right now I am thinking of flying into Frisco,

Step one, would be to stop calling it that. No one from here does.  

Quoting mirrodie (Reply 8):
As an av enthusiast, you have to schedule in 1-2 hours for a burger and fries at the In and Out burger while plane spotting outside LAX.

Agreed, though be prepared to be woefully disappointed... as In-N-Out is absolutely NOTHING to write home about. It's just a crappy fast-food burger, plus homefries with Thousand Island+cheese slopped on them. But there's an undeniable hype about it, and you should indeed try it for yourself, if for nothing other than to say you've done it.

As far as spotting goes, everyone knows about Imperial Hill, and the garage near In-N-Out. But there are some lesser-known, but closer (and less crowded) areas such as the Bridge, and the Neighborhood Dune, that I can show you if you'd like. They're a bit harder to find (you'll have to park remotely, then hike a bit) but very much worth it.

Send me a PM when you're getting close to coming. I can at least give you directions, if not able to join you.

Enjoy SoCal!
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L-188
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RE: What To Do In California

Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:20 pm

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 10):
Quoting L-188 (Thread starter):Right now I am thinking of flying into Frisco,
Step one, would be to stop calling it that. No one from here does.

I'm not from there 
Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 10):
Agreed, though be prepared to be woefully disappointed... as In-N-Out is absolutely NOTHING to write home about. It's just a crappy fast-food burger, plus homefries with Thousand Island+cheese slopped on them. But there's an undeniable hype about it, and you should indeed try it for yourself, if for nothing other than to say you've done it.

Yeah, my sister doesn't like them....but we don't have them up here and I am looking forward to trying out some restaurants we don't have. Besides I just don't want to believe that Steve Bushemi would lie to me like that.
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L-188
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RE: What To Do In California

Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:29 pm

Actually where I really need help with LA is figuring out what part of town to stay in considering I don't want to rent a car and use the public transport system.

Right now in LA proper, I do want to visit the LA firefighters museum. Any thoughts on where would be a good part of town to base out of and what to see.
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29erUSA187
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RE: What To Do In California

Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:12 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 6):
Any thoughts on that plan?

LA public transportation is a joke. If you want to go any where meaningful or near the coast, rent a car. Again, I highly recommend the science museum (The space shuttle is incredibly cool), and even the La Brea Tar Pits. Those are fun to walk around in, + they have a nice museum there. If you really want to be a tourist, you can stop by hollywood and the walk of fame (again, rent a car for this) but I find that area crowded and annoying.

If you do end up renting a car, bring beach stuff, and just drive up and down the coast. Nothing beats a Malibu or Santa Barbara Beach! (Except maybe SXM   )
 
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RE: What To Do In California

Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:28 am

Can't quite figure out if you're still staying in Chico or not, but if you are ...... Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is based in Chico and offers quite a few brewery tours.

You sound like you might be a beer guy.

http://www.sierranevada.com/brewery/california/brewery-tour
 
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RE: What To Do In California

Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:53 pm

Quoting seb146 (Reply 1):

I have lived in Sonoma wine country for five years and I have yet to hear anyone call it "Frisco" so lose that.

Lol, just tourists. Same down here with "SoCal". Never seen anyone who actually lives here calling that.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 6):
Well my working plan is park myself in Camarillo for a couple of days. I may rent a car then and have some driving. I am also thinking then moving into LA proper and trying to do some basic tourist crap in that town but using the public transportation rather than paying for a rental.

Any thoughts on that plan?

You should really go ahead and keep that car for your trip duration. Rentals are usually pretty cheap & while PT is a lot better now than it was 15 years ago, it's probably not up to vacationer standards just yet. You mentioned planes of fame, by way of example. That's about fifty miles from LAX and there's no PT option that would get you between those two in less than three hours.

Our FWYs can be pretty awful at times, but they're also very straightforward and it's still a better bet to hang onto that car if you can.
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RE: What To Do In California

Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:17 pm

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 15):
Same down here with "SoCal". Never seen anyone who actually lives here calling that.

*hangs head*

We in the Bay Area call our area NorCal, though...

Quoting johnboy (Reply 14):
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is based in Chico and offers quite a few brewery tours.

mmmmm.... Sierra Nevada..... A close second to Anchor Steam.
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sccutler
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RE: What To Do In California

Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:31 pm

"SoCal" and "NorCal" are pilot terms - the names of the respective TRACON facilities. I can see how participants in an aviation forum might migrate to that. Just words, everyone knows what they mean, and really - I don't care if someone can tell I am not from there (amazingly few are, anyway,m to be truthful).

---

Alcatraz is a must-see - but be certain you book a reservation well in advance; you cannot just show up with any hope of going the same day.

---

Very good aviation museum at Chino.
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LAXintl
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RE: What To Do In California

Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:38 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 6):
I am also thinking then moving into LA proper and trying to do some basic tourist crap in that town but using the public transportation rather than paying for a rental.

