Thursday, October 28, 2010

Big Sur, part two

Here are some more foggy fotos from Big Sur.  When I started planning I decided that since my time was so short I was going to drive to Nepenthe, have lunch, and turn around.  Things didn't work out as planned.  It was so very foggy the view from Nepenthe was essentially staring into a white void.  No photos of it, alas.  I had high hopes!  The below will have to do, instead. 

Nepenthe would be worth a visit during clear weather.  It is quite an intriguing story.  Vast swathes of coastal land was bought by the Fassett family post-WWII from Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth.  They hired a protege of Frank Lloyd Wright to design the building which stands there now and they decided that the site was so magical it should belong to everyone.  Now you will find a restaurant and shop - and apparently some magnificent views.  I will take that on faith.  Nepenthe means, loosely "no sorrow" or perhaps "no cares".

What was interesting is that during my stay at the lovely B&B, one guest told me that when they visited Phoenix (the gift shop) they saw a simply stunning quilt by internationally renowned quilter/textile artist Kaffe Fassett.  They did not know it (and I only learned it first by talking to them), but, he is a son of the Fassetts who bought the home in the 40s.  Even more interesting is that his mother's family founded Carmel-by-the-Sea as an artists' colony!  When I used the Nepenthe "facilities" there was a large mural signed by Kaffe Fassett.  I think he now lives in London (another place after my heart...)

Regarding the photos, if anyone happens to know what the frondy vegetation might be called, I'd be much obliged if you would tell me.  I saw it EVERYWHERE along the coast. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Big Sur, part one

The second day of my trip I left Pacific Grove in the morning for a drive down the coast to Big Sur.  Despite the fog (or maybe because of?) it was a beautiful day.  I didn't have my tripod, so my photos aren't nearly what I had envisioned for this visit.  Nonetheless, here are a few.  I'll post a few more sets in the next few days. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Just then, I saw 20 heads bobbing in the water...

What a chilling sight.  Twenty heads, some torsos...  rolling up and down with the waves....  shudder.   The water had to have been 55 degrees, tops.  Nonetheless, the surfers were all having a whale of a time.  What was their porpoise?

This was just north of Santa Cruz, which apparently has surfing conditions par excellence... 

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea!

I took a brief hiatus from my job last week and spent 4 days visiting the central coastal area of California.  I flew in and out of San Francisco and meandered down Highway 1 from Half Moon Bay to Big Sur over the course of my stay.  My home for three of the five nights was in Pacific Grove at the Old St. Angela Inn. 

The time was far too brief but I got enough of a taste to wonder why I waited so long to visit.  I had never seen this part of California before.  I've long been interested in seeing the Steinbeck Center in Salinas, for instance, and who isn't curious about Carmel-by-the-Sea, Big Sur, and Pebble Beach.  I remember first reading about Carmel in the book "The Parent Trap" and of course the movie with Hayley Mills...  it sounded so glamourous (by-the-sea...  sigh...)

Below are a few photo highlights from the first day of my trip.  They are all handheld - no room for the tripod this trip.  I visited some beaches, and stopped briefly in Pescadero for lunch at Duarte's Tavern.  Duarte's Tavern was awarded the James Beard Foundation's America's Classics award in 2003.  It has been in the family for three, going on four generations.  Just this little stretch of Hwy 1 held so much interest and it's a shame I swept through in a matter of hours.  I could have spent days meandering through the small towns, hiking, taking photos.  This is what happens when you can only spare a few days off work. 

I spent the most time at Pigeon Point Lighthouse, which are the bottom six photos.  There is actually a hostel there, which is apparently quite a nice place to stay.  It has the location down, for sure!  The name comes from the wreck of the ship named Carrier Pigeon in the 19th century.  It holds a tie for the tallest lighthouse on the west coast of the US.

Friday, October 8, 2010


A toast to Friday!

Above:  from the Eremo Gaudio in Varenna, Lake Como.
Below:  from the Vecchia Varenna in Varenna, Lake Como.

All photos taken in Italy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rocky Mountain High... Colorado

In honor of the three year anniversary of my first/only trip to Colorado, enjoy some photos I took on that trip.  It's a beautiful part of the world and one I hope to return before too much more time passes by.  The slideshow for the whole trip is far below.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Where there's Smoke, there's Fire

I am so pleased that I have blog followers!  This means I have to try to be creative and not boring (or silent) on my blog.

Here are some photos of some real cuties.  I took them in early June and haven't gotten around to posting them yet (other than on Flickr).  My photo club sponsored an outing to photograph several raptors and the ones I've highlighted here were the most adorable.  I wanted to hug them, which probably would have been met with some consternation! 

They are both Eastern Screech Owls, just different colors.  They are tiny - I bet no bigger than a Yorkie dog.  One is named Smoke, the other is named Fire.  Down below I've included the entire set of raptors from flickr. 

The flickr set of 49 photos:
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