TCO Employee Visit to San Francisco Bay Area & Houston

Prior to the Chevron Facilities Engineering (FE) Conference and CPDEP Forum in Houston the week of September 24th, seven TCO employees will visit San Francisco for tours of Chevron facilities.  The plan is for the TCO employees to arrive no later than Monday September 17th, with the Chevron tours scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.  This posting is intended to share relevant information with the TCO employees to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

Arrival at San Francisco Airport

Remember to bring a sweatshirt or light coat with you – San Francisco is typically cool in the summer and you may wish you had a coat once you get outside.  After you deplane you will go through US customs, followed by pickup of your luggage.  You will then be directed to exit out into the International Terminal.

Check with Aissaule regarding arranging a shuttle from the Airport to the hotel in Berkeley if several people arrive at the same time.  One of the popular shuttle services is Supper Shuttle –

Another option to get to the Berkely Hotel is to take BART (see link below for maps and schedules).  The BART station at the airport is in the International Terminal (I use BART to get to / from the airport for all my rotation travel).  Once you retrieve your luggage you will empty out into the International Terminal greeting area.  Turn to your right and walk about 100 meters and take the escalator (on your right) up to the next floor – you should see signs for BART.   There are also some elevators on your left if you have a lot of luggage.  Once on the next floor exit off the escalator with a short right into the larger terminal, then turn left and wraparound and you are at the entrance to the airport BART station.  If you need to use the restroom there are some straight ahead just before you make the left into the BART station.  You purchase BART tickets at machines on either your right or left – suggest you use credit cards.  Believe the trains leave about every 15 minutes.

On BART you will go through San Francisco, underneath the Bay, and then travel into Oakland.  You will need to get off the BART train and transfer at 12th Street / Civic Center BART station in Oakland (this is the station immediately after the West Oakland station).  You want to catch the Richmond Train (not Fremont or Castro Valley) – there will be signs but believe you will need to go downstairs to get on the Richmond line.  Once downstairs catch the Richmond train and then get off at the Downtown Berkeley Bart station (4 stops later).  Follow the exit sign to “Shattuck Avenue / Allston Way”  – the Berkeley Shattuck Plaza is across the street on the corner / to the right when you walk up the stairs to the street.

San Francisco Airport to Berkeley Hotel

Berekely is about 30 miles from the San Francisco Airport.  If you take a shuttle you will travel north and pass through the city of San Francisco.  After traversing downtown San Francisco you will travel across the Bay Bridge (not the Golden Gate Bridge) to the Oakland / Berkeley area (also know as the “East Bay”).  On your left you may be able to see Alcatrz (island) where a famous prison was located (it is now a national park and visited by many).

If you take BART you will see none of this as the subway travels underground through Downtown SF and also under the Bay.

You will be staying in the Berkeley Shattuck Plaza Hotel – here is a link to this hotel.

This hotel was selected as it is strategically located between Richmond Refinery, San Ramon Headquarters, and San Francisco.  You will be picked up / dropped off each day by shuttle van for your Chevron and Sightseeing tours (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) but in the event you would like to visit San Francisco on your own you can use the local subway which is named the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system.

 BART Maps and Train Schedules

USA Trip Schedule (will update as individual tour plans finalize – the overall plan is final)


Day Activity Comments


Monday Travel from Atyrau to San Francisco Travel Day


Monday Check in to Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, CA See link to Hotel above


Tuesday Recovery Day No group plan – free day for individuals to rest and sightsee


Wednesday Field Trip to Richmond Refinery (all day) Pick-up at Hotel at 7:30 am.


Wednesday Group Dinner San Francisco?


Thursday Field Trip to Richmond Technical Center to meet ETC Materials Specialists (morning) Pick-up at Hotel at 7:30 am.


Thursday Field Trip to San Ramon HQ (afternoon) Plan is to eat lunch at Chevron Park in San Ramon; we will be meeting some people from Project Resources Company (PRC) and some Upstream Executives.


