Coast to Coast ~ Summertime by the Sea, Part II

Welcome and thank you for joining me for part two of my short series of summertime travels.  Enjoy.

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The most beautiful spot in The City is the Palace of Fine Arts {…just sayin’}. Its grand scale, architectural perfection in the Beaux Arts style, soft colours, and romantic setting take my breath away every time I see it. 

It was no different this time during our visit earlier this summer to the Bay Area.

The Palace of Fine Arts, located in the heart of the Marina District in San Francisco, is a monumental Greco-Roman architectural structure that was one of ten buildings originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition to house the art exhibits.  Originally it was to be a temporary structure for the exposition, but was preserved because of its unique beauty and outstanding architecture.  It still sits on its original site.

Architect Bernard Maybeck {1862 ~ 1957} was the designer of this masterpiece.  When I was at UC Berkeley, I was surrounded by his charming Arts and Crafts style buildings that dot the neighborhoods throughout the area.  {I remember one particular building of his that I passed nearly every day.  I would stop and inhale the lavender wisteria which twisted in and out of the pergolas along the sidewalk.}

For the Palace of Fine Arts, Bernard Maybeck took his inspiration from Roman and Greek architecture and essentially created a fictional ruin from another time.  {It reminds me very much of Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli, Italy.}  The man-made lagoon surrounding the Palace was intentionally installed in order to reflect the Palace and its colonnades while creating a setting reminiscent of palaces and villas in Europe.

You can see what a glorious place this is for photo shoots…and naturally when it was time for me to have my college photo made, I asked my Dad if he would “shoot me at the Palace.” 

{Could you even imagine living across the street from this beauty?}

When I was living on the other side of the Bay, I would often drive into The City just to walk around here. Sometimes I would visit with my sketch book for architectural inspiration when working on a project at school and other times I would come just to relax on a pretty day and clear my head.  It was always a beloved destination when friends from out of town came to visit.

This was one of the “favorite places” I had the opportunity to see again…

We also took a stroll through North Beach and had a scrumptious Italian lunch followed by some to die for chocolate, caramel, peanut butter fudge from Z. Cioccolato where Botticelli, Rafael, daVinci have enjoyed it here too.  {'Love the artwork in the store, don't you?}

A short walk was very necessary after our indulgences, so we did what every tourist in his right mind does…take a walk down the “crookedest street in the world” ~ Lombard Street{Although some crazy fools were actually trying to drive down the curvy brick road. Why didn't they just put on their in-line skates?}.  Breathtaking views and a few calories burned.  A fabulous day

...and then we saw this sign: ya think they may be able move our house from the Peach State to the City by the Bay?

Or am I California Dreamin'?

Ciao amici,

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Spending some of my summertime with these friends this week.