Manny is going on this trip. He’s been to Australia before. He is sitting on top of my clothes I’m going to pack. I’m debating about taking my tripod. It weighs about 8 pounds, 1/2 of my allowable weight on the plane from Brisbane to Melbourne. I definitely will not need it to kayak. This post is part of Carol’s series, Close to home #6.
by Carol SherrittKayaking with Straddie Adventures When I hear the words “Don’t bring anything you don’t want to get wet,” my plan to take beautiful photographs of the sea disappears with my camera. …
Week 45: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Entrances or Doors
I say “girl’s” rather loosely since last month I parked my car, and the attendant gave me a senior discount without asking. Yesterday was my official Medicare birthday. My health is now your business. 🙂 That’s the new door in my life.
We booked a home run-down beach cottage at the Tides Motel just a few steps from Pismo Beach. I should have taken pictures of the cottage doors, both front and rear. You could see out of them when they were closed, and they did not have windows!
One morning, two of us headed down to take a look at our beachfront property. Oops! The door was shut and padlocked. A clue?
Had someone SEEN us in bathing suits? Yikes!
It was like a horror film, or a bad dream, where you walk through the door into thin air. Only on the other side of this locked door were thin, rusted, metal stairs. We were glad there was NO access there when we saw the underpinnings of the path down to the beach. 🙂
What horrible entrances have you avoided? Unfortunately, you can’t avoid the entrance into Old Age, unless you don’t make it that far. So I prefer to think of it as Opportunity Age. 🙂
This off the beaten path was for the birds, but I enjoyed it from the Bob Jones Trail in Avila Beach, CA. I’ve never seen any birds line up like this since. 🙂 Avila Beach, pronounced AH-vuh-luh, has a population of approximately 1,627 at the 2010 census.
It’s hard to believe Avila Beach is that unpopulated when you hike this trail. Not much level land area exists between the beach and the bluffs, but this trail is flat, leaving the cliffs to the side, and people flock to it, as do other creatures.
This was another shot from the Bob Jones Trail, which meanders three miles around a golf course in Avila Beach ( about a half mile from the beach), along San Luis Obispo Creek, past a housing community and general store and restaurant, inland to Ontario Road. which is the road that comes off the Highway 101.
Bob Jones Trail Starts Here
People park their cars and ride or bike the trail with and without extra small people and animals in tow. It’s usually fairly crowded so even Puppy Girl knows to stay on the right side of the center line. Bicyclists are usually courteous enough to call out, “On your left,” as they approach you.
This is the beginning of the trail at Ontario Road. You can see the parking lot across the street.
It’s a great place for families to escape the heat of the Central Valley in the summer and the fog and cold in the winter. It was 95 degrees there last week but my advice is to always take a sweatshirt. You never know.
Shell Beach Bluff Trail
Just up the road between Pismo Beach and Avila Beach, off Ontario Road is the Shell Beach Bluff Trail with mansions on one side and the ocean on the other.
This does not look like a trail, walkers are gently guided onto a fenced path. No one accidentally wanders into the front yards of these homes.
The Shell Beach Bluff Trail trail starts at a parking lot on Indio Drive and winds down to the beach if you go off the paved path.
It’s easy walking for both people and pets. Warning: the trail that leads on down to the beach is not so easy-going. 🙂
I had trouble keeping my camera focused on the trail. Sorry! I’m not sure what to do with that white cord. We swiveled around at the start of the downward trail and kept on the paved path back up to Indio Road again.
If you are in the market for one of these beauties on Indio Drive, they are quite reasonably priced at about 1.6 million to start. We chose to stay in our trailer at the KOA Park on Ontario Road. 🙂
Happy trails to you. If you enjoyed this be sure to visit Cee Neuner for more fun photos Click here.
Today is blue and white day at Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. I have invited a special guest to accompany us on this blue and white tour I’ve planned out today. First, let’s take this stairway. Unless you have been to Elderwood, CA, you might not see one of these every day. It looks like you could climb all the way to heaven, but you really end up at the top of a wind machine overlooking an orange grove.
