Monday, 23 February 2015

I-94 Name Correction on L2

My wife had a typo in her name on the I-94 - not something we noticed till we started planning a trip to the DMV. So we went to San Francisco and got that corrected.

1)  Documents required : L1 passport, L2 passport, I-797, Employment verification letter

2) Where : 630 Sansome Street, 8am -2pm , Mon - Thu ( there is also a San Jose location)

3) Time required: 30 mins

The officers verified the documents and corrected the name, so my wife now has a correct I94.

It was quick and seamless, but I recommend that you check your I-94 as soon as possible after reentering the US and if required get it corrected.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

San Pablo Bay Trail

Enticed by ads for the San Francisco Bay Flyaway festival we decided to visit Mare Island to visit the festival,  find a trail and spot some birds. Luckily the weather was great and we were able to do all 3. 
Starting from the peninsula we drove to Vallejo via the San Mateo Bridge - google maps does try to send us over the Bay bridge, but this way is a little less chaotic. The drive took about 40 minutes and was mostly along the freeway. To access Mare Island you have to cross the Mare Island Causeway bridge -a Vertical Lift Span Bridge.

You have to drive through some retro style old navy buildings and warehouses - the historic Mare Island Naval Shipyard to reach Expo Building 253 to visit the San Francisco Bay Flyway festival. Once there the festival was an interesting collection of  information about the San Pablo Bay and its wildlife including photo and art exhibits, a series of lectures - we attended the ones on the American Kestrel and Ferruginous Hawkand some eclectic stalls - mostly staffed by birding enthusiasts. We asked there for directions to the closest trail and were pointed to the San Pablo Bay trail.

This trail is beautiful if a bit eerie, with a vast marshland and little low tide islands along the trail. The trail is along a large squarish area fenced in with a high white fence, very foreboding. There is car parking (not obvious - drive down the unpaved road), dogs and bikes are not allowed, and there are danger signs posted warning of hazardous waste in the fenced in area. We spotted red-winged black birds, Canada geese and some ducks.

All in all a quiet walk in a wildlife and habitat refuge, where you can start to see the regenerative effects of restoration efforts.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Water Dog Lake, Belmont

This one is really close to where we live and yet, or perhaps because of it, we had never been there on of our weekend hikes. And since our 5yo with the active social life had a party to go to that evening, we decided to visit Water Dog Lake Park.  This park is in Belmont, on Lyall Way off Ralston. Its a densely residential area, and there is only street parking, so you may have to walk a bit to get to the park entrance.

 For the first mile or so, you will continue to see apartments and houses along and above the path, but soon you come to a downward road leading to the lake lake. There are a couple of trails around the lake of varying lengths, and very popular with cyclists. This park is also very popular with Dog owners as dogs are allowed in the lake and its fun to watch them having fun. We also saw a couple of kids fishing in the lake and they actually caught 3 fish while we watched!

While this is a simple walk, things to look out for include - poison oak, rattlesnakes, mountain lions and no restrooms.