Tokyo by way of CaliforniaIt turned out that the cheapest way from Calgary to Tokyo, by far, was to fly out of Los Angeles: instead of $800 flying through somewhere more direct, like Vancouver, Malaysia Airlines had flights from L.A. for $450. I decided to fly down to San Francisco, spend a few days there visiting a friend, and then spend a few days in L.A. before flying to Tokyo.
San FranciscoFrom when I was a kid, I've always been enamored of San Francisco: its reputation and history as hippie central, the epicenter of '60s counter culture, a bastion of American liberalism, the home of some of the most vibrant Asian communities in the West, great weather and tremendous natural and geographic beauty.
I didn't see much of San Francisco on this trip, as I was staying with a friend, Nicole, down in Silicon Valley.
The Big Red Breathing Lotus Flower in front of City Hall.
Saint Mary's Cathedral, near Japantown.