Oops, maybe I was wrong. Look where we ended up! Once you’ve been to heaven, where can you go from there? If only we had wings. We could fly anywhere.
Heaven is a vast place, so let’s just roam around a bit. Maybe we will run into our special guest host this morning. Ahhhh yes, here he is.
“That’s weird. I thought I put the moon in the night sky,” God mumbled just loud enough for us to hear. “Oh well, it looks good there.”
Hi God,” I greeted him. “These are my friends from WordPress.”
“Hi Marsha. Wow, you have a lot of friends.”
“I really do. I promised them you would go on our blue and white tour with us. Got a moment?”
“Marsha, you used a strange filter you put on this picture. Didn’t you like the gray I used for the sky?”
“I actually did, God, but this is a blue and white tour, and I thought I could make it bluer with the filter.”
“It looks too purple to me. I still have a lot to teach you about Photoshop. Those orange blooms in Elderwood are bursting with the most glorious smell. This is good. This is very g…… Achoo.”
I guess God has allergies, too.
“Let’s get out of here for a bit, what do you say?” God suggested.
“Whatever you want, God. I’m with you,” I answered.
God and I headed to Runway Cafe and hopped on a helicopter to head for clearer air.
We landed on a whale watching boat with CA friends Connie and Darrel Smith and Australian friends Carol and Glen Sherritt in Maui HI.
“Now this is the life,” breathed God. “Wonder where all the whales are today? Ho hum… I think I’ll make a rainbow for everyone instead.” So he did.
“Ok, Marsha, what else do you have that’s blue and white. I could stay in Maui forever, but I know you need to get back.”
“I thought this monument was pretty, God. Do you remember 1607?”
“How time flies,” He mused. “Seems like it was just yesterday that those English folks drug themselves off the boat here in Jamestown, VA. Of course no one called it Jamestown or Virginia then. It was sure touch and go for a while, but a few hardy souls made it.”
“Times have changed. Now all kids worry about is if their hair is the right color. Wonder why I didn’t think of blue hair?”
God smiled. I smiled back at him as we shook our heads together at kids today.
“You humans, always so preoccupied with time. You’ve made some pretty nice timepieces, though.” God complimented the builders. They were standing nearby on the clouds watching.
“Well, it’s been a calming blue and white tour today, and here we are right back where we started. You humans are always in my thoughts.”
“Thanks for joining us, God.”
“My pleasure, Marsha. Just remember, I’m always close. I will never leave you or forsake you.”
And with the twinkling of an eye, our tour ended, and God disappeared from sight.
Hope you enjoyed it. For more blue and white photos Visit Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. Click the icon below.
Vince and I come to Avila Beach in Central California to escape the quiet tranquility of our country home in the hot Central Valley.
At the Friday night street fair this band attracts a crowd. Nobody could resist “Sweet Home Alabama,” no matter what their age.
People moved out of the way to let this couple dance.
They didn’t inhibit others from doing something different.
Vince noticed the mature gypsy queen. I tried to get close to her, but people kept crowding in between us as they danced their way across the street.
First one and then another, and my camera has a bit of a delay. So I would get her all lined up , snap the picture, someone walked in front of me, and click, the shutter opened. The results were interesting at times.
Sometimes they were downright laughable, but it was so noisy that you couldn’t hear yourself laugh.
I can’t hear her, can you? I hope you enjoyed the music we heard at the Avila Street Fair last Friday night. Tomorrow’s Friday. Want to go?
Vince and I discovered tons of textures in this gem of a “Farm Stay” called Old Edna, the location of an artistic townsite in beautiful Edna Valley, CA. They offer their guests fresh ranch eggs compliments of “chicken liver coop.” The cottage we saw has a beautiful, functional kitchen.
The texture-laden tree house offered hospitality to some, but not to everyone.
I wonder if the sign applied to girl spiders.
The Bluebelly Barn welcomed one and all. In 1887 this was Tognazzini Dairy Barn.
