The Clairemont

Our friend, and acting tour guide, was born and raised in Berkely and used to live across the street from the fabulous Clairemont Hotel. We decided to park and check out the lobby, one of my favorite things to do. It was, as expected, fabulous and maybe one day I will spend a night there.

Mary, our friend, told us that she used to come in the hotel and wander around, take tennis lessons and use the pool. Her brother and other neighborhood boys used to slide down the laundry shoot which no longer exists-she asked. The lady she asked was also raised in the area and her brothers did the same thing.

This is a shot of the side. It was much larger when viewed from the front.

This was a view of San Francisco and the bay down below. Imagine what the view is from one of the rooms at the top of the hotel.

There is a friendly resident dog at the front desk to greet guests.

The front desk. The interior decorating was very modern. I think I would have preferred a more old fashioned look.

One of many reading areas.

Golden Gate Bridge

A visit to the San Francisco area is not complete without a look at the Golden Gate Bridge.

A giant ship heading into harbour.

A view from the Marin Headlands.

A hiking path down below.

Me and the five grandsons who live in Oakland. I have four more grandchildren who live in Texas.

Once in a Lifetime

This line which streched around two sides of a large building was to see Salvatori Mundi, the Savior of the World, painted by Leornardo da Vinci. It was sold a few years ago for very little but is going up for auction soon and will be bought for hundreds of millions probably. The Christie auction house put it on display for three days at the Minnesota Street Project, a really beautiful building, in San Francisco. We had the time so after an Uber drive and two metro rides, we were there.

There it is rather like Mona Lisa at the Louvre. I wonder if the Lounvre Museum will buy it? That is Maurice in the yellow shirt.

My photo sort of from the side as I never was able to get in front.

One hand giving a benediction.

One hand holding a crystal globe representing the world.

A look at someone’s photo on their iPhone.

Northern California

We are in California visiting friends and family. We started in the beautiful Monterey Pennisula area in Pebble Beach where a friend and her husband live. I met her through my blog of all things and we even did a home exchange. It’s always interesting how friends can be made.

A view of the country side as we drove there from the airport. I just love the rolling golden hills. We didn’t see any signs of smoke from that horrible fire. It was north of here.

A look at the fantastic coastline there.

Just gorgeous.

The cypress there grows into supernatural shapes.

Succulents abound although they weren’t here originally.

One of the hole of the famous Pebble Beach Golf course is right by the ocean. I bet you could find a bunch of golf balls under the water if you looked.

Vortex

Sedona, Arizona is known as a place of vortex by those into New Age where a special energy exists. When I was in high school, many moons ago, Sedona was a sleepy little town with a few New Age shops selling crystals and a few artists. It is now a major stop for tourists and there are special tours taking you to the place where the vortex is strongest. I’m not sure if I believe it but it’s interesting.

I was sort of tempted to get a tour to a vortex but the helicopter would have been better. I didn’t do either.

Outside of Sedona, a bridge crossing Oak Creek Canyon.

There’s Oak Creek down below.

I just liked this sign.

It’s always nice to see pumpkins in October. I always know it is really Autumn when I start seeing them.

Sedona

There is a beautiful area north of Phoenix, almost up to Flagstaff full of red sandstone mountains and stone and the main town there is called Sedona. I thought that was a lovely name and looked up the source and it turns out to be named after the wife of the first postmaster in the area and her mother had made the name up. I went to Sedona, a two hour drive, hoping to see some autumn leaves but we were too early. The leaves were just on the edge of turning plus, everything looked really dry. I guess I won’t be seeing any golden leaves this year. I even drove a little further up from Sedona to look at an area called Slide Rock. I used to go there when I was in high school and you could slide down smooth rocks in the cool water. It was a nice way to cool down in the hot summers. Today though, it is a State Park and you have to pay $10 to park and explore the area. Being cheap, I skipped it.

Here you can see the red of the rocks again the blue of the sky.

The rock formations reminded me a lot of those we saw in Utah.

The green of trees and pine trees added a nice splash of color too.

On top of one hill is the Chapel of the Holy Cross. It’s really lovely and full of tourists. It was built in the 50’s with input from Frank Lloyd Wright.