Flashback Friday #13

The City of Love: How I left my heart in San Francisco

(This is a long post about my love affair with San Francisco which started in 1965)

San Francisco first hit my radar way back in 1965 when “California Dreamin’ ” by the Mamas and the Papas hit the British charts. Knowing nothing about LA or indeed California, anywhere that offered warmth in winter seemed like a good place to be to me. By the time Scott McKenzie was singing “San Francisco (be sure to wear some flowers in your hair)” a hit in the spring of 1967, I was hooked. This was one USA state I had to visit. Haight-Ashbury frequently featured on the television with its flower-power, incense-burning, acid-dropping, tie-dye-wearing, peace-and-love-vibe hippies during the summer of love (1967) and I fell in love with the whole enchilada. As the ‘60s turned into the ‘70s I too became an incense burning, peace-loving hippy myself, though it was an awful lot more years before I would get to San Fran.

The next time the city nudged its way into my life was in 1972 when I was working for a brief spell in Zürich as an au pair and came into contact with a group of Americans from California who were over in Europe to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War. Falling in love with a gentle, flute-playing, blonde haired surfer from San Francisco made me yearn to visit that golden state again. All too soon he took off for India and I returned home to the UK, alone. The years passed and the USA was no longer on my ‘must see’ list and San Francisco faded from my dreams. The summer of love was long past… Continue reading Flashback Friday #13

Travel Photo #3

Small Courtyard
Small Courtyard at Carmel Mission – California, USA

Su Leslie (aka Zimmerbitch) invited me to join her and other bloggers posting a travel photo a day for ten days. The deal is I also invite someone else each day to join in, and ping-back to my post. But as several bloggers I know are already busy with the challenge I am going to resort to inviting “anyone who feels like joining in”

Road Trips Revisited: The Road to Hell

The remaining leg of our road trip south to San Diego unfortunately took us through the enormous sprawl which is Los Angeles. I was not looking forward to this part of the trip and if I hadn’t been the driver I might have kept my eyes firmly shut. However, we did have a treat in store – an overnight stay on the Queen Mary which is berthed at Long Beach.

Ventura Highway

I managed to miss the turn off to the PCH which would have taken us through Venice Beach, and instead found myself on the vast network of freeways that encircle and cross this city. I wasn’t going to try and find my way back though.

On the Queen Mary liner

And after a lovely night on board this wonderful old liner we had a pleasant drive down the coast to Dana Point in Orange County where we had to join the Interstate 5 freeway into San Diego. At this point we were driving on fumes so I didn’t attempt to take the longer route into the city along the coastal road.

So if you are not already car sick, then please join me on the last leg of this road trip into San Diego where you can have some free time. The Final Leg of the Journey

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Road Trips Revisited: The American Riviera

Our next stop along the PCH road trip was in Santa Barbara. Located about 90 miles north of Los Angeles (City of Angels) the stretch of coast along the southern stretch of Santa Barbara County is often referred to as “The American Riviera” presumably because its climate and geography are similar to the north Mediterranean coast in France known as “The Riviera“.

California Condors

We set off amid blue skies wishing we could turn around and head back to Carmel to see those incredible views we had missed yesterday. But we had no time to do that as the OH was due in San Diego in a couple of days time. So once again we delayed breakfast aiming to visit the little town of Cambria and find some of the olallieberry pies we kept hearing about.

Keep your eyes peeled along this stretch of the PCH as it runs very close to the ocean.  The American Riviera

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