We arrived at closing time. As we walked by this little building, out popped a flap. The owner, Pattea Torrence, said, “I’m Old Edna. Would you like a little tour of one of the houses? I’m getting them ready for guests, but you look like you are having such fun taking pictures. I hope you don’t mind that the bed isn’t made yet.”
We couldn’t resist such a friendly offer.
First, we visited the 1897 DeSolina House, the perfect bridal suite. Here Pattea displayed amazing uses for garage sale finds. My favorite was the copper table top headboard and overhead light. She mixed textures in this display in ways I would never have dreamed if I’d had ten million years to think it over.
My favorite little place was a Gypsy wagon her dad built for her mother, Pi Pi (pie pie). Pattea’s father taught her that “the bond of romance can come in the form of structure.” I fell in love with the structure and its story of the many textures of love which it bore.
Waning sunlight adds a romantic texture to the cottage, but when Pattea opened the door, we stepped into another world of competing textures.
The auto-focus setting of my camera couldn’t bring all the varied textures into focus at the same time, but concentrated on the fabric lining the post. I don’t know that I could have chosen either.
This was such wonderful experience, I know we will go back to Old Edna.
Some things never change. MOST people love being near water in the summer.
As some of you know, it is because of this blog that I have a contract from Arcadia Publishing company to write a pictorial history of Woodlake. These are some pictures taken around 1911 that Chris Crumly, one of the book’s contributors sent me.
I’m thinking that maybe the little guy wasn’t as crazy about the ocean as his father expected him to be. Maybe big brother could encourage him.
Can’t you just hear this conversation? Is dad wheedling or demanding? I think big brother echoes whatever Dad says, pleading in a higher, hopefully more convincing, voice.
Woodlake should be out in January. I can’t thank the wonderful people who are helping me enough.
My brother and I took a side trip to Michigan to see the Warren Dunes where we vacationed once as kids. I wasn’t inspired to return. I’m sure it must have better days. This was a bad beach day. Click on widget to participate in Paula’s challenge.
Maybe you think this is a manufactured Hallmark holiday, or you might really believe in the magic of love.
Romantic love is the big cliché for today. So let’s talk about a different kind of love, instead. A love that isn’t all Cupid and conversation hearts.
Write about a time when love meant stepping out of your comfort zone, making a hard choice, or offering up a sacrifice.
As my blogging friends know, I’ve been writing my first romance/comedy novel since November. Rewrite number five brings me to this episode that my friend Tonia Hurst suggested that I share with you today for Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day knows no gender in love. In kindergarten you learn that valentines are for everyone in the room.
Three friends, Trixie, Ann, and Sarah, went to Sarah’s condo for the weekend, where a series of misadventures struck. One disaster landed Sarah in the hospital, and brought Trixie’s new love, Nick, to visit from Southern California. Today Trixie arises at 6:30 am, leaves the love of her life sleeping in HIS room, and drives 15 miles to the hospital to see her friend.
I don’t know that I would have picked this as a romantic moment, but you can decide for yourself.
Trixie: unmarried friend in love with Nick
Sarah: widowed friend always on the go, collapsed and had to go to the emergency room
Howdy Doody: The nickname given to the nephrologist (kidney doctor) called in by the emergency room physician to run tests on Sarah.
After Howdy Doody left, Sarah leaned back in the bed and adjusted the pillows. Trixie walked up to Sarah’s bed, and sat down.
“Can you believe Howdy Doody getting in my face like that? I’m bushed after that encounter. He sure thinks he can push his weight around.”
“You sure gave us a scare, Sarah. No wonder you were tired! Sounds as though he’s targeting the sodas. What a cutie. I wonder if he is married.”
“Trixie, you enjoy playing Cupid now that he’s shot you in the heart. Yeah, Sandstrom’s definitely my type. He’s at least six feet five inches tall, and I’m only five feet tall when I stand perfectly straight.”
Sun streamed in the hospital room window making patterns on the bed. Sarah traced them unconsciously as she talked.
“I recognize sarcasm when I hear it. I think he’s perfect.”
“I need to research. Can you find me a computer to use?”