Only effective way to get around is a car.

Unless you want to waste lots of time making various connections and seeing the less desirable parts of town, stick to a car.

If you really dont want to drive than I'd say opt for a taxi, or something like a ridesharing service though obviously the cost add up.

Lastly, for a simple tourist tour of LA, Star Line Tours has a hop-on-hop-off bus double decker bus that covers much of the interesting parts of town which you might want to see. The Yellow and Red tours will show you much of the city.

http://www.starlinetours.com/los-angeles-tour-hoho.asp
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RE: What To Do In California

Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:34 pm

I agree for Los Angeles dont waste effort trying to figure out public transit. Its much a massive place it can take hours to get across the city if you utilize public transit connections. Car is indeed the way to go.

However as LAXIntl mention, that tourist bus is interesting. I know people that have taken it and over the course of a couple days have seen many areas. As you can get off and reboard as your own schedule you make your own itinerary using the bus and see things that interest you along the way.
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L-188
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RE: What To Do In California

Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:57 am

Ok, I have plane tickets now.

I went ahead and got a rental for the 10 days I will be there. Flying into Santa-Anna. So figure I get there late Wednesday night and then head to Ventura County.

What my working plan for those 10 days is at the moment is to find a hotel near Camarillo or Ventura and hang there for a few days exploring and then move south.

SoCal Wings museum has their restoration days on Thursday and Saturday so I definite want to be at Camarillo airport on those days. I am now thinking maybe I can hit Chino on the trip south.

Thanks for the advice guys. Please keep in coming.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 16):
Quoting johnboy (Reply 14):Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is based in Chico and offers quite a few brewery tours.
mmmmm.... Sierra Nevada..... A close second to Anchor Steam.

OHHH there is an idea but I am not sure how easy it is going to be for me to pull away from my Niece and Nephews who I will be meeting for the first time, the oldest is seven.

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 15):
Rentals are usually pretty cheap

I went though Costco to rent a car and was shocked at how cheap those ten days where going to be.
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LAXintl
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RE: What To Do In California

Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:02 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 20):
Flying into Santa-Anna. So figure I get there late Wednesday night and then head to Ventura County.

You do realize SNA to Camarillo is something like 95miles? LAX would be 55 or so and BUR close to 40miles.
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L-188
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RE: What To Do In California

Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:05 am

Yeah, Its just the way that the fight schedules fell for my trip home.

Believe it or not I have to change planes in LAX to get to SMF! Flight time wise it was the shortest run.

But I will end up with a CRJ leg out of that deal.
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RE: What To Do In California

Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:21 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 11):
and I am looking forward to trying out some restaurants we don't have.

Then for God's sake, don't waste your time with that crap.... try actually cool stuff:

Get some Ethiopian Dorowot at Meals By Genet, on Fairfax near Olympic.
Get the best authentic Peroguies at Warszawa on Lincoln (in Santa Monica).
Get the "Spicy" Korean Chicken Wings (not hot, just flavorful) at OB Bear on W 7th Street near Vermont.

But sheesh, In-N-Out? lol.
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mham001
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RE: What To Do In California

Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:35 am

Quoting 29erUSA187 (Reply 5):
The Bay area is pretty, but everything you would want to see as a tourist is in SFO.

Thats not quite true, there is a world-class coast line just to the north and south with good beaches around Santa Cruz. Some people really want to see some redwoods too which begin 10 miles south or so.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 17):

"SoCal" and "NorCal" are pilot terms - the names of the respective TRACON facilities. I can see how participants in an aviation forum might migrate to that.

I think it's more than that up here, I routinely see NorCal window stickers, I think there are some gang connotations sometimes too.
 
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RE: What To Do In California

Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:18 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 23):
Get some Ethiopian Dorowot at Meals By Genet, on Fairfax near Olympic.

I can attest to this restaurant being amazing. It is pricey though.

Although people think it's old news, "Fig & Olive" is great

If you want to try (arguably) the best Dim Sum in the United States, go to "Din Tai Fung" in Arcadia, Glendale, or Costa Mesa. You may have to wait 2hrs on weekends. Their Soup Dumplings are supposed to be phenomenal.

Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles is an LA Classic. Great Soul Food establishment.

While I'm sure most places in Miami would have it beat, Versailles is a very good and established Cuban restaurant in LA.

A great site to check out:
http://la.eater.com/
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: What To Do In California

Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:31 am

Quoting mdsh00 (Reply 25):
I can attest to this restaurant being amazing.

   It really is a hit outta the park, the place is extraordinary!

Quoting mdsh00 (Reply 25):
It is pricey though.

I don't find it pricey at all, especially considering the quality you get and the huge portion size.
Most entrees are $14-18; a tray of 2 entrees+veggie combo sides, EASILY feeds a party of 4 adults.

But here, decide for oneself-- menu and prices are on her new site:
http://mealsbygenet.com/

[Edited 2015-01-06 01:33:04]
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bmacleod
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RE: What To Do In California

Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:02 pm

If I ever get to California I'd love to see the Giant Redwoods..

