Tuesday, November 18, 2008

California Vacation February 2008

San Francisco in February is brisk and misty. We walked all over the city to stay warm while we saw the sights. No matter how often we visit, however, we always find a new vista. From the top of Coit Tower we had this dramatic view of San Francisco's unmatched skyline.

At the Palace of the Legion of Honor the line to get in the museum snaked around the building. So we just wandered over the grounds and admired the outdoor sculpture.

From San Francisco we traveled to San Diego to visit some friends working at San Diego State University. They took us to nearby La Jolla where seals and their pups had taken over the beach. At this time of year, they're able to have the beach all to themselves.

In February, New York's Central Park is slippery with snow and slush. Balboa Park in San Diego, however, is still a garden in bloom. Orchids, palms and other exotic plants fill the Botanical Building.

Between the Botanical Building and the Museum of San Diego History is this lovely Lily Pond. On the day we were there, a film crew was setting up in a grassy area nearby to record an interview. We didn't stay, however, to see who the local celebrity would be.

On our way back to northern California we spent several days exploring the Central Coast around Paso Robles. The area is often overlooked in the rush of traffic traveling between LA and San Francisco. But for those who take the time to slow down and look, there is a landscape that inspires. During the Great Depression, while William Randolph Hearst ruled his world from a mountaintop castle, children in the nearby village of San Simeon learned their ABCs in this one room school house.

Some 20 miles south of San Simeon is the community of Moro Bay. This town has one of the safest anchorages in California with Moro Rock standing as sentinel to protect the harbor entrance.

While less well known than Napa and Sonoma, the Central Coast has become one of California's premier wine growing areas. Over 100 wineries can be found in the greater Paso Robles area. One of the best wineries for Pinot Noir is located in nearby Templeton—Wild Horse Vineyards. It was cold and cloudy the day we arrived but the winery staff's hospitality made our visit enjoyable. The conversation among the guests was friendly and the wine was wonderful. Just outside the tasting room I took this photo of the stormy sky.

We ended our California sojourn in the Sacramento River valley. While most states talk about renewable energy, in California the hillside windmills capture electricity for the future.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Seal bay in La Jolla absolutely rocks. Shame that they are actively trying to get rid of the seals
La Jolla Seals has more on the la Jolla seals plight. Do leave a comment in support of saving the seals