“Sure, I’ll send my computer with the twins if they stop by. You can call me and let me know when they are coming, or better yet, I’ll just leave it on the table. Where are they? Did they go out for some breakfast?”
“No, they went back to the condo to sleep. How was your night? Did you and Ann have dinner after you left?”
Sarah didn’t know that Ann had left. Sarah wanted to discuss many things with Trixie, but her breakfast arrived, and she hadn’t eaten since breakfast yesterday.
“It is Sunday, right?” Sarah asked.
“Yes, at least you don’t have Alzheimer’s.”
Trixie was glad she had made it to the room in time to talk to the nephrologist. Now she wasn’t as concerned that Sarah was not going to make it. Sarah controlled her life. If Trixie had to bet on any of them living forever, it would be Sarah.
“This breakfast is awful, Trix. Buy me a cinnamon roll and a decent cup of coffee.”
“Is there a better way to say that? Have you ever heard of the word please, or better yet, would you please? But the long answer is no. Don’t draw me into your schemes for bringing you contraband. I need to shove off. Remember Nick is at the condo. He’s not expecting the girls. No telling what’s happened there.”
“Good idea, Trixie. Hurry back, though. I understand now when I hear nursing home residents yelling to get out. I can’t believe I have to be camped out here when it’s seventy-five degrees and sunny outside.”
“Ok, I’ll touch bases with you later today, Sarah.” Trixie told her.
“You know, don’t come back today. Enjoy your time with Nick. I’ll be fine. Send the girls back as soon as they wake up.”
Sarah waved to her friend then settled back against the pillows and closed her eyes. She was still pretty tired, and right this minute rest seemed to be the perfect prescription.
Girls on Fire visits the editor this weekend, and expects to come home with a few band aids, but hopes to avoid major surgery. Depending on the damages I’ll need to rebuild, this romantic comedy should be ready soon.
So do you agree with Tonia, that this has some merit for Valentine’s Day to fit this prompt?
Without illumination, there would be no photography. Even the worst pictures illustrate illumination. That being said, shooting into the sun illuminates. When the sun is blocked, an interesting outline appears. I scooted under a huge anchor to take this picture.
If an object is translucent, it acts like a filter shadowing what is behind it. To me this looks like a little alien carrying a pappoose pointing its finger at something. We had gone to a Luau in Kauai. The grounds attracted us back the next day for closer inspection.
The night before at the luau, illumination came from man-made lights. Since it required longer exposures, the photographer has to be careful not to move. When a tripod isn’t available, that is difficult, but the results can still be interesting.
Slow motion shows up when illuminated.
Some surfaces reflect back the sun or lights when the photographer shoots toward them. Nothing behind or underneath the reflective object is visible.
I visited Santa Monica to get this sparkly picture. My bird friend is well illuminated.
Clouds change colors when illuminated. Cameras capture the sun as it truly is, a gaseous object. People everywhere take sunset shots and it seems that we never tire of them.
Santa Monica at sunset combined both artificial and fading natural light to illuminate the ferris wheel.
I hope you enjoyed my beachy tour of lights. To be further illuminated, click here.
This was my first full year of retirement. All my life I dreamed of traveling when I retired, and certainly God granted my every wish. When I didn’t get travel, Manny did, so I have many wonderful pictures and memories for 2013.
On January 5th Manny and I headed south in my little green Prius that has 192,000 miles on it to San Diego where we met the History Girls. We met Russel Ray, the San Salvador, and the bronze lady. We faced peril in the Railroad Museum, and had to keep Manny under control in the Botanical Gardens.
Later in January I attended a committee meeting in Berkeley and had time to walk around the neighborhood and take pictures.
I went to Los Angeles to visit my friend Elane in February and so some shopping and serious eating. I probably visited my dentist, Dr. Moy, as well.
In March California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) held its annual conference, Social Studies on the March in Burlingame in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Marches in Birmingham.
The next week the History Girls and I celebrated our friendship in Costa Mesa attending the play “Wicked,” which I had wanted to see forever.