Thursday Group Dinner Evans Home in Orinda, CA


Friday Sightseeing Tour Muir Woods and Napa Valley; pick up at Hotel at 9 am


Saturday Rest Day Break between Tours and Travel to Houston – no group plan – free day for individuals to rest and sightsee


Sunday Check out of Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, CA  


Sunday Travel from San Francisco to Houston Travel Day


Sunday Check in to Waterway Marriott Hotel in The Woodlands, TX See link to Hotel below


Sunday FE Conference Icebreaker Starts at 5 pm?


Monday FE Conference (all day)  


Tuesday Learning Day (FE Conference / CPDEP Forum) (all day)  


Wednesday CPDEP Forum (all day)  


Thursday CPDEP Forum (all day)  


Friday Field Trip to ETC Machinery Center or Power Center (morning) Shuttle from hotel departs at 7 am; have tours scheduled with ETC beginning at 8 am.


Friday Rest Afternoon No group plan – free afternoon for individuals to rest and sightsee


Saturday Check out of Waterway Marrriott Hotel in The Woodlands, TX  


Saturday Travel from Houston to Atyrau Travel Day


Sunday Arrival in Atyrau Travel Day

Sights to See in San Francisco

Here is the fun stuff.  Following is a list of things to do in San Francisco – you should probably do some web searches or get your hands on a tour book but here are my thoughts on places to see / things to do:

