I’m two days’ away from flying to the States for Christmas, so I thought a good way to end my review of my favourite photos of 2013 would be to share one from San Francisco. After a fantastic wee trip over to Sausalito, we caught the ferry back in the prettiest light imaginable. I was finding it quite difficult to take photos, as even on a smooth crossing, staying steady wasn’t easy.
In the end, I was delighted with this one. The angle of the sailing boat against the hazy backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge and the double outline of the hills is satisfying to my eye. And it is a gorgeous reminder of that beautiful city. I only have to see it to smile thinking of both the beauty and friendliness of the city, but also of the constant laughter of being with my family and friend on that trip.
And while I may not be heading for San Francisco right now, I am heading for the same branch of my family….bring on the festive laughter, silly quizzes, adventurous cocktails and love that Christmas seems destined to deliver this year!
Happy snapping to all my fellow bloggers and see you for more snap-sharing in 2014.
When I travelled to California earlier this year, I was hugely privileged to stay for a few days with a friend who lives up in Humboldt County, way up with the redwoods. I took many photos in and around her home, which was full of beautiful details. This is my favourite. I’m a fan of anything rusty and this was gorgeous – the ram’s head is the beater for a triangle hanging by the front door, which could be used to ring out to family and friends spread across the 80 acres of land. It’s a piece of rusty perfection.
For context, here is a panorama taken on the land…
The Cathedral of Mission Dolores is beautifully lit, thanks to the orange stained glass high in the walls. To this day, I’m not sure whether it was the stained glass or the rich wood itself that created so many different hues in these pews. Whatever the cause, I think the effect is wonderful; where the eye expects uniformity, it is given subtle waves of colour.
Lose shoes may well become a photo project in its own right next year. I am always mystified by single shoes lying derelict in public places. How did someone manage to lose it and not notice? Surely not every piece of left footwear is discarded by a drunk or drunken reveller? But if you’re not drunk, why else would you leave one shoe behind?
This particular shoe caught my eye because it’s so neat, tidy, clean and – with the lace still tied – it looks as if the person whose foot had occupied it had evaporated a few moments before.
Perhaps I’ll create the ‘Lost Shoe Bar’. Up high (where you can’t smell them!) shoes on display and every night around a wood burner, folks turn up and tell or sing the tales behind a particular half a pair. If anyone ever walks in with the matching shoe, they get free drinks in exchange for the real story.
It’s hard to believe that it’s already two months ago that I was anticipating the arrival in San Francisco of my dear friend Heather. The wonderful thing about blogging after the event is that it gives me a great way to remember every laugh, every bit of sight-seeing and every glorious glass of California red drunk!
There are many fab things to do in SF and I would put The Japanese Tea Garden right up there near the top of the list. It’s a glorious little corner of delicate loveliness. To get there, we walked up through Haight Ashbury, as we had to have a little look at the ‘hippy’ area.
It was a really bright day, so my pictures of the Japanese Tea Garden aren’t brilliant but hopefully these will give you an idea of how nice it is.
We also sauntered around the Botanical Gardens. I like the way the gardens are divided into the world’s regions, so that you step from one type of flora to another.
The next day’s sightseeing was to Mission Dolores and to see the Mission district murals. The first is San Francisco’s oldest building. It’s thick adobe walls mean that it has withstood all the earthquakes. It’s a wonderful chapel with a cathedral next door and I’m glad I visited.
The murals are great. We didn’t have much time, as we were heading off to meet my Aunt and Uncle, flying in from Atlanta that morning, but what we did see were wonderful.
And then it was time to reunite. I have the most welcoming family imaginable in the states and they all ‘re-adopted’ my friend Heather in super quick time (it had been many years since she had visited Boston with me).
Thursday dawned bright and clear again. No San Francisco fog for us at all! After a morning at the Asian Art Museum, we headed off for Sausalito, for gorgeous ice cream and a very hospitable bar, The Wellington Arms pretending (and failing in the best way possible) to be an English pub!
Friday was Dave’s birthday and it was off to Alcatraz for us. I had underestimated how interesting it would be. The culture snob in me couldn’t figure out what could be so fascinating about a prison. I stand corrected. It was superb. Great location with amazing views back to the city and an audio tour that immerses you in the prison stories. I highly recommend going. Alaz (see what I did there?!?!), I forgot my camera.
The day finished with an undoubted highlight of the trip; supper in a private dining room at Restaurant Gary Danko. Great food, pretty place and the best company.
The menu was mouth-watering.
I started with Lobster salad, moved onto the scallops, main course was seared tuna, then cheese and finally a lovely dessert that I failed to snap!