Carol Highsmith still focused on that golden (actually orange!) San Francisco icon

It's hard not to play tourist in San Francisco. As hard as I try to venture away from the Golden Gate Bridge, every time I see a view, I screech the car and set up my camera. When huge cargo ships travel under the bridge, they seem like toy boats.

It is breathtaking to see the blue, blue water, the deep "international orange" bridge and the view of the shining city on the hill in the distance.

I have started to pull myself away from the birthday bridge and capture some of the thousands of other interesting places in the City by the Bay. These tiled steps, located on 16th Avenue in the Golden Gate Heights neighborhood, pay homage to loved ones and the spirit of the community.

And the California Academy of Sciences is fascinating! Look at this albino alligator. One of only 50 (that we know about) in the entire world! From a great distance he (or she) looks like one of those tiny ears of corn.

It's difficult to know where to go first in San Francisco. The historic Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District, for instance, is a monumental structure originally constructed for the 1915 World Exposition in order to exhibit works of art . One of only a few surviving structures from the expo, it is the only one still situated on its original site.

But go where I go, and try as I might, I can't take my eyes, or my lens, off that bridge. I'll try harder tomorrow.

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