Tag Archive | USA

In The Clouds

During Becky’s April Bright Square photo challenge I opened the archives to December 2019 and January 2020. Now I’m sharing more of our pre-pandemic holiday in California and Nevada with stories that just couldn’t be squared!

Postcards from America

We knew there was a fabulous view out there – we just couldn’t see it.

At Hearst Castle, just 8 kilometres inland and 490 metres above sea level, we should have been able to see California’s central coast and the Pacific Ocean beyond. Not on this very foggy day – the view was hidden by thick cold cloud.

And while the mist may have obscured the view it enhanced the beautiful gardens surrounding the castle, giving them an ethereal feel.

The muted light of this overcast day accentuated the brilliant blue of the Neptune Pool and the swirling fog made the colonnades, winged figures and Roman temple seem almost mystical.

It was as if the sculpture by Charles Cassou depicting the birth of Venus was made for a day like this.

Inside, a second pool glowed even more than the Neptune Pool. Surrounded by spectacular mosaics, Murano glass tiles and gold leaf, the Roman Pool was also more lavish. The perfect reflections on the undisturbed water magnified its opulence.

The splendour of the pools was repeated in the gardens surrounding the house. Even in midwinter flowers bloomed in rich jewel colours.

We may have been denied the views from the top of the hill, but up close the scenery was spectacular.

30 Read the Signs!

As part of Becky’s April Bright Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B, I’ve opened the archives to January 2020 to share our 19 day trip to USA. Join me on a pictorial travelogue of the best and brightest of our pre-pandemic adventures in California and Nevada! The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word bright. Look for #brightsquare.

Postcards from America

We’ve come to our last day in USA! 

Our flight wasn’t leaving until just before midnight. We had one full day in LA so we booked a whistle-stop tour of the city’s highlights. From Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach to Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, the Griffith Park Observatory and Hollywood, we saw it all. 

It was a thrill to see these famous places – many we’d read about or seen on TV. 

Even the street names were familiar.

We also had time for some last minute shopping – here…

and here, 

but not here!

29 Night Lights

As part of Becky’s April Bright Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B, I’ve opened the archives to January 2020 to share our 19 day trip to USA. Join me on a pictorial travelogue of the best and brightest of our pre-pandemic adventures in California and Nevada! The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word bright. Look for #brightsquare.

Postcards from America

When the sun went down the lights turned on at Santa Monica Pier.

And the best view of the night lights was from the top of the Pacific Wheel. 

28 Another Pacific Sunset

As part of Becky’s April Bright Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B, I’ve opened the archives to January 2020 to share our 19 day trip to USA. Join me on a pictorial travelogue of the best and brightest of our pre-pandemic adventures in California and Nevada! The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word bright. Look for #brightsquare.

Postcards from America

We’re back where we started, with another winter sunset in Los Angeles.  

Even after it disappeared below the horizon, the sun cast a rosy glow over Santa Monica.

The day may have been ending but the pier was lighting up for the night. 

27 After Dark

As part of Becky’s April Bright Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B, I’ve opened the archives to January 2020 to share our 19 day trip to USA. Join me on a pictorial travelogue of the best and brightest of our pre-pandemic adventures in California and Nevada! The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word bright. Look for #brightsquare.

Postcards from America

Evening was already closing in by the time we arrived at San Francisco’s Pier 39.

At the end of the pier, the sculpture Open Heart mirrored the luminous colours of the sunset. 

Even though it was almost night, we could still see the California sea lions who live around the West Marina. They had already gathered on the docks, their glossy pelts shining in the fading light.

The sky darkened and the sea lions began to settle but we were reluctant to leave and stood watching until they were no longer visible.

By the time we were ready to move on the sky was dark. The pier wasn’t dark though, with 1,800 glowing LED lights illuminating the San Francisco Carousel. 

After starting with beautiful artwork, our evening ended the same way. Across the water more LEDs, an installation of 25,000 called The Bay Lights, lit up the Bay Bridge, all the way from San Francisco to Oakland. 

26 Floral Beauties

As part of Becky’s April Bright Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B, I’ve opened the archives to January 2020 to share our 19 day trip to USA. Join me on a pictorial travelogue of the best and brightest of our pre-pandemic adventures in California and Nevada! The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word bright. Look for #brightsquare.

Postcards from America

The Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park is the oldest wooden structure of its kind in the United States.

We wandered through all five galleries, each one displaying the flowering plants of a different ecosystem.  

From the vegetation of Earth’s tropical regions to the world of aquatic and potted plants, the five rooms of the conservatory were aglow with dozens of vivid blooms in a kaleidoscope of colour.

 

25 An Iconic Ride

As part of Becky’s April Bright Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B, I’ve opened the archives to January 2020 to share our 19 day trip to USA. Join me on a pictorial travelogue of the best and brightest of our pre-pandemic adventures in California and Nevada! The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word bright. Look for #brightsquare.

Postcards from America

We couldn’t be in San Francisco and not go for a ride or two on a cable car. These iconic hand operated street vehicles have been in operation since 1873 and, of the original 23 lines, three still run in the downtown area. 

While the cable cars are on every visitor’s to do list, the museum dedicated to the history of cable cars is less well known. Located in the Washington-Mason powerhouse and car-barn, the museum tells the story of their ingenious inventor Andrew Smith Hallidie and the talented engineer William Eppelsheimer who put Hallidie’s ideas into practice. 

Many beautifully restored early cars are displayed along with artefacts including photographs, staff uniforms and maps. 

While the museum is located on the mezzanine floor of the building, the working operations of the powerhouse can be seen on the floor below. Winding machinery keeps the cables moving in a continuous loop, driving the cars outside on the streets. In the adjacent workshop, maintenance on the machinery and the cable cars is constant.

When you visit San Francisco make sure the Cable Car Museum is on your itinerary – you can get there on a cable car!

24 Warm on the Inside

As part of Becky’s April Bright Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B, I’ve opened the archives to January 2020 to share our 19 day trip to USA. Join me on a pictorial travelogue of the best and brightest of our pre-pandemic adventures in California and Nevada! The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word bright. Look for #brightsquare.

Postcards from America

After a chilly day at Alcatraz, the twinkling lights and illuminated sign at the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company drew us in like moths to a flame. 

We needed to warm up fast. Perhaps a couple of hot fudge sundaes would do the job.  

Did they fulfil our expectations?

Oh yes, they did!

23 Winter in San Francisco

As part of Becky’s April Bright Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B, I’ve opened the archives to January 2020 to share our 19 day trip to USA. Join me on a pictorial travelogue of the best and brightest of our pre-pandemic adventures in California and Nevada! The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word bright. Look for #brightsquare.

Postcards from America

Don’t be deceived! The sun was shining brightly in a clear blue sky, but the wind was icy cold the day we visited Alcatraz. 

22 Squirrels in the Garden!

As part of Becky’s April Bright Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B, I’ve opened the archives to January 2020 to share our 19 day trip to USA. Join me on a pictorial travelogue of the best and brightest of our pre-pandemic adventures in California and Nevada! The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word bright. Look for #brightsquare.

Postcards from America

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the Japanese Tea Garden – and happy to pose for photos!