S.F. (unexpurgated version)

Self-portrait with Shadows

A few more things from our trip.  Happier things.  Textures and snippets we might forget someday---but that will bring everything rushing back when we see them again.
Bonneville Salt Flats.  If you've never been there, you should go---it's otherworldly.  The textures and paleness and vastness of it all make it feel like a dreamscape.  The children like to run, and run, and run.

We picnicked in the most lovely places.  This canyon, with river and deep pools.

And woods like these---magical to desert-dwellers like us.

And every day, my favorite foods.  Bread.  Olive oil.  Interesting cheeses.  I could happily eat that sourdough daily for the rest of my life.

Golden Gate Bridge at sunset.  Isn't it a strange feeling, when you are looking at something so iconic in real life?  My first thought is usually, "This seems just like a postcard," which is really quite backwards, when you think of it.  I love the way the light glinted off the water and pulled the bridge into shadow.

The boys (and girl) have a quite remarkable ability to annoy each other.  This time I bought them earmuffs.  Every time someone complained about someone else (usually it stemmed from them all trying to sing at the same time: they are inveterate car-singers.  "He's messing me up!"  "I'm not on that verse yet!"  ), I called back unfeelingly, "Put your earmuffs on then!"  It was moderately successful.

This is the water at Lake Tahoe.  The clarity is unlike any lake-water I've seen.  I can't get over that web of light, falling over and into the water from above, tracing the ripples and pulling the sunshine between that gradient from brown to blue.

Why yes, I did spend every few hours in this attitude.  I may know every bench in the greater Bay Area.

The boys LOVE revolving doors.  Not sure the snooty hotel-workers loved them loving them, if you know what I mean.  But they weren't breaking anything, or even getting in anyone's way, so I smiled beatifically and allowed it for a few minutes.

Golden Gate Bridge from underneath.  Aren't those girders cool?  They look so delicate from this distance, but you know they are enormous.  A man-made web of wires.

This was the greatest arcade machine ever.  We each got to pick a machine to try and Sam, Game Expert, picked this one.  I love the caption on top: THEY DANCE.  Yep, they did.  Love Seb's face all lit up in wonder, too.

Here Sebastian sits in time-out and Daisy joins him of her own free will.  Seb is touched in spite of himself.

More picnic-ing, and donut carnage.  We have a big family, and the way we handle (manhandle?) a dozen donuts brings this truth home to me.  I didn't intend to include a grasping hand in this picture, but it's fitting, somehow.

Love this boy and his tiptoeing feet.  He tiptoed right up to the water---then ran away giggling before it barely had time to touch those toes.  Just like how many generations of little boys before him, I wonder?

If only I could re-create the feeling under these redwood trees.  They have a presence almost like people, but slower, and statelier.  I love Tolkien's trees and have felt a sort of watchfulness in European forests, but these redwoods encroach on my consciousness even more strongly.  They have a cathedral-like stillness: quiet and unruffled, but with that waiting silence that precedes something important.  And sunlight illuminates the spaces  through the leaves like blue stained glass.


  1. I felt similarly about the Redwoods. I don't think I've experienced such total silence anywhere else in my life. They are truly awe inspiring.

  2. Beautiful pictures and even more beautiful writing. I wanted one of those donuts and I wished you'd saved one for me.


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