Monday, October 10, 2011

San Francisco Summer Trip

A rainy Monday night in Charleston is a good time for me to post part two of my summer Northern California spread.  Part one focused on (what else?) birds and other critters.  This posting brings in other more general images captured from this interesting and beautiful part of America.  That's Coit Tower in the back of the picture below.  The tower, built in 1933, is a tribute to S.F. firefighters. 
The streets of San Francisco are so steeeeeeeep in places! That's the lovely, twin-steepled Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in the foreground.  
Quite a load this man was hauling.
From Fisherman's Wharf can be seen S.F's iconic Transamerica Building and, again, Coit Tower.
Alcatraz Prison is a popular tourist spot, but seeing it from a distance was enough for me.
Cool lighthouse at Alcatraz. "The Rock" opened in 1907. The name Alcatraz Island is derived from Spanish for "Island of the pelicans."
From a notorious institution of hard time to one of America's premier institutions of higher education:  Approaching the beautiful Stanford University campus in Palo Alto (taken with my camera's vivid setting).
Being my first visit to this illustrious university, coming upon Stanford Memorial Church was a thrill.
The non-denominational church dates to 1903.  It was built by Jane Stanford as a memorial to her husband Leland, a railroad tycoon and politician who founded the university in 1891. The church has been described as "Romanesque in form and Byzantine in its details." Amen to that, I say, it is just gorgeous inside and out.  Photography inside is strictly prohibited. 
Across from the church, the Rodin Collection sculpture garden gave me pause for thought.
Yes, I can relate to that, my brother!
The unique architecture of Stanford University.
Stanford's landmark Hoover Tower, named for U.S. President Herbert Hoover who was one of Stanford's first graduates.
Next stop: Big Basin Redwoods State Park where the redwoods are as big and tall as you think they will be.  Ok, they're even bigger and taller!
Clean air, great views and vistas up here in the mountains!
Our visit to the redwood forests was, well, a blur. 
Time for the beach! But here north of San Francisco in July jackets are needed and swimming is not advisable (and sunbathing not an option)
OK, a summer day at the beach is a different experience in Northern California. Home in Charleston, those 90 degree days, hot and sunny at our local beaches, can get old.  Well, not really. 
Remnants of coastal fortifications were really neat to explore. I didn't realize just how deep this area's military significance and history run.
In the foggy weather this sign looked really cool.
Later in the week, the weather was brighter down on the Monterey Bay.
The small city of Monterey was a neat place to visit with lots of shops, restaurants and coastline to enjoy.
At Monterey's Point Pinos Golf Course, this is the coolest driving range I've ever seen!
The Point Pinos Lighthouse, dating to 1855, is the West Coast's oldest continuously-operating lighthouse.
Another Northern California beacon I visited was the Point Montara Lighthouse, which is also a hostel.
The intriguing story associated with this light is that it was transported all of the way from the East Coast more than 100 years ago.
A rather unassuming lighthouse with a great back story.  Love it!
Always more to see and do in the San Francisco area. Hope to get back there.