Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Golden State

Flowers along the Pacific Coast Highway 
Getty Villa 
Air Force One at the Reagan Library 
Here is my final installment of photos from my recent trip to California. Stay tuned, we will soon return to the beauty of Appalachia. :) So far I've shared images and thoughts of the Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. Today you'll see the rest of my trip including Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Pacific Coast Highway.

Touring San Francisco 
We covered a lot of ground in California, driving 1400 miles during our 10 day stay.  Landing at LAX and immediately being thrown onto the freeways there was a fitting introduction to the state. The traffic is bad practically everywhere. But no more so than in LA.  There's a very small window of sanity between 10am and 2pm. LA and Hollywood were not really 'draws' for me -- so we didn't stay long in LA, but did enjoy the Reagan Library and the Getty Villa and Getty Museum before heading to Fresno to visit family and see Yosemite and Sequoia. I will say this about LA, it was more beautiful than I expected. I guess I never realized that the city is surrounded by beautiful mountains. For those who live there, the beauty, the climate and the city itself must outweigh the traffic frustrations.

Cable Car to Fisherman's Wharf 
San Francisco was our next stop. It's a beautiful city, filled with interesting architecture (and people!) The best thing we did when we arrived was to take one of those city bus tours. Our driver was very knowledgable about the city and its fascinating history, and he took us all around the city getting us acquainted with it's various neighborhoods and 'must see' attractions.

Golden Gate Bridge 
I really enjoyed the 'City by the Bay,' it is such a colorful place. The people we met were friendly and easy going. Riding the cable car down Nob Hill was such fun. In terms of photography, there was no shortage of subjects. I think I could go back and stay a week and really enjoy photographing more of the city.

Along the Pacific Coast Highway 
Ocean view from the Hearst Castle
The final leg of our trip was driving along the Pacific Coast Highway. This has to be the most spectacular drive in the country.  A marvel of engineering, the road grips the sides of the mountains, giving travelers breathtaking views of the rugged shoreline and the Pacific. Like the Blue Ridge Parkway, it's slow going. Lots and lots of curves and pull-offs. We followed it for about 90 miles south of San Fran before taking a more direct, inland route back to LA -- but that 90 miles took us all afternoon to do -- but well worth it.  Along the way we stopped at the Hearst Castle to marvel at the intricate architecture, the opulent decor and the gorgeous views.

Well, that's it for my report on "My Summer Vacation" - hope you enjoyed it. We'll return to Appalachia in my next post!

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