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Our Second Anniversary San Francisco Trip - September 15 and 16, 2009


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

It's been an incredibly busy week, but I wanted to share the photos from our nice two day mid-week getaway for our second anniversary. We spent two days in Golden Gate Park, and there is so much beautiful vegetation there that we took tons of pictures.

Our anniversary was on a Tuesday, so we took Tuesday and Wednesday off to spend the day leisurely going through the park and visiting both the deYoung Museum and the Conservatory of Flowers.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

We had a picnic on our anniversary near the Conservatory of Flowers on Tuesday afternoon. Here's the bench where we shared some fruit, cheese, veggies, hummus, and naan. It was bright and warm out, and we enjoyed sitting in the sun.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Outside the Conservatory of Flowers, we came across a drum circle, which is pretty common for the park. Usually we find them across the street at Hippie Hill, but this time they were gathered near the flower beds. It's nice to see that we keep some culture in the park.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

After lunch we headed to the Dahlia Garden behind the Conservatory of Flowers. The dahlias were all in bloom, so I took tons of pictures! Here's a few of my favorite varieties.

This red and yellow flower is so vibrant and rich! I love the delicate inner petals, and the way the yellow tips fade into the red.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

I really love these little round varieties of dahlias. Mark made a comment that it looks like they've been trimmed into their perfect shape, but they just naturally grow into little petal puffballs. Aren't they neat? They had several colors of this type as well.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

This big beautiful bloom reminds me of a watercolor painting. The purple is so delicate on the white background of each petal that it looks like each petal had been hand-painted. So pretty. I also love the hint of yellow at the center.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Hey, who's that handsome fella down there taking photos anyway? I wonder if he'd like to come to dinner with me ;)


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Another fun and BRIGHT variety of dahlias to photograph. We spent about a half an hour snapping photos around these beds, but we could have easily spent another hour or two out here with the amount of varieties planted.

I can't wait to have a yard so I can plant some dahlias myself. They grow really well and don't require all that much maintenance, and look how gorgeous they are!


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Just past the dahlia beds there were a whole bunch of lilies growing up the hill. I love how thin and papery their petals are, and I love the color variations on the internal petals.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

I'm always intrigued by the size of these big trumpet vine blooms. The coast must be the perfect climate for them, because I've seen them predominantly in San Francisco and Santa Cruz. The vine itself gets huge, and these flowers are at least twice the length of my hand. I couldn't get close enough to get a better shot of the inside of the flower without disturbing the bed below them, so I can't show you their little pinkish centers. Very cool flowers though!


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

To the left of the lilies and hanging vines there's a tribute to the Painted Desert. Different cactus and succulents live in this area, and collected red rocks and petrified wood line the bed. Mark and I really enjoyed the nubby little cactus at the bottom of the big striped plant. They look like they don't have thorns, but rather just little studs all over the leaf of the plant. I'm sure the little studs are a bit thorny though!


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

This succulent plant had taken over the entire hillside just up the way. I love this kind because it looks like little green rubber roses to me. Succulents are neat because you get all the interesting parts of the cactus without the weaponry. I used to have a small collection of my own, and someday I hope to have some scattered about my garden.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

As we were coming up onto Fuchsia Dell, we heard some rustling in the bushes. We came across this little guy! He was hanging out and looking for some snacks, so we caught a couple pictures of him while he dug around for bugs and worms. Cheery little buddy!


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Fuchsia is one of my favorite flowers! I love hanging flowers, and these are cheery and delicate and bring a lot of color to the spectrum. This purple and pink variety is one of the most commonly found, and there are a range of other colors as well. We were losing light fast when we got to the dell, so I snapped a few quick photos and managed to catch a couple good ones. Whew!


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

The fog began to roll back in, and we were tired and hungry from hiking and such, so we decided to head down to the coast for some dinner. We drove down to Ocean Beach and took a few minutes to relax looking at the coast before we went in for dinner.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Aww, anniversary smooches! <3


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Ocean Beach is at the opposite end of Golden Gate Park than where we started, but you can still see some of it as you're walking up to the restaurant. Here you can see the windmill that's near the Tulip Gardens. Mark and I plan to hit up the Japanese Tea Gardens and the Tulip Gardens next time we head up there.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

We ate at the Beach Chalet, which is a restaurant upstairs in a historic building. It's got a great view, fantastic food, and very nice servers. We've been there once before for lunch, and I was really excited to be back for dinner.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

We started with a couple tall beers and some nice seafood appetizers. We split a cup of clam chowder and some calamari. I'm pretty sure the beer was brewed either in-house or locally, too. Very tasty.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

By the time we got our appetizers, a live jazz band was set up and started to play. It was so perfect! They were mellow but upbeat and it was neat watching the guy play the bells. Later in the evening there was also a flute and a saxophone. It gave the place a great atmosphere.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

We had a great view of the ocean from the window at which we were seated. As the sun began to go down, it started peaking through the fog. By the time it was nearing the horizon, this is what you could see.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Mmmmmmmmmm.