  1. Golden Gate Bridge: – you can walk across this iconic structure; it has great views of the City (that’s what us locals call San Francisco), the Bay (San Francisco Bay), and the Pacific Ocean.  Visiting in late September usually means good weather – hopefully we will catch one of the great days.  Most likely we will go to dinner in San Francisco as a group after the Richmond Refinery tour.  If we do this we will drive from Richmond into San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge and will stop at the Vista Point at the north end of the bride for pictures.
  2. Fisherman’s Wharf: – This is a very popular tourist area – there is a picturesque harbor with working boats where you can go out fishing (it’s a full day event if you want to do this – be careful if you get seasick).  There are food stands, shops for souvenirs, restarurants, etc.  Be a bit careful here as there are a lot of tourists and pickpockets that like to sneak up on you.  Fisherman’s Wharf basically runs from Pier 39 to Aquatic Park.  Beyond Aquatic Park (going west towards the Golden Gate Bridge) is Fort Mason, the Marina Green, the Presidio – you can walk through each area and ultimately walk right up to the Bridge.
  3. Pier 39: – this is one of the main attractions of Fisherman’s Wharf area.  People enjoy watching the Sea Lions lounge on some floating docks right next to the pier – they bark and nip at each other.  There are lots of them during winter but there is usually some year-round.  At the back end of the pier they have some free entertainment, usually magic or a comedian (though they do pass the hat around).
  4. Ferry Building: – This is located right below the Bay Bridge and at the beginning of Market Street (the main downtown street) and The Embarcadero (the road the travels along the San Francisco coastline from the Ferry Building to Fisherman’s Wharf).  Within the last 10 years they have refurbished the Ferry Building and they have lots of small food shops and some days (Tuesdays and Saturdays?) an outdoor Farmer’s Market (where local farmers come and setup tables, selling their products).  The Ferry Building is about a block from the Embarcadero BART station – you can travel over from Berkeley via BART, walk over to the Ferry Building, and then follow The Embarcadero around to the west, which will take you to Fisherman’s Wharf (about a 20 minute walk).  This is a very popular walk, highly recommend it.
  5. Union Square: – this is the prime shopping district in San Francisco, right next to Downtown.  If you want to go here directly on BART you should get off Powell and Market Street (the station is named Powell Streets).  This puts you at the intersection of Market Street, 4th Street and Powell.  Powell is where one of the Cable Car lines terminates.  Across the street on Market is where Nordstrom (my wife’s favorite), Bloomingdales and many other stores are located.  To get to Union Square you walk two blocks up Powell Street to Geary St – lots of shops are in this area including Macys (my favorite).
  6. TIX Bay Area is walk-up box office selling half-price and full price theater tickets on the day of performance and full-price tickets in advance to select events. It is located in Union Square – the pavilion is on Powell Street between Geary and Post.  Hours are 10 am to 6 pm.  If you want to go to a show that night you should go there early to get the best available seats.
  7. Cable Cars: – these are historic transportation but not cheap – believe a ride now costs ($10) – when I lived in SF in the 80s the cost was $1.  These cars have been in service for over a 100 years – there are two main lines.  Most tourists catch the car at Powell and Market and go to Fisherman’s Wharf, via either the Powell-Mason line or the Powell-Hyde line.  If you take the Powell-Hyde line look across the street and you will see the Buena Vista, one of my all time favorite San Francisco Bars (they are famous for Irish Wiskey which is coffee, sugar, wiskey and cream).  The other cable car line goes up and down California Street – it is less crowded but not as picturesque.  You can catch this cable car at Market and California Street, about a block away from the Ferry Building.  If you have time you can also visit the Cable Car Meseum at 1201 Mason Street –
  8. Yerba Buena Gardens: – this is an urban park not to far from Union Square, south of Market Street.  Surrounding streets are Mission, Third, Howard and Fourth.  This park is built on top of the Moscone Convention Center – I come over here and wander around with my kids – there is a pretty good food court in the Metreon Building, plus a multi-plex Movie Theatre.  The park is really two square blocks – the second block is across Howard Street to the south.  If you like museums the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art ( is right across from the park, on Third Street, between Mission and Howard.
  9. The Presidio: OR  This is a national park that was a military base for years, dating back to 1776.  It was transferred to the Park Service in the mid-90s; the last 10 years they have been recovering habitat and getting rid of the old military buildings.  You walk through it from Fort Mason / Marina Green to the Golden Gate Bridge.  The area you are walking through is also known as Crissy Field – when this was a military installation they used to land planes along the shoreline here – this stopped about 40 years ago, and recently they have turned the habit back into marshes, ect. which is was before the city was formed..
  10. Golden Gate Park: – this is a famous park, very large, over 1000 acres in size.  My memory is it is 3-1/2 miles (almost 6 kilometers) long and 4 large blocks wide.  It starts in the Haight Ashbury district (famous for the Hippies) and goes west to the Pacific Ocean.  Lots of things to do in the park – might be fun to rent a bicycle and ride around (you can rent at either Avenue Cyclery at 756 Stanyan Street or inside the park at Stwo Lake Boathouse) – would be most of a day if you wanted to do this.  Places to see are the Conservatory of Flowers, the M.H de Young Museum, the California Academy of Sciencs (includes an Aquarium and other science stuff), and Japanese Tea Garden.  I used to live near this park, great place to walk, jog or ride bikes.
  11. Alcatraz: – this island used to be a federal prison, from 1933 to 1963.  It is in the middle of the Bay and had a reputation as a prison you could never escape from (because you would have to swim through the cold bay waters with the potential for sharks – though I believe the sharks are typically in the Pacific Ocean, not the Bay).  This is a very popular tourist attraction – not sure the history translates well to those who did not grow up in the USA.  If you want to go you should order your tickets before you arrive in San Francisco – recommend you catch the first Ferry if you can.  The Ferry dock is right next to Pier 39 on the way to Fisherman’s Wharf.
  12. Angel Island: – a state park that is also in San Francisco Bay.  It is a much larger island, has some history, and great for walks or bike rides.  If you do this definately plan on a full day.
  13. Coit Tower / Filbert Street Steps: – this is a great vista point that is you can see from your walk along the Embarcadero, from the Ferry Building to Fisherman’s Wharf.  It might be worth a detour or visit – great views and some history about the City.  One neat way to get there is to walk up the Filbert Street steps – these are some connected walkways that go through the Telegraph Hill Neighborhood (Coit Tower sits on the top of Telegraph Hill).

