Sunday, July 31, 2016

Taking A Sunday Drive #39

The first time we visited California was in 2003. We followed I-80 almost all the way to San Francisco, leaving it to drive through Napa Valley once we got past Sacramento. There was a snow storm in the Northern Sierra Nevadas as we came through Donner Pass. Snow and slick roads weren't what I was expecting in California, I was glad to get down to the valley areas of Napa and Sonoma as well as getting off the craziness of I-80. Those vineyards were a peaceful and welcome sight.

Our son Mark had moved to Oakland and then across the bay to San Francisco. It was great to be with him and have him show us around. We did many of the usual touristy things, Ghirardelli Square, where Mark and Bud are pictured drinking coffee, above, Fisherman's Wharf, Coit Tower, Chinatown.....

....a boat trip over to Alcatraz Island and a self-guided audio tour of the famous prison, known as "The Rock".

Mark and I at Levi Square Park. We didn't ride a cable car while there, but we did ride the BART. We went to Ocean Beach and saw the Cliff House and the Sutro Baths Ruins. We ate in Chinatown, the Mission District and at The Stinking Rose. We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge twice, but mostly we enjoyed being with our son.

After leaving him and San Francisco, we headed north toward our daughter in Oregon, taking time to drive through the famous Redwoods and Chandler Tree - just as my grandparents had done fifty years before.

The second trip to California in 2006 saw us reversing the order, coming from Oregon down the coast to Santa Rosa, again to see Mark, this time for his wedding.

Me playing in the Russian River near Guerneville.

Seals on Goat Rock Beach at the Russian River estuary near Jenner.

Back in 2010, this time in Southern California along I-8 which paralleled the border fence with Mexico much of the route.

 Bud on the beach with the Coronado Hotel in the background.

Coronado Beach looked as though it was flecked in gold. It was beautiful. We also went to Imperial Beach.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull? I think I could happily live near an ocean or sea. I don't think I would ever tire of hearing the susurration of the waves or watching the light change over the water.

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