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Showing posts with the label California

Iconic San Francisco Landmarks

   Painted Ladies, Steiner Street and Hayes Palace of Fine Arts, 3601 Lyon Street   Balcutha on Hyde Street Pier Crooked Street (Lombard Street) Bay Bridge St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1111 Gough Street Yes, it’s easy to leave your heart in San Francisco. With the fog rolling in over the hills, the call of the foghorn, the chill in the air that makes you want to cuddle and the views over the bay, it’s not easy to let go. I left my heart in San Francisco High on a hill, it calls to me To be where little cable cars Climb halfway to the stars The morning fog may chill the air I don’t care My love waits there in San Francisco Above the blue and windy sea When I come home to you San Francisco Your golden sun will shine on me. I left my heart in San Francisco, Tony Bennett, Columbia Records For more information about San Francisco, visit  https://www.visitcalifornia.com/places-to-visit/san-francisco/ Or  https://sfgov.org/visitors ***** Images by TravelswithCharie

Easter Weekend at Pismo Beach

Pismo Beach Pier After months of staying indoors with only an occasional getaway to the supermarket, it was a huge relief to take a short road trip to the coast. The weather was warm and the sky was clear. Though Pismo Beach was hopping with weekenders, we found parking a short distance from the beach. Most of the people on the pier and on the beach had their masks on.   The wooden pier is 1,200 feet long and extends out into the Pacific Ocean. It was renovated in 2020. There are a couple of vintage Airstream concession stands along its length offering snacks, drinks and souvenirs. The pier is connected to the plaza which has shops, cafés and a children’s playground.    Stairs lead down to the beach from both the north and south sides of the pier. It was fascinating to see the pylons supporting the pier. The pier has the best view of the surfers who, this late in the day, are still waiting patiently to ride the big wave. Sunset is that time of day when everyone stands quietly staring a

Signs of Spring

  After months spent at home all bundled up in sweaters and shawls, it was refreshing to go out to the orchards and see the blossoms invade the once dried up trees. Ahhh, spring is only three weeks away but in California, it’s here. What a lovely day! Sound the flute! Now it’s mute Bird’s delight, Day and night, Nightingale, In the dale, Lark in the sky, Merrily, Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.... Excerpt from William Blake, Spring And since to look at things in bloom, Fifty springs are little room, About the woodlands I will go To see the cherry hung with snow... Excerpt from A. E. Houseman, The Loveliest of Trees ***** Images by TravelswithCharie

Conversation with Josefa Villanueva Reyes

Josefa Villanueva Reyes (Josefa Arnaldo) started her ballet training in the Philippines with Roberta and Ricardo Cassell (a student of Vincenzo Celli, an acclaimed ballet master, teacher and choreographer). She was formerly a member of the San Francisco Ballet Company, the San Francisco Opera Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet Celeste. Her performing experience includes multiple principal roles from the classical repertory.  Villanueva Reyes received a Certificate for taking part in the International Vaganova Conference/Demonstration in St. Petersburg, Russia which featured the entire 8-year system including Classical Dance, Character, History Dance and Variations. She has taken master classes from renowned Russian teachers including Sergeyev, Dudinskay, Golovkina, Kirsten Ralov and from Dina Bjorn. Further, she has taken classes under distinguished teachers in New York City including Valentina Pereyslavic, Leon Danelien, Frederic Franklin, David Howard and Juergen Schneider. Villanue

A Winged Goose

Sundial Bridge The bridges of Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, evoke musicality and flight. He likens the Sundial Bridge he designed in Redding, California to a goose in flight. Concrete, pylon, steel and glass panels span the Sacramento River. This is a working sundial. Sacramento River Sundial Bridge is 720 feet long and 23 feet wide pedestrian bridge. The deck is laid with 2,245 glass panels which are lit with 219 lights. It took eleven years to complete and cost $24 million.  Across the Sacramento River into the trees, the Sacramento River Rail Trail is a scenic 17.4 mile trail from Sundial Bridge to Shasta Dam. How to get there: Turtle Bay Exploration Park 844 Sundial Drive Redding, California Take Interstate 5 from California or Oregon, exit Highway 44 to Sundial Drive. Parking available. No entrance fee.  ***** Images by TravelswithCharie

Of Sunflowers, Blake and California Wildfires

Ah Sunflower! weary of time, Who contests the steps of the Sun: Seeking after that sweet golden clime Where the travelers journey is done. Where the Youth pined away with desire, And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow: Arise from their graves and aspire Where my sunflower wishes to go. William Blake Notice the sky in the background, heavy with smoke from the California wildfires. Over 12,000 lightning strikes caused hundreds of fires, scorching millions of acres in the last week. As dry and hot conditions continue, thousands of firefighters are struggling to contain the fires that are threatening to raze more homes. We need blessed rain. And more people who care about our planet to stem the tide of climate change. Have you heard the story of Apollo and Clytie? According to Greek mythology, Clytie, a nymph, adored Apollo but he fell out of love with her when he met Leucothoe. Overwhelmed by jealousy, Clytie told Leucothoe’s father about her relationship with Apollo and he punished his dau

October

What does October remind you of? Pumpkins and marigolds Golden trees and falling leaves "O hushed October morning mild, Begin the hours of this day slow. Make the day seem to us less brief. Hearts not averse to being beguiled, Beguile us in the way you know. Release one leaf at break of day; At noon release another leaf; One from our trees, one far away." Excerpt from October by Robert Frost Discovering there are other types of pumpkins Orange you glad Crawling vines turning red and gold Corn with black ears  Pumpkin pie. But can you make pies from these pumpkins with warts? Pleasant walks with a warm sweater Cool, crisp air Steaming and sweet apple cider Ghouls and trolls Trick or treat Candy Pumpkin wishes and Halloween dreams. What are your October feels? ***** Images by TravelswithCharie

After Christmas Sunset 2017

Every year, on December 26, I've taken photos of the sun rising from my front door. I woke up late this year and missed it but I was lucky enough to see the sunset from my favorite spot in Central California.  "May every sunrise hold more promise And every sunset hold more peace."  Anonymous I hope everyone had a happy Christmas day. ***** Images by TravelswithCharie

Urban Light

Halloween 2016

The one bright spot today was the Pumpkin Patch of Uesugi Farms in San Martin near Gilroy, California. The marigolds were so blinding that despite rain clouds, I needed sunglasses. This is the first year in business for this particular pumpkin patch and the little ones were having the time of their lives with the choo choo train and tractor rides through corn mazes. 

