July 2017 Photo Round-Up

July started for us in Iowa. Besides seeing the covered bridges in Madison County, we took in our favorite West End Architectural Salvage in Des Moines.

Winterset, Iowa has a Little Free Library with a sign next to it showing you where to go.

Claremont’s Fourth of July carried on with familiar traditions.

Claremont and Iowa had lots of puffy clouds with some humidity thrown in.

The Claremont Library has expanded hours – hooray!

Claremont Library

We introduced friends to the Kogi BBQ truck in Diamond Bar.


And in the end…

All you need is love


The Bridges of Madison County

Roseman BridgeTwo weekends ago we took a family trip to Iowa for a memorial service. Because the daughters and husbands came along, we extended the weekend and in our extra day, we drove the 45 minutes from Des Moines to Winterset, Iowa. Winterset, the county seat of Madison County, is famous for being the birthplace of John Wayne and a collection of covered bridges.

In the days of film cameras, we had toured some of the bridges, but thought it might be time to have another look-see.

These bridges were made famous by a book called The Bridges of Madison County back in the 1990s. I had read the book (and later saw the movie), so we made sure our daughter took a photo of us kissing on the Roseman Bridge. We then reenacted this scene, and here are the earlier and later photos. If you are paying attention, you can see that these photos were on opposite ends of the bridge.

This time around we visited three of the bridges – the one in the city park (the Cutler-Donahoe), the Roseman and the Holliwell. The Cedar Bridge was recently burned down, so we didn’t check that one out.

Each bridge is filled with graffiti, most of it with hearts and sentimental offerings.

The weather, being July in Iowa, was pretty hot, so we saw a few people playing in the rivers.



Santa Barbara Nature

The other wonderful part about being in Santa Barbara is the beautiful outdoors – even with cloudy skies and cool temps.

I had never been to the Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens – a great place to watch ducks, walk dogs and enjoy the flowers and the pond.


I never tire of taking pictures of the slough at Goleta Beach. This trip was no exception.





Hello Pacific Ocean



Santa Barbara Architecture

We enjoyed an overnight in Santa Barbara this past weekend, giving us a chance to revisit some of the beautiful landmarks. Many people first think of the Santa Barbara Mission – the Grand Dame of the California Missions. It is particularly lovely as the sun is setting.

I particularly enjoy the County Courthouse, also in the Spanish style.

With its beautiful interiors


And views of Santa Barbara from the tower.



Poetry that is San Francisco

Outside City Lights, the iconic San Francisco IMG_4627bookstore, in the alley between it and Vesuvio Cafe, resides this quote from the founder and owner of the landmark. The poem Changing Light by Ferlinghetti begins

The changing light
                 at San Francisco
       is none of your East Coast light
                none of your
                        pearly light of Paris


One could spend all days observing this changing light of San Francisco in the POPOS (Privately Owned Public Open Spaces) in the nearby Financial District.

These spaces range from indoor atriums to outdoor gardens and even a small redwood forest at the base of the Transamerica Pyramid building. Most had some sort of art. Some were closed on Sunday when we tried to see as many of them as possible, but that just gives us a reason to come back another time.

Claremontographer in Kaua’i: Odds and Ends

Beautiful Beaches

Lots of mud

Feral Chickens everywhere

Delightful walk to the Stone Dam


Cute churches everywhere


The waterfalls seen on the opening of Fantasy Island episodes


Little girls from a wedding who were tired of being photographed


and with this sunset picture, you know the end is here


Claremontographer in Kaua’i: Ancient Ruins

IMG_4230I can’t hike all day, every day. Sometimes I just want to view historical sites, and if there are old rocks and ruins, so much the better. Since the Hawaiian islands formed from volcanoes, many of the rocks found are volcanic.

Near the Wailua River on Kaua’i’s east side stand ancient Hawaiian temples, or heiau, made of these black rocks.


The foundations that remain represent various types of sites. One is a Place of Refuge,  others are a war temple, and a place for future kings to be born (Birthstones).

Above some of these ruins is a cemetery with lots of Japanese names on the tombstones.


On the west side of the island are the remains of Fort Elizabeth (or Elisabeth, I’ve seen both spellings), a Russian outpost from the early 19th century. Notice the red clay dirt. Lots and lots of it all over Kaua’i.