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Paddle for Pancakes this Saturday

Not much could get me out in the waters at Mission Bay—I'm from Hawaii so unless the aqua is topaz-blue and 70 degrees, I ain't dippin' one single toe in it. But, dangle a stack of pancakes—dripping with that wondrous amalgamation of syrup and butter—in front of my eyes and I'll brave the current surrounding that industrial area anyday. Even better that I can put a nice sturdy kayak between me and the drink at the Paddle for Pancakes event this Saturday. Start at the boathouse at Mission Creek Sports Park at 9:30 a.m., where you'll get on-land instuction for kayak maneuvering and safety.

Escape From Alcatraz Today!

If you're reading this on Sunday, May 2, you're probably not one of the 2,000 wet-suit-clad triathletes who will be jumping off the San Francisco Belle steamboat that ferries the Escape From Alcatraz competitors to the famed prison island to start their sprint-length race. That's quite alright, because who says you have to push through a 1.5-mile swim in the freezing-cold Bay waters, a hilly 18-mile bike ride around the city and an 8-mile leg race through Golden Gate Park just to make your Sunday worthwhile? Here on 7x7's Get Out blog, we like to applaud those who honor their athletic limitations.

How to Eat and Drink Your Way Through Downtown L.A.'s New Scene

Travel writers would have you believe that downtown L.A. is having its moment. But when you’re there, staying at the new JW Marriott or the even newer Ritz-Carlton adjacent, you’ll soon realize that no one has yet told the denizens of downtown. Over a too-sweet guava collins enjoyed in the shared poolside lounge between the sister hotels, I told the bartender of my itinerary: two days of drinking and eating in the heart of the city. “I’m going to Church & State,” I announced. “And last night, we had some great drinks at The Varnish.” No flicker of recognition.

SF Traveler Personality Types: Insider Tips from a Foodie, an Adventurer, a Spirituality Seeker and a Road Tripper


Bay Area dwellers travel like they do everything else—passionately and competitively, with a willingness to go to the ends of the earth. Here are expert tips from four San Francisco traveler personality types.


Bay Area PaddleFest This Weekend!

Because my meager oar-rific experience consists of renting kayaks by the hour in Lake Tahoe and, um, being up sh*t creek without a paddle—an all-too-familiar occurence in my life—I'm thinking about checking out the Bay Area PaddleFest this weekend at the Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area in Fremont. Think of it as speed-dating for people interested in courting the kayak, the canoe or the paddleboard. The schedule is jam-packed with on-land and on-water clinics that range from the super basics (The Forward Stroke and Cartopping 101) to more advanced pursuits (Rolling Class and Kayak Fishing).

SF Travel Profile: The Adventurer

Harlow Salvador Newton, 38
Noe Valley; Owner, Tico Guide Travel and Buenaventura Eco-Lodge and Retreat;
Co Founder,


Obsessed with: Petzl headlamps, Leatherman multiuse tools, my little traveling Buddha
lucky charm.

SF Travel Profile: The Spiritual Seeker

Ami Mehta, 39
South Beach; Director of Innovation, Hinduja Group

Obsessed with: Yoga, surfing, meditation, Vedic astrology.

In the past five years: Been to India, Thailand, Hawaii, Costa Rica.

Best tip for surviving a retreat: Pack light, open your heart and go with the flow.

SF Travel Profile: The Road Tripper

TaggyLee Mermis Bowers, 34
Elementary special-education teacher


Obsessed with: It’s-Its, cheap rhinestone sunglasses, mechanical penny squishers.

In the last five years: Been to the World’s Biggest Box of Raisins in Kingsburg, California; Devil’s Backbone in Crater Lake, Oregon; Ostrichland in Buelton, California.

Plan B: Pomponio Trail, Memorial County Park

My boyfriend and I have definitely worn down many a tire tread driving to the perfect little redwood pocket known as Butano State Park, just off Highway 1 at Pescadero Beach. So, imagine our surprise when, after an hour-long drive from the city on Saturday, we roll up to the park entrance and instead of the usual newts and banana slugs and towering redwoods hailing our return, we find bright orange barricades and a sign that says, "Closed for the season." What happened next launched the flying pigs from their pen in a frozen circle of hell: I did not panic. I did not curse my luck. I simply—and calmly—stated the obvious, "It's time for Plan B."

$415 Million Needed to Keep Tahoe Blue

A recent SFGate article announces that the efforts to preserve California's most beloved alpine lake will soon receive—barring any hicups as the bill passes through the senate—$415 million to, among other worthwhile pursuits, eliminate a dangerous infestation of Asian clams, quagga and zebra mussels and remove erosion-and-sediment-and-fire-causing deadwood from 33,000 acres of surrounding forests. As always, the snarky commentors on SFGate bring up good points, especially @shutterbuggery who says, "The problem is too much development, too many casinos, too much of just about everything human. You can't turn back the hands of time—especially with introduced species.

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