Here is what I recommend for a full day outing – take BART over from Berkeley and get off at the Embarcadero station.  Walk down Market Street (just a block or two) and browse through the Ferry Building and the Farmer’s Market.  Then walk from the Ferry Building (looking at the Ferry Building you turn left) along the Embarcadero to Pier 39, and then onto Fisherman’s Wharf (this is about a 30 minute walk – the center of Fisherman’s Wharf is about another 10-15 minute walk past Pier 39).  You might like to take a slight detour and check out the Musee Mechanique  ( which  is a museum of mechanically operated musical instruments and antique arcade machines (it’s free but costs some change to play the games).  Continue past Fisherman’s Wharf, through Aquatic Park (you will see a large grassy area on your left and one of the cable car roundabout – there is a little cove on your right – you pass though some outside stadium seating on your left – sometimes people are sitting around playing music) and when you reach the cresent shaped pier (also known as Aquatic Pier) turn left and climb the steep hill into Fort Mason.  At the top of the hill you will see some steps on your right, walk down and then turn left, follow the road around to the large grassy area, knowns as the Marina Green (the Marina Green is about another 20 minute walk from Aquatic Park).  You can walk along the path on the bay side of the Marina Green then it will take you back to the roadway where you walk by the marina (docked sail boats) on your right.  Keep walking until you come to another field (usually there are people hanging out, maybe playing vollyball), and turn right and walk towards the bay (probably another 30 minute walk).  Here you will find a walkway that takes you alongside the bay all the way to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge (takes you through the Presidio) – It’s about 1-1/2 miles from this point.  One way walk from the Ferry Building to the Bridge is about 5 miles, lots of things to do, to see and eat along the way.  Remember to bring a sweater or sweatshirt / coat and your camera.  It can be quite windy along the Bay so you might also want a hat or scarf.

Here is the link to Trip Advisor that Aniya provided by email:

Sights to See Outside San Francisco

  1. Muir Woods: – for those who want to go on the group sightseeing tour on Friday 21 September we will visit here in the morning.  This is a famous state park, just north of San Francisco, with very tall redwood trees.  It is named after a famous naturalist, John Muir, who helped save the remaining redwood forests in Northern California as well as Yosemite.
  2. Napa Valley: our plan is to go to the Napa Valley for sightseeing and wine tasting.  Exact wineries we will visit still to be determined.  There are lots of options – here is a link to the tourist site Aniya put in an email:
  3. Monterey: – there is an excellent aquarium in Monterey which is about 2 hours south of San Francisco – need a car to get there but if you are in the Bay Area for a couple days this may be a worthwhile visit.
  4. Stinson Beach: – north of San Francisco (about 20 miles) is an excellent beach that locals and tourists go to – just adding to the things to see list in case you are a beach person.  Northern California beaches do not have the same vibe as those in Southern California – but this one is special.  Be aware that the water here is quite cold – you will not see many swimmers.
  5. Point Reyes: – another national park that is north of San Francisco.  We like to go up here for hiking and oysters.
  6. Yosemite: – the most famous national park in California.  It is over 3 hours from the Bay Area by car.  If you are spending more than a few days in Northern California this is well worth the visit.

Returning to San Francisco Airport

We will sort out how everyone gets to the airport after you are in the Bay Area – believe everyone is taking the same flight to Houston.

Arriving in Houston

The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel is about 20 miles from the Houston Intercontenintal Airport (the aiport is north of downtown Houston).  We will take a shuttle together from the airport to the hotel – WILL UPDATE WHEN ARRANGMENTS HAVE BEEN FINALIZED.

Here is a link to the Houston Hotel where the conference is / where we are staying: