Yesterday I headed for the shore. It was over 100 degrees in the valley and I couldn’t get the thought of how refreshing the coast might be, out of my mind. My sister-in-law was staying with us so I asked her if she had ever had lunch at The Cliff House in San Francisco. Her answer was, “I don’t think so.” and off we went.
View from Cliff House
Coastal Wild Flowers
Pelican Flight from Golden Gate
When we arrived it was foggy, the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge were not visible, and it was 60 degrees. We sat at a window seat, had a delightful lunch, and watched the fog move about the coast line and the Pacific Ocean. It was a beautiful sight. We lingered as long as we could and then took a, barely sunny, walk out to the Sutro Baths. They are long gone but the Cliff House readily reveals the history of the place which makes it easy to imagine just what it must have been like to visit here, many years ago. So, as this heat wave lingers, remember that people on the coast are living a charmed life in the summer fog. Maybe you should go and visit the ocean too.
I’ve missed a couple of weeks of posting and I’ve got a good reason why that happened. I’ve been in the south of France, staying in small villages and fully enjoying the sights. I had wanted to go to Provence, France to see the lavender in bloom but the timing was a bit off so I had to settle for the red poppies as they were still blooming about everywhere we went.
Just outside of St. Martin du Bromes.
Overlooking Lac du la Sainte-Croix.
France is filled with bug loving flowers.
I am happy to be home, but have had an incredible vacation with family and friends. It is a wonderful way to travel and a great way to get to know each other better while in a relaxed environment. These poppies were planted in remembrance of the lives that were lost to war. It seems like we are always at war some place in the world. Sad really. The poppies are beautiful but what they symbolize is war and it’s casualties. It makes you stop and think about the sacrifices people have made to keep us from harms way.
As we traveled about, it was hard to miss the metal doors with peep-holes, the stone buildings with metal shutters, and the lack of children playing in the streets. When I was a child we had many freedoms, so many that we didn’t realize how very wonderful freedom was. Today is different from then. There are often days when I miss those yesterdays.
I wrote this blog last week and couldn’t find a proper title for it. I usually have the title before I start writing. I think I now know why I struggled so much with this. My new book was delivered to me last Monday and I have been examining 1,500 books. It is an unbelievable task to do, but especially at this time of the year. I have thirty days to complete my proofing of the books. I am so happy that the book is only eighty-eight pages. I don’t even want to do the math. The photos below bring me back to a sense of peacefulness and stillness. So, while I am page turning, you can go get a glimpse of my book at http://www.bonniedimicheleinmemoryof.com The book is in full color and has thirty-two poems of loss and inspiration that I wrote over thirty years. It is also on Amazon.com and you can purchase a signed copy by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org Here is last weeks blog.
Here are a couple more photos from our trip to Yosemite that remind me of the chilly morning walks that we took. We would go out the back doors of the Majestic Hotel and take the pathway that led away from the hotel. At the top of the bridge, the sparkling ice crystals caught my eye. The crystals and the rushing water glistened in the sunlight as they passed under the bridge.
The reflective view under the bridge was just as beautiful as the viewing of the ice crystals while standing on the top of the span. It was quiet and still, even with the movement of the water passing by. It felt rather like the park was our own personal space. I guess it is our personal space, as it has been preserved for all of us to enjoy. I like to look at these photos at this time of year. It has been so hectic and this lulls me back to a simpler pace. I know things will slow in the year ahead but not for a while with us. Interior home walls are coming down when we round the corner into January. I should print these photos so I can remember the tranquility that we found in Yosemite National Park.
Not too long ago we took a cruise to Alaska. It was more than I could hope for. There was wildlife everywhere, the food was great, and everything about the trip was memorable. We stopped in Skagway and went on a tour at the Jewell Gardens while there.
New Uses for Old Things
I have the most amazing handblown bowl from the tour. From where we were sitting, it looked so much smaller then when it was delivered to my home. I see it everyday and remember our amazing trip to Alaska.
Open Air Rooms
Skagway was the last place I expected to see amazing gardens. Alaska seemed an unlikely place to find glass blowers, these gardens, and a tea shop all wrapped up in one. It made me realize what one can do with a little creativity and a passion for what they love.
Gives New Meaning to the Flower Bed
If ever in Skagway, I highly recommend touring this place. I don’t think it would have stayed in my memory, like it has, if I had only happened upon it and just strolled by. The tour made it all the more worthwhile. I’m not sure about global warming but there was not as much snow in Alaska as I was expecting. Go see Alaska before it melts away.
You’re going to think this is a little crazy but almost everyday I awake and think, “I have a good life.” Maybe it’s because images like this one run through my mind. This is what I love about taking photos, once you have them in front of you, they tend to stay in your mind. People used to write poetry to help those images stay with them. We simply point and shoot and there it is, like an instant magical memory.
Quiet Sunrise in Hawaii
I think while shooting photographs, you are constantly looking to capture the most beauty out of a subject that you can. I look at the photo below and can remember the sound that was made as the surge of the waves would push up through the hole.