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RE: What To Do In California

Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:54 pm

California is such a great place to be in, you can go snowboarding in the morning, and surfing in the surfing in the evening. If you get a chance, catch an Amtrak Surfliner to San Diego, the ride is worth it. Them tour San Diego, because it is a great town.
 
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RE: What To Do In California

Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:22 pm

Quoting 29erUSA187 (Reply 13):
LA public transportation is a joke.

Last time I was in LA, I did ride the Blue Line to Long Beach (it was part of an "industrial inspection tour"). Our group had an inspection train provided for our use. At the few stops where we detrained, security was on hand to make certain that the locals kept their distance from us.

That said, I do need to get back up to SFO sometime. One of my friends manages the Muni Car House that maintains the historic streetcar fleet.
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RE: What To Do In California

Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:44 am

Quoting L-188 (Thread starter):
Right now I am thinking of flying into Frisco,

Step 1:

[b]NEVER EVER[/i] call it that. It is "San Francisco." In WRITTEN (not verbal) shorthand, "SF" is acceptable. If you are in the Bay Area, then "The City" is acceptable verbal shorthand when referring to the actual proper City of San Francisco.

Example, two men in Oakland are talking:
A: "Where do you live?"
B: "I live in the City on Potrero Hill."

LA can be called "LA" in speech. Not so for SF.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 1):

I have lived in Sonoma wine country for five years and I have yet to hear anyone call it "Frisco" so lose that. And, I have noticed, people in the Bay Area consider themselves to be "Northern California" just so you don't sound so much like an outsider.

Srsly. Do not call it "Frisco." People will either instantly know that you're an ignant outsider or they plain ole' won't know what you're talking about. "Frisco? Where is that?"

The precise dividing line between NorCal and SoCal is a subject of intense debate, but I put it somewhere around Paso Robles. Certainly San Luis Obispo is SoCal and Monterrey is NorCal.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 2):
My Niece and Nephews, who I have never meet are up by Chico, What I am thinking is flying in SFO on the red-eye, which comes in at 8 in the AM and then spending at least one day or three days there(depending if I fly on a Tues or Thurs) rather then trying to drive north.

What red-eye gets to SF at 8AM? Are you in Hawaii?

Quoting seb146 (Reply 1):

I have lived in Sonoma wine country for five years and I have yet to hear anyone call it "Frisco" so lose that. And, I have noticed, people in the Bay Area consider themselves to be "Northern California" just so you don't sound so much like an outsider.

I recommend you check out Sonoma's or Solano's wineries. Napa is pretty and has plenty of wine, but it's so...done.

Then, you are an A.nutter, so Bayfront Park is the spotting spot for SFO. We still have more 744s than most other airports, so enjoy them while you can.

If you're into science, highly recommend the Exploratorium. The California Academy of Sciences is fantastic but you will wait three hours to get in.

But now, having read further down the thread, it appears that you aren't going to be coming to NorCal at all. Pity the Theme Building at LAX is closed. There's a great dog park just south of the Airport with fantastic spotting (if you don't mind the dogs). Otherwise, listen to the Angelinos on here.
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RE: What To Do In California

Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:22 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 30):
Certainly San Luis Obispo is SoCal and Monterrey is NorCal.

Well, if you want to get technical, Monterrey is in Mexico. Monterey (only one 'r') is in NorCal.

As for the LAX theme building, the observation deck is open 8-5 on weekends, and there's also a cafeteria on the ground level that's open daily. The Encounter restaurant (the one up the elevator) is closed until LAWA finds a new operator to lease and reopen the space.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: What To Do In California

Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:00 am

Quoting hawaiian717 (Reply 31):
Well, if you want to get technical, Monterrey is in Mexico. Monterey (only one 'r') is in NorCal.

'Toopid autoincorrect....

Quoting hawaiian717 (Reply 31):
The Encounter restaurant (the one up the elevator) is closed until LAWA finds a new operator to lease and reopen the space.

Best date with my husband was at that restaurant in 2010 or 2011, IIRC. He's psaL1011 on this board. We sat there, had lunch, and watch the TN A343 land (talk about a rare bird). The food was decent. The decor is amazing (amazingly chintzy!). But the view... Not many places have a view like that.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
mdsh00
Posts: 4033
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 11:28 am

RE: What To Do In California

Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:45 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 30):
What red-eye gets to SF at 8AM? Are you in Hawaii?

I thought he lives in ANC?

As far as other A.nutter things; I know Imperial Hill and the In-n-out are always mentioned. I would also recommend going to Dockweiler beach. It's a decent beach and beyond the end of the runways. It's fun to watch the heavies roar above your head.

Also, I know it's very touristy but the Griffith Observatory is worth a trip (especially for first timers). Best time to go is in the afternoon/dusk so you can enjoy the city lights at night.

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