During our recent visit to Northern California we had a chance to take photographs at several picturesque places. Dawn’s brother, Brad, also an amateur photographer, took us to Twin Peaks for views over the City, to the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park and to Baker Beach.
Above: Brad and I lining up our shots over the City.
The first stop was Twin Peaks (elevation 922), not far from where Dave and Melanie lived when they were in San Francisco. The day was sunny and warm and the views were panoramic and spectacular .
Dawn was enthusiastically clicking away as well.
We could see the Golden Gate Bridge to north.
St. Ignatius Church, a San Francisco icon (located on the USF campus) is in the foreground below.
After leaving Twin Peaks we drove to the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park and strolled around for awhile.
The tea garden was designed and built by Makoto Hagiwara, a Japanese immigrant, in 1895. Hagiwara supervised the complicated construction, meticulously shipping fish and plants from Japan and bringing over workers who were skilled in Japanese gardening. Over the years the trees and plants matured and the garden became a beautiful and serene place. Hagiwara died in 1925, but his family continued to maintain the garden. When World War II broke out, the Hagiwaras were served with a notice to evict and transported, along with most other Japanese Americans, to relocation camps. The garden became known as the “Oriental Tea Garden” and soon fell into disrepair. After the war some members of the Hagiwara family returned to the garden for a time, though apparently they eventually lost control. According to ErikSumiharu Hagiwara-Nagata, the tea garden has gone downhill since then. Even so, we found it a beautiful place to visit.
We also stopped at Stow Lake and took a few photos. I love the colorful mallard ducks.
Then it was on to Baker Beach, where we had a nice view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The northern end of the beach is “clothing optional” and quite a few of the bathers that day opted to forego all or most of their clothing.
The next day we headed for home. We decided to take advantage of the good weather by driving to the coast and spent most of the morning and early afternoon taking pictures along 17-Mile Drive, where Pebble Beach, Cypress Point and other famous golf courses are situated. Once again, the weather was wonderful.
We stopped and took pictures of the aptly-named “Bird Rock.” Our feathered friends made quite a din — even louder than the crashing waves.
The ice plant was in bloom and created a nice reddish-green carpet in some areas.
This Lone Cypress is one of California’s most enduring landmarks having stood on its precarious perch for more than 250 years. It serves as the trademarked symbol of the Pebble Beach Company. After changing hands a number of times over the years, I understand the company is now owned by a group of limited partners, headed by Arnold Palmer, Peter Ueberroth and Clint Eastwood.
After finishing 17-Mile Drive we stopped in Carmel. We had not been there since our tenth wedding anniversary in 1976, thirty-four years ago. At that time we spent a long weekend there with good friends John and Christy Christiansen and had a great time. My parents, who lived in Ventura, watched both our children and the Christensen children — quite a generous gesture that I now understand more fully.
The light sand beach was beautiful and looked pretty much the same as we remembered it.
Dawn pointed me to this colorful picture in a little courtyard off the main street.
When we visited in Carmel those many years ago we stayed at the Hofsas House. Dawn wondered if it was still there and was able to find it on the map. We drove by and took a picture for old times sake.
When we were in Carmel in 1976, Dawn and I had our photo taken in an old-time photo shop. This is how we looked then.
Much has changed since 1976. My parents have passed away, John and Christy were divorced (and each have remarried), our children grew up, and we now have the pleasure of watching our own grandchildren when their parents go on trips.
By the time we pulled out of Carmel it was four o’clock. We realized it would soon be dark and the drive along Highway 1 would be more tedious than fun. We had a lot to do at home, so we decided to just head back the quickest possible route. This meant retracing our steps back to Salinas, then turning south along Highway 101 and eventually east to Interstate 5. We arrived home tired about 10:00 p.m., fatigued, but it had been a great day.