Then there is this beast. I only got to spend a short time with this subject but this image stays with me for some reason. I wish that I had more time to spend there but we were on a bus tour that gave us enough time to disembark, click, click, click and off we would go to the next quick stop.
Whirlwind Tour in Scotland
This next image takes me back to walks to the waters edge in England, good friends, and happy times. I know it’s often gray there but I found it to be a delightful place and now I can go back and pull up these photos and return to my wonderful memories any time I wish to.
Gray Day in Southern England
So look at my memories, and remember your own. Perhaps we all have, “a very good life.”
It has been raining in California. I am not complaining, I like the lakes catching water. It does make it difficult to take photographs to share on my blog. I started thinking about places I had been on clear days and this trip in 2005 came to mind. I went for a walk in The Garden of The Gods in Colorado Springs. It was a clear, crisp, morning and we had a little time to kill.
First Glimpse of The Garden of The Gods
It was the second time that I had been somepace where there were red rocks. The first was in Sedona Arizona and the rocks were covered with snow. I didn’t have my camera with me and I regret not having those images. I keep them safely tucked away in my mind, unfortunately I can’t share visual memories with other people unless I have photographed them. It was beautiful!
Storm on the Horizon
Towards the end of that day, we watched a storm grow out over the horizon. I had never seen anything like it in California. It was spectacular. It caused me to think about my family and how very fortunate I am to have them in my life. I wrote each of them a little Thank You and sent it, snail mail, to them. The final thought on the thank you was this; “Growing gracefully is a gift one gives one’s self and bestows on those who live around them.” Even though they were still young, I could see that they were growing in a manner that would be pleasing to themselves and those who came in contact with them. I am grateful for my family. They are the loveliest people to know. And yes, I am grateful for the rain and the time it yields me to reflect.
Sometimes I find it difficult to come up with new ideas to write about on my weekly blog. I was already two days late on this weeks blog, so…..
Clouds Over Italy
I decided to take a walk and see what might pop into my head. I was nearly halfway done, Dave Matthews playing on the iPod, when I noticed how very blue the sky was, so I looked up. (I’ve shared some fabulous clouds from my travels so you’d understand the type of clouds that I saw today.)
Hawaiian Rain Clouds
I found that there was an amazing large cloud above. It was the kind of cloud that makes you wish that you were lying in the grass on your old school yard sharing the shapes that you were finding in the clouds with your closest friends.
Reflective Clouds In Alaska
The shape of the cloud was the Continental United States. It had the land masses of Texas, Florida, and Maine included in it. Hawaii and Alaska were not included; nor was Mexico or Canada. It was just this perfect, puffy, white cloud of the U.S.
Clouds Over Scotland Locks
I didn’t have my camera or my phone on me, but maybe it’s better that way. I’ll just have to keep that beautiful memory tucked away in my mind.
I went on vacation last week with my family. We went to Santa Cruz, California. I grew up there and wanted the family to experience the place that I had grown-up in.
East Cliff Drive Thunderous Waves
We rented a house on the beach and found that the waves were constant and loud. They were also beautiful, the weather had some sort of fog everyday, and it was cool all the time.
Sunset Over Santa Cruz
I’d slip out during dinner and capture the sun as it set. I do so miss those sea-spray sunsets. They are the best that I have ever seen.
Tide Pool Color
We took a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and saw little orange sea anemone’s behind glass. I had never seen one in the open tide pools until the next day. There it was, the only one. The color reminds me of the sunsets. We had a great time. Sharing tide pools with grandkids is a blast! I’m so glad we shared this time together. Next blog will let you in on a place that I had longed to go back to and see since I was about eight……It is beautiful too, but in a completely different way.
The Sierra, in springtime, is a lovely place. The meadows are filled with lush green grasses and the dandelions fill those fields with golden flowers for a time, and later, white spheres of wishing flowers.
Sierra Spring Dandelion
Remember those times as a child when you couldn’t wait to find a perfectly formed dandelion to make a wish and attempt to blow the seeds into the wind with the thought that your wish would, indeed, come true. I know a couple of little people who love dandelions. I do so enjoy watching them and letting them take me back to my younger years. What were those wishes that I was hoping would come true? I don’t remember; do you?
It’s hard to get away from the water when you’re on an island. I suppose that is the very reason that so many people visit Hawaii every year. I find that I don’t want to leave its memory behind, once I’ve returned home.
My Favorite Color Lives Inside This Wave
I thought that I’d share these waves with you, as once I took the photo, I found that there were things I wasn’t even noticing while I was standing on the cliffs. The yellows on the hill are reflected in the waves. I only saw the blues of the ocean, separate from the yellows on the hill while I was there, but the colors are clearly merged in the photograph.
The reason I don’t want to leave the force of the waves behind could be that the blending of power and beauty are so harmonious in nature.
I hope that these photos fill you with peace, power, and the Aloha spirit, to sustain you throughout your day.