I know of no better way to celebrate completing a cycle around the sun (aka one’s birthday) than to spend the day(s) surrounded by friends, in places one likes, doing things one likes. Some of my very best friends in the world let me do just exactly that along with their extended family for a full three-generational weekend of awesomeness that included seeing Sea Otters & hearing loud sea lions at Santa Cruz Pier; attending fantastic concerts at the Cabrillo Music Festival; sunrise, sunset, and daytime walks along a beautiful beach on Monterey Bay; exploring a wetland called Elkhorn Slough…oh, and some really good birthday cake and strawberries. True, this all happened in August, but it’s nice to remember it now that I’m about 8,000 miles away and reaching the end of an eventful calendar year. 😊 Here’s to holidays and special times with friends and family. (Just below, one of those sea otters. Further down…is it possible to enjoy – and photograph – a sunset too much?)
Two quite different views on two quite musical days: fairly typical vacation outing for me if I’m able to be around the Bay Area in August. I always look forward to the chance to hear some performances at the Cabrillo Music Festival, which my friends Gene & Howard introduced me two nearly two decades ago. This year I enjoyed two excellent evenings of contemporary music during the final season of their excellent long-standing conductor Marin Alsop. Day one, we drove down from SF via Route 1 for traffic reasons, and thus had far lovelier views and a chance to pick up fresh strawberries at a farm stand in the northern part of Santa Cruz county. I always enjoy that drive because so much of the west side of the peninsula and of Santa Cruz county remain very heavily agricultural, while of course the east side of the peninsula is silicon valley: economic (and visual) diversity, eh?
Day two we had a matinée performance of the contemporary Opera Powder Her Face produced by West Edge Opera in an abandoned train station right next to the freeway in Oakland. It must have been a very grand station before the rail lines were relocated to the north side of the major interstate that now runs right behind it. The opera was disturbing and quite well produced, and the train station made a great concert hall and interesting subject for architectural photography. I hope you’ll enjoy these glimpses of what I get up to given time and opportunity back home :-).