Mark got chicken carbonara and I got seared scallops on a corn and bacon hash with some fancy sauce that was delicious. Everything was perfectly prepared.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

It sure was a nice evening! We were watching the sunset out the window as we waited for our dessert, and I had the waiter snap this picture for us.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Here's our oh-so-yummy dessert. We had a mango gelatin with a berry center that was both sweet and a little tart, and was light enough to not be too much after that big dinner. I was skeptical at first, but it was quite delicate and tasty. Plus it was pretty!


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Here's a short timelapse of the sun as it finally broke through the fog all the way at the last minute. The glass and the camera flare the sun's glare out quite a bit, but it's a nice little snippet of video.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

We had such a lovely dinner, and such a nice day! After dessert, we headed back down the coast a bit through the fog, and caught the freeway back home for the night. I just redecorated our bedroom, so it was nice to come home to a bed full of fresh new linens. We slept in a bit in the morning, and then headed back up to Golden Gate park.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Wednesday we started our day by visiting the Conservatory of Flowers. This is the main room, a big building with lots of glass painted white to protect delicate blooms and maintain a rather swampy atmosphere. I was thankful that it was warm, though, since Wednesday I managed to leave the bag with our coats, my sweater, and my scarf all sitting on the kitchen table. I was running around San Francisco in a tank top, and it was a little chilly! I was thankful to spend a little time warming up in the greenhouse.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Visiting the Conservatory was worth the wait. I've been wanting to go for a while, but they're closed on my day off, so it never worked out. However, once we got inside, I was overwhelmed with beauty. Everywhere you look, a beautiful and exotic plant was thriving and blooming. In the first room I got more photos on my way out than in because I was a bit overwhelmed at first, but here are some lilies that were so translucent that I could barely get the pink at the tips in the photo.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Here's the first of the carnivorous flowers in the conservatory. This vine grows flowers that resemble something fleshy that insects are attracted to thinking it'll be a meaty snack. They follow a fragrance emitted from the center of the flower, and get trapped in the belly of the beast! Flowers that eat bugs... now that's a way to do it! I should get a few of these to keep growing around my herbs in my balcony garden to help prevent infestations of little flies.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

The next room was filled with tens of thousands of orchids, some big, some minuscule, all delicate and amazing. These were small and precise, and I loved the patterns on their petals.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

This orchid was not only one of the smallest I've ever seen, with the center being smaller than my pinky, but the most unique that I've ever come across. I've never seen such an interesting shape, which looks to me like a plant in the act of dancing. Each orchid was slightly differently posed, making it look choreographed. I am in love with this flower.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

I can be honest when I say that these orchids are the smallest I've ever seen. While the last ones I showed you were small, these are itty bitty. The entire flower, which is eerily translucent, is only the size of a nickel. I had to stop and stare at these for a few minutes.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

The following room in the conservatory was the Aquatic Room, which opens up to a big central pond. Around the room are various hanging plants and the pond surface was covered by lily pads. This room was certainly the most humid of them, but it had some of the most exotic varieties of flowers, and had several types of ginger.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

The following room in the conservatory was the Aquatic Room, which opens up to a big central pond. Around the room are various hanging plants and the pond surface was covered by lily pads. This room was certainly the most humid of them, but it had some of the most exotic varieties of flowers, and had several types of ginger.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

One more carnivorous plant, another which resembles meaty flesh. This one was the most fragrant of the bunch, and was also my favorite.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

Here the cute huz and I are standing in front of the pond in the aquatic room before we headed into the next room.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

The next room was decorated to model after a victorian floral display house, where gardeners would keep flowers in large pottery in order to change out the display often, both to care for the flowers and to keep the display fresh for returning visitors. The center of the room featured an ornate planter, and all over the room there were displays such as this multi-orchid collection.


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Originally uploaded by theartofmegan

After viewing the Conservatory, Mark and I spent the rest of our Wednesday visiting the deYoung museum, seeing the Tutankhamen exhibit and viewing their permanent collection of African cultural art, Impressionist paintings, Americana art, and American Sculptural and Decorative Art.

We really enjoyed our nice two-day anniversary semi-getaway, and finished our evening by catching frozen yogurt with a few friends. So nice!

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