I think I’d like to start a new tradition. I think I’d like to take a trip every year for my birthday. I don’t know how probable that may be, since it’s right around Thanksgiving, but it sounds appealing.

I decided to take a trip for my 26th this year. Considering my best friend is now in Denver, we’ve been traveling a lot just to see each other, so we decided we may as well meet up somewhere for my birthday. This month, we chose San Francisco.

It really wasn’t the best time to visit…but you can’t plan ahead for disasters that may happen. The Paradise Fire started just before we flew out there. The whole of Northern California was completely covered in smoke; the air quality was so toxic, it was a necessity to travel with N95 masks. But we made the most of what we could.

However, because of the smoke, taking pictures was fairly difficult. Well, not difficult, but it felt like the quality of our pictures were suffering. But I’ll post what I felt was worthwhile anyway..

We started our day at the Bay Front Park to watch the planes take off and land in the early morning. Afterwards was a quick bite to eat at the Taylor Street Coffee Shop, then a trip over to Crissy Field.

Regardless of all of the smoke, people were still active; there were several hikers, fishers, and tourists alike at the park.

It was at this point that I got distracted and started only photographing the birds..

The smoke definitely added an eerie feeling to the environment.

After my obsession with the pelicans passed, I no longer felt the desire to take out my camera. However, our day did continue with your typical tourist traps: Lombard St, China Town, Fisherman’s Wharf, etc…just to end in complete exhaustion.

Hopefully our next trip will be a little more successful.

Mary Jane xx

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