April is the month for the Executive Conference for CCSS. As the President, I got to pick the place, and Vince prepared our house to host it here. However, that didn’t work out for too many people, so we it moved to Los Angeles to the location where our conference will be held in 2014 at the Sheraton.
By May our neighbors wondered if I still lived here. I visited my friend Elane again in Los Angeles.
My friend Jean and I went to San Francisco to celebrate her birthday for a couple of days and did walking tours.
Towards the end of the month Vince and I took Cindy and Manny to Kauai, HI for her birthday. The dogs watched our homes, and Kay and Mike East watched them.
We arrive home from Hawaii on June 3, and believe it or not, we stayed home until September 11, and rested up for the remainder of the year which made us dizzy.
Since we stayed home, we sent Manny to visit Ralph in July.
In August he left Ralph’s home in Spain, and traveled to London with Ute.
From September through November he went with Carol and Glenn to Cologne, Bruges, Brussels, Frankfurt, Tasmania, Toowoomba, Waterloo, and Wuerzburg. I’ll be doing lots of posts about these trips during the year. I just need to learn a little bit more about them, and Manny is being rather tight-lipped about the events of the trip! Carol tells me they have some secrets they’re not telling me. 🙂
Then he flew home with their daughter Melissa, who was going to Florida. She sent him home from there. His bags arrived in December from Australia. He had fun showing us all his stuff.
By September Vince and I contracted the travel bug, and went to Oregon to pick up the best Ebay bargain trailer on the market in Southern Oregon. We turned it into our accidental vacation when our truck broke down in Klamath, CA.
Manny was still on the road, so he missed my next trip. A week after Vince and I got back from our first trailer trip, I took a train from Sacramento to Portland, Oregon to attend the Oregon Council for the Social Studies annual conference, and to meet my brother.
After the conference my brother took the train ride of our lives going first to Chicago, then to South Bend and Indianapolis, IN for a week.
After a short jaunt to Louisville, KY, I headed home on a plane to CA, and my brother took the long way home by train back to Portland.
Almost immediately I had to go to a dental appointment, and stayed in Santa Monica, an took the opportunity to visit our President-Elect, Amanda.
No sooner than I got home than my house-bound husband wanted to take a trailer trip to the coast for two weeks. We stayed a week, then he went home for some appointments. I stayed in Avila by myself to write my contribution to 2013 NaNoWriMo, Girls on Fire. A few days later he drove back and picked the trailer and me up and carried us back home.
Less than two weeks after that, I flew St. Louis, MO to the 2013 National Council for the Social Studies Conference.
Manny and I arrived home about the same day, him from Australia via Florida and me from MO. It was my husband’s birthday, and one week later the three of us got back on a plane heading for Honolulu, HI, where we spent a week in Waikiki.
We have been home eighteen days, and today we took a day trip to the coast to celebrate our friend, Margaret’s birthday, but I think we are going to stay home for a while now.
At least until morning. 🙂
I’d love to hear about your highlights from the year?
Layers conjures all kinds of images for me. As a gal from the Midwest, I learned to dress in layers, but layers envelops us at even more basic levels than that. These pictures all came from our Accidental Vacation to the Oregon Coast then down the northern California Coast.
For example, here is an example of the air we breathe. When we can see it, we can tell it comes in layers. The more layers you see, the less you see what’s behind the layers. In this case, a hillside obscured by layers.
Trees grow layer after layer, year after year. When we harvest the tree, we shave layers off it to shape it into a form that pleases us. Then we add layers of protective coating to it so that it stays beautiful forever. If we add too many layers of even clear varnish, we lose the beauty, and it can chip as it becomes brittle.
This next picture has so many layers that it distorts the picture. Layers do distort. This next picture has so many layers that I can’t even count them all. Maybe you can.
How many layers did you count, and what were they?
Notice I didn’t say set a novel. I set the novel partly in Pismo Beach, mostly in Visalia. Why, because it just seems to be working its way out there.
I was so fortunate to have beautiful weather while I was in Avila. My writing schedule was fantastic. I crawled out of bed around 7:00 a.m. and made coffee, checked emails, and my blog. By 9:30 I finished housekeeping chores, and walked 3 miles to Avila Beach. I was stranded there without a vehicle because Vince came home to be with his son, but I was close to everything I needed.
