Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

March 13, 2008

The last of the '88 road trip to CA pics

Did I mention that I've been re-doing this photo album as well? Hence the pictures from this trip 20 years ago! I ran out of photo album pages last weekend though, much to my chagrin, and Fred Meyer was all out of the refills so I had to order them on line. Hopefully I'll have them by the weekend so that I can finish this project.

Sea lions in Monterey Bay.

Lone Cyprus, 17 Mile Drive, Monterey. That brown patch in the water is a kelp forest, a vital sea plant in Monterey Bay.

Carmel-By-The-Sea. It's just too quaint for words. And also too expensive for words. I do love all the little alleys and shops tucked away here and there. It's easy to get lost when you are exploring in and out of the alleys, but it's a beautiful town.

An example of one of the alley shops.

I could absolutely kick myself for not buying this damn poster. It was only $18, but I wasn't that big a Clint Eastwood fan, so I just took a picture of it instead. Clint was the Mayor of Carmel when I visited in 1986 w/ Charlene, and again in 1988 w/ my dad. Apparently there had been a law banning ice cream cones as well as other "fast foods" in Carmel. He repealed the law, hence the poster, "Law, Order & Ice Cream". Now this poster is extremely collectible.

Clint was also part owner of The Hogs Breath Inn.

Another lovely Pacific Coast sunset, Carmel-by-The-Sea.

Dad and I headed out really early in the morning from Carmel Valley, down Coast Hwy. 1, to San Simeon, home of the famous Hearst Castle. Charlene and I took in this site in '86 and I just had to bring my dad. For one thing, San Simeon is a tiny little blip on the map. When Charlene and I were trying to find the Hearst Castle, and were driving up and down the highway, we were flumoxed. Where could it be? I happened to glance up at the coastal hills and there it was, on top. We didn't realize that we had to park down below and have the bus ferry us up there. In its heyday, all the famous stars from LA, politicians and businessmen would take the train into San Luis Obispo (the nearest large town) and then be chauffered up to the Castle.

It gets pretty freakin hot in that part of the state, and I cannot tell you how tempted I was to accidentally-on-purpose fall into this pool. Of course it would have meant immediate ejection from the property, but it would have been SO worth it. I think I was whispering to my dad, "just push me in....we can tell them it was an accident...." The tour guide told us that once a year in the summer they have the staff party and that's the only time this pool is ever allowed to be used.

The Hearst Castle was built by William Randolph Hearst, the SF newspaper magnate. He spared no expense importing the finest art from around the world. The problem is, while each individual piece is beautiful, it's a bit of a chaotic mish-mash of various styles and cultures. It was just too much.
The Hearst Castle was designed by SF engineer Julia Morgan. Construction started in 1919. Ya gotta give Hearst props for hiring a female engineer; she was definitely an anomaly for those patriarcal times. The Castle has 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 sitting rooms, sports courts, the pools, exotic animals (many still roam the property), etc. There is a sweeping view of the ocean and surrounding hills. Julia Morgan also designed an amazing gravity based water delivery system from a nearby mountain top. She was truly ahead of her time.

Ceilings from Spain, furniture from France, rare pots and vessels from ancient Egypt....all lumped together.
This is the indoor Roman Pool and has the most amazing tilework. I was also tempted to jump in here as well.

Back on the road headed up to Carmel, we drove past Big Sur. I had to get all my "scenic view point" pictures on the way back b/c we were running really late on our way to the Hearst Castle that day, so I was unable to stop going down there.

Big Sur.

Coast Highway 1 can be a little bit hairy in some places where there are hairpin turns, with no guardrails, and some rube in a ginormous RV is taking up both lanes.....

Big Sur.

Bixby Creek Bridge. This bridge is featured in a lot of car commercials.

Otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Which, by the way, is extremely anticlimatic. I, too, had heard of the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.....but it's not that big for one thing. For another, it ONLY features life found IN Monterey Bay. You won't find rooms of exotic, tropical fish tanks, humid environs for reptiles, or performing dolphins and whales (which I don't like anyway). But that's OK, I could have spent all day watching the adorable otters. I had my face pressed up against the tank and I heard my dad sidle up to me and say, "Yes. I know. You want one." Pleeeeeeese dad! We can keep him in the bathtub!!!

When we got back to San Francisco for the final leg of our trip, we took the ferry over to Angel Island in SF Bay (the island behind Alcatraz) and walked around on the quiet, desolate trails. Angel Island was the "Ellis Island" of the west coast, processing thousands of immigrants, mostly Chinese. It's such a tranquil place to be, yet you look all around and you are surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the bridges, cities and towns. Here's a little cutie pie who was hanging around the picnic area, hoping for some food.

Then I dragged my dad to Mill Valley because "that's where Bob Weir lives". Dad's like, "who is Bob Weir and do you know where his house is?" lol Here's a deer on one of the quaint streets.

The deer can be a bit of a problem in Marin. Once we moved there, we learned very quickly to keep a watchful eye out for them darting across the roads. There are TONS of "Deer Crossing" signs all over Marin, and someone with a lot of time on their hands went around and put red dots on all the deer noses on all the signs. So we call them "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Crossing" signs. (Annie - have you noticed those signs?).

Our last stop on the trip was to the summit of Mt. Tamalpais, a large hill in Marin, that tops out at about 2,500 feet. Because of it's geographical shape, Mt. Tam supposedly resembles "a sleeping lady". I don't see it, personally. Anyways, when we got up there, the fog was coming into SF, as it does most afternoons in the summer. This was the first time I'd ever been above the fog to see the way it clings to the hills.

It's pretty sad that once I moved to CA, I didn't do or see near as much as I did when I went there on vacation!


  1. gosh it's all sooo beautiful! thanks so much for sharing it all w/ us:0)

  2. Such wonderful memories, and you can recall them so well. Being a great photographer helps, of course.

  3. Val - And I have kept a diary/journal since January 1, 1977so those also helps to jog my memory!!

  4. Anonymous4:36 PM

    *documentary-type voice announces* '...and so, having come to the end of our Journey with Jojo, she puts away her camera for another year'

    As always, thanks for sharing. OH! and I haven't forgotten about trying to scan some of my Keanu photos for you, I just haven't gotten around to it yet ;0)

  5. Lovely. Of course I have also visited these places at one time or another since moving to cali. I found Hearst Castle beautiful yet obscene. As a rich dude, he just combed poor European towns/people/monesteries, etc and bought up a bunch of stuff and yeah it's a real mishmash. Then his estate ends up having to sell it all to the state of CA. Too bad, so sad. Some of that stuff belongs in museums. At least it is being well cared for.

  6. Anonymous11:03 AM

    It is pretty typical that you see more on vacation than as a resident. Regular life always seems to get in the way and we always think there is lots of time to explore those places...
    I'd like an otter too, but I don't think I'd like the fishy smell in
    the bathtub! Let's get apool outside for them.