On July 3 we left to visit several places (and people) in California. We arrived in Timber Cove that afternoon to spend a few days with Sulwen and Tanna while Stephen was in India. The next two days were quite foggy and we were content to stay in except for a run down to Gerstle Cove and a walk along the ocean. I got a few nice pictures with my new camera (thanks to my "kids" and spouse). It's a Canon A2100IS, 6x optical zoom plus 4x digital zoom, and I've given all that a workout, but beyond that I mostly point and shoot. It shoots 4000x3000 pixels (how Canon gets 12.1MP out of that, I'm not sure). Anyway, it takes wonderful pictures and I've got to get more posted soon. In the meantime, here's some kind of flower. If you appreciate grasses, here's a nice view of grasses and the ocean. And here's another pretty flower. In addition to the roosting buzzards I also got a shot of a sea lion. Monday I used a borrowed Kubota to try to level out some space for Sulwen to have a play area, including the sand box I made for her and that we took down, disassembled. Tuesday morning I kind of finished that up. Pictures of much of this have been posted as an Animoto slide show on Sulwen's blog on July 9th. For some reason I (and others) have been unable to get the slideshow to work with Internet Explorer. It works for me with Firefox, and for at least one other person with Apple Safari. You can download Firefox at Mozilla.

Tuesday afternoon we headed for San Francisco, where we had only passed through, or by, for at least eight years. We stayed at an old (but refurbished) motel we used to stay at when the kids were small, the Marina Motel. It was built for the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge and has an inner courtyard with garages under the units. It is a bit sparten, but comfortable, and nicely kept up. Here I am in the the inner courtyard. Of course, Amelia was there, too. Wednesday morning we headed to the de Young Museum, which has been demolished and rebuilt. Here's the front of it. We didn't do Tutankhamen, but instead saw the American collection. One of the features is a nine story tower with an observation deck. Thre are good views in all directions: One, and a Two, and a Three. The last shows the new California Academy of Sciences building, which was also demolished and rebuilt. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to check it out.

We eventually proceeded on to Monterey to meet Toke and Kanta for dinner, and then on to Carmel Valley where we stayed with Linda. On Thursday morning we headed for Big Sur (where we also hadn't been for over eight years). It was a beautiful day and we pulled over where I took this picture of a person taking a picture of the ocean. Further down I drove on the Old Coast Road to get a series of pictures of Bixby Creek Bridge, with increasing zoom, and zoomier(?) yet, and finally, the ultimate 24x zoom. Then it was on down the coast, and eventually to Nepenthe Restaurant, where I had the Ambrosia Burger. Nepenthe has beautiful views from the high point on which it sets, looking down toward the ocean. That evening our old friend Peggy came around for a visit.

Friday I spent much of the day at the Naval Postgraduate School seeing old friends and colleagues (sometimes both!). Amelia and Linda shopped. I don't suppose I could have stood the excitement. That evening our friends Frank and Frieda came over, along with the kids' nursery shool teacher, Ilia. (It was interesting that Frieda had started the school quite a few years prior to our moving to Carmel Valley, and then Ilia was the head when we moved there. Good memories shared by all.

Saturday Amelia had a festivity with her Broads group and I visited with a friend, Jack. Midafternoon I picked up Amelia and we headed for Oregon, staying overnight at the Rolling Hills Casino, where I lost and Amelia won. A good time was had by all. Home by early Monday afternoon.