To get to Avila by foot there is a three-mile long bike path called Bob Jones Trail. I have written about that before, so I won’t bore you with details. I did see three coyotes on my walks this time. This was a holiday weekend, so the path was crowded over the weekend, but that made it all the more interesting. By this time I had run out of clothes, so I had to start wearing Vince’s shirts. One day I wore his Shelby t-shirt and two men stopped walking and looked at me. “I love your shirt,” One of them said. Getting a t-shirt compliment is really rare for me, so I was pleased. He continued, “My name’s Shelby.” That explained the compliment, and we went on our separate and opposite ways.
The Bob Jones Trail winds around the San Luis Creek, which empties into the San Luis Bay at Avila Beach. The trail also borders the Avila Bay Golf Course. It crosses the creek at the west end of the golf course where men have a 130 yard span to hit their golf ball across the creek, and we can watch it all from the bridge. Birds watch them every day from their stadium seats.
Once you get into the town, you only have one block to get to the beach. When I taught 4th grad we brought our students to this beach after we took them to the San Luis Obispo Mission. Many of our Woodlake students had never been to the beach before that time. There is an adorable park, and an aquarium on the right as you walk up a steep block to the beach.
I would estimate that I walked about a mile on the beach, maybe more. Dogs can be on the beach until 10:00, then it is for human consumption only. Humans have a great time. Little ones experience the water for the first time. One mother looked like she was using the beach for her tiny tot’s modeling debut. Birds put on their own show. They found some raw bird meat, and one bird carried around some tail feathers in his mouth. Most of the time I walked and got my feet wet, I was dreaming up scenes for my characters.
By 12:30 to 1:30 I returned to our trailer, and began writing. It took about 2 to three hours to write a chapter. I would break, after completing the chapter, and walk around the park for a few minutes. I rarely ate too much dinner except maybe a bag of potato chips – yum! Then I would write the second chapter.
The end of my interesting day came usually around 9:30 or 10:30. There is a wonderful spa in the park that no one but me used. It’s big enough to swim in and do exercises if you are ambitious and have no one to talk to. I did less talking on this trip that I have probably ever done in my life. Vince asked me if I was lonely, and surprisingly, I wasn’t. I guess my characters kept me company. Two of the three women are very much in love, but they are having problems, some of them pretty serious ones. The other woman is taking stock of her life, and facing some very difficult decisions and life changes.
So that was my experience as a full-time writer. Doesn’t it sound like fun? It was!
Today Randy and I made our way north to Michigan to the Warren Dunes State Park. I would describe it as infinitely blustery! It was infinitely uninhabited.
The water stretched infinitely far, but I didn’t venture close enough to get a good picture of how unending Lake Michigan appeared because the wind blew so hard that it seemed like it was sprinkling even as far away as I stood.
I got a kick out of the red flag. No swimming today. DUH! Infinitely stupid!
This poor bird didn’t budge when I crouched to take its picture. In fact after standing with the wind ruffling its feathers, it hobbled over to me. I think it wanted to cuddle. I wanted to take it home. It was warm just two days ago, so I imagine he didn’t listen to the weather report and was taken by surprise at the sudden change of temperatures.
He looks like he is surrounded by an infinite amount of sand. In reality he hovers with me under the cover of the abandoned restroom building.
There was an infinite stretch of sand. You can see the barriers stretching along the coastline, but they didn’t stop the buildup of mounds of sand across from the parking lot. Wind blew streams of sand across the parking lot where they sometimes got stuck into little drifts.
The road in and out of the park looked infinite, and the colors were infinitely beautiful.
Randy and I had visited the Lake Michigan coast infinitely long ago – about 50 years or so, and we both wondered if this was the place. The season was July (I don’t say that entirely in jest), and we swam in the lake, but I remember everything was cold where we were in Michigan – even in July.
I’ll leave you with one infinitely funny sign. No glass containers OR animals? What’s the connection? Is it an either or choice?