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.

Another Canyon

There is another, smaller, less well known canyon in Arizona called the Canyon de Chelly (pronounced shay for some reason) that is much less crowded than the Grand Canyon and much smaller. It’s worth going out of your way to see.

The road there from Flagstaff-lots of open country and long roads.

A look down at some of the rock formations in part of the canyon that reminded me of those we saw in Utah.

It’s kind of hard to see but at the bottom of this canyon wall is an old Indian ruin called the White House. There is also a ruin in the ledge above it. I wish we had walked down to see it but it was really windy and cold and we were a bit under the weather to boot.

 A look at the solid rock on the canyon at the top. It had rained earlier and there were puddles here and there.

This was called Spider Rock. While we were standing there a girl was telling her friends about the canyon. I think she was Navaho as she kept saying “my people”. A bird started flying around the rock formation and she said it was an eagle and that for “her people” it represented a grandfather and good luck and that they were rarely seen here. I tried to get in my photo but it was too far away.



The Grand Canyon

After our visit to Austin we flew to Arizona to see my mother. During our time there Maurice and I made a trip up to Northern Arizona and over into New Mexico. Our first stop was at the Grand Canyon which Maurice says is one of the most beautiful places in the world. He’s been there many times and hiked down to the bottom a few times as well something I’ve never done.

 When we arrived it was very cold, windy and there was no view of the canyon due to low clouds. About thirty minutes before sunset the sun came out and I rushed out to get some photos.

There was almost a rainbow.

I liked the architecture there done in the early 1900’s after the train finally arrived there with tourists coming to see the Grand Canyon.

This sculpture is called the Bright Angel in the rustic lodge of the same name. The name comes from the first explorer of the Colorado River running through the Grand Canyon who after going through a section he named the Dirty Devil was pleased to find the clear waters he called Bright Angel.

This is the beginning of the Bright Angel trail. We didn’t go down very far as it was icy.

A ledge I liked.

A photo of a poster showing mules descending into the canyon-probably the only way I would ever do it.

More Austin

  • More photos from beautiful Austin:


From the 22nd floor of the apartment building where we stayed we could see five buildings in various stages of construction and it was so fascinating. I often would turn on the TV and then stand at the window with my back to it  looking at what was going on down below. One of them was going to be the highest building west of the Mississippi and when finished it will block the view of the State Capitol building of those from nx??our building. Luckily, there is an old power plant on the other side which is historic and so it won’t be torn down and replaced with something to block the view of Town Lake.


Another stunning sunrise reflected on the side of a building down town.


You can see part of the old power plant lit up at night through the window of a bar and grill.

image Stevie Ray Vaughan is a deceased singer famous especially in Austin. They were having live music and firworks on Town Lake for New Year’s Eve and we went over to have a look. The statue had fog and all sorts of lights to give it this super look.


A view of the Austin skyline with the railroad track in front crossing Town Lake.


Maurice and I met in Austin and both have great memories of our time there. It’s an especially photogenic city and it didn’t hurt that the apartment that we did an exchange with was on the 22nd floor with an incredible view.


Our view of Town Lake down below early one morning.


One evening in the other direction.


I was especially taken with the train track crossing Town Lake. The sound of the whistle and the cars rumbling along bring back a strong nostalgic feeling deep inside.


I love seeing turtles basking in the sun when we walk down by the lake.