Saturday, October 31, 2009

Postcard #7

I think I have seen everyone, the dead and the living, in Los Angeles this weekend. An estimated 500,000 people, most in costume, walked along Santa Monica Blvd and Hollywood Blvd on Halloween night. Mardi Gras, classic masquerade, and the absolutely outrageous were all rolled up into one huge street party. LA is not my kind of city but it was worth seeing once. The smog and traffic are bad and the town is rather shabby (except for Beverly Hills).

Friday, October 30, 2009

Postcard #6

Drove through Big Sur from Carmel where the Santa Lucia mountains rise from the Pacific Ocean. Stopped to get this classic photo of the Bixby Bridge. The heights were spectacular, the valleys and canyons were shadowed by giant Redwoods. This road is slow due to the hairpin turns but is in excellent repair and has many areas to stop along the way. The inn at Ragged Point provided a good rest area with washrooms, food, beautiful gardens and vistas. There were many Monarchs in the area. Did I tell you how much I like the smell of Eucalyptus trees?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Postcard #5

Harbour Seal, Black-tailed Deer, Red Admiral, California Brown Pelican

The Monterey Bay area is home to many species of wildlife, from whales, seals and sea otters to a variety of land and sea birds. I saw a few Monarchs today but they rest about 12 metres above the ground in the Monterey pines and are difficult to see. In the Monarch grove, hummingbirds, warblers, woodpeckers, jays and other songbirds were easily seen. We saw many deer walking through town, eating grass on lawns and resting at the roadside. This is one place where I could really have used my binoculars!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Postcard #4

Pacific Ocean at Monterey Bay

Drove California's Highway 1 from San Francisco to Pacific Grove. Traffic light, lots of scenic stops along the way. This bay is full of birds and wildlife but today's strong northwest winds have driven away the Monarch butterflies which overwinter just two blocks from our exceptional hotel room. Hopefully they will be back tomorrow. Now I want to re-read John Steinbeck novels...

Postcard #3

San Francisco at dusk from the pier at Fort Mason

Spent most of the day riding San Francisco cable cars, walking through Chinatown, Union Square and down and up Lombard Street. But the best part of the day was spent at the end of the pier near Ghirardelli Square watching a spectacular sunset behind the Golden Gate Bridge. Good bye San Francisco...three days was not enough but we must move on down the coast toward Los Angeles.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Postcard # 2

Waiting for the ferry to Alcatraz

San Francisco is my kind of city! But I hear that real estate is very expensive so it is unlikely that I could afford a place with a view of the bay. The weather is beautiful and the fog makes a brief appearance from time to time. I think I could even live at Alcatraz if my cell was not locked. ...plenty of birds, sea breezes and a great view.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Postcard #1

Align CenterRuth at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona USA

Having a great trip. Good weather, spectacular scenery! Very hard to find international stamps in the United States, so here is a digital postcard from the journey...