Yosemite National Park

“Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.”  Ansel Adams   The photographs of Ansel Adams have always been my guide to Yosemite National Park. We recently visited Yosemite and took many images of it in color but I'm posting black and white photos here for that singular Ansel Adams effect.   I still have that frog in my throat whenever I behold the wonders of Yosemite Valley.   Bridal Veil Falls “Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter.” A. Adams North Dome and Royal Arches “Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer - and often the supreme disappointment.” A. Adams   Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View “Both the grand and the intimate aspects of nature can be revealed in the expressive photograph. Both can stir enduring affirmations and discoveries, and can surely help the spectator in his search for i

California Central Coast

Sunrise on Pismo Beach California's Central Coast has some of the most breathtaking views in the world. Driving south on 101 from the San Francisco Bay Area, I passed rich farmlands and vineyards crawling up the hillsides. And halfway down to Santa Barbara, the beach towns of San Luis Obispo County are the hottest spots for sun worshippers. The outdoor tables at the Marisol at the Cliffs Resort on Pismo Beach offer premium seats for watching the fiery descent of the sun into the Pacific Ocean. Yes, it calls for a toast! It's always a treat to eat breakfast at Stearn's Wharf in Santa Barbara. Seacraft of all sizes ply the Channel in the early morning hours. A walk on the pier is a must with a full stomach. Camera at the ready, I spied a sailboat coming into the harbor. Ahhh, beautiful mornings are made of these. Santa Barbara Channel from Stearn's Wharf *  *  * Images by Charie

Christmastime in The City

Union Square An overnight stay in San Francisco is a welcome treat, especially during the holidays. The streets are abuzz with visitors during the day and there are many bargain finds for the hardy shopper. A stroll around Union Square enchants with decorated display windows vying for attention. And when evening descends upon the City by the Bay, thousands of Christmas lights illuminate the night sky. Neiman Marcus Atrium One of my favorite stops is Nieman Marcus. Their Christmas tree is a floor to ceiling giant barely scraping the beautiful stained glass dome. There's at least an hour wait if you decide to eat lunch at the Rotunda restaurant on the fourth floor with a view of Union Square. Best to make a reservation. An alternative would be the food court at The Cellar inside Macy's. It's crowded but there's usually a table or two. I ordered handrolled crab cakes from SC Asian. It came with a salad. It was all surprisingly good. There are also other restaurants to

The Best Roadtrip

Going home is my favorite roadtrip. Home is sweet, as the saying goes, but even more so when the road home passes through fruit orchards, vineyards, cornfields, roadside fruitstands, and you're following tomato or garlic trucks.  It's always a temptation to veer off the road to take a peek at bell peppers, strawberries, and pick up a basket of cherries for $1.00 or a bag of oranges for $3.00. Highway 152, Gilroy, California Then the season changes and the green corn stalks turn golden and the harvest begins. Cotton replaces corn and vendange  arrives before you know it. The fruit trees hibernate and the fields are barren for a time. Just when I'm beginning to despair with the bleakness of it all, the blossoming almond trees announce the advent of spring and the fields turn green once more. It's an incredible cycle of life to behold and it never fails to amaze me. I'm lucky and grateful to have as many reasons to go home. *  *  * Images by Charie

Weekday at the Beach

The beach at Half Moon Bay It's a great day when you're able to take off from work on a weekday and drive to the beach. No crowds to speak of. It's all yours - the sun, the big, wide ocean and the gift of serenity that washes over you as you stare out to sea. Half Moon Bay is a short ride from the Peninsula but a world away. The narrow and winding two lane road to get there is best taken when everyone is at work or else the stress of traffic will devour your  chi .  Fish taco At the Miramar Beach Restaurant on Mirada Road, off of Highway 1, we dined on fish tacos and shrimp and avocado sandwiches while watching Pacific waves caress the shore below. We also tried the crab cake appetizer, which came solo with cole slaw, so we divided it into two halves to share. The main entrées were served in more generous portions. It was a total dining experience. While the sun shone brightly, it was breezy. But we managed to take a few shots of the beach, deftly holding on

Oxbow Public Market

Kara's Cupcakes Exploring markets can be great fun if only I can control myself from rich temptations. Take for instance this beautifully presented Kara’s cupcakes which are individually created by hand. My cousin (who is one of the most generous people I know) gave me two. I should only have eaten one but there they were – a passion fruit cupcake with a pink heart and a “healthy” carrot cupcake with a sliver of nuts. I ate them on separate days so I was able to stretch my calorie intake over 48 hours. Small comfort because I couldn’t resist a crêpe du sucre from a French crêperie, no less. It was hard to pass by Annette’s Chocolates without buying any. A photo of their chocolates will have to suffice. Yum yum! Annette's Chocolates A real find was The Olive Press where we tried their Verde hand lotion. This moisturizing lotion is not only soothing to the skin, it also has a pleasing fragrance. The Olive Press Next door to The Olive Press is Tillerman