Dear Friends:

My daughter Patty and I are having a fabulous time on the Society’s 2014 Trip:  “San Francisco and Wine Country Delights”.  We flew into San Francisco last Wednesday and have been enjoying the sights ever since.  In the San Francisco Bay area we enjoyed seeing Chinatown, Haight-Ashbury, Alcatraz, Sausalito, and Muir Woods.

San Francisco
was originally settled by the native Ohlone people around 10,000 years ago.  The first European contact is believed to have been when Sir Francis Drake sailed past the entrance to San Francisco Bay in 1579.  The area remained devoid of Europeans until 1775 when the Spanish, long having a stronghold in Southern California, ventured north on a “Sacred Expedition” led by Gaspar de Portola.  The Spanish founded the Presidio Army Base there in 1776, and the roots of the city were planted.

We arrived in San Francisco a little before the rest of the group and visited the de Young Museum on our own.  I was thrilled to see a Modigliani painting there.  This one is called
Pierre-Edouard Baranowski and was painted circa 1918.  Amedeo Modigliani is one of my inspirations.

We enjoyed dinner in San Francisco’s famous Chinatown with old and new friends.

It was such fun seeing how fortune cookies are made.

is a district of San Francisco named for the intersection of Haight and Ashbury Streets.  The neighborhood is synonymous with the hippie subculture of the 1960’s and in particular the 1967 “Summer of Love”.

We were especially excited to take a tour of Alcatraz Island, also known as The Rock, which is rumored to be haunted.  The federal prison on Alcatraz, located in San Francisco Bay, housed some of the nation’s most dangerous felons during its years of operation from 1934 to 1963, including the notorious gangster Al “Scarface” Capone and murderer Robert “Birdman of Alcatraz” Stroud.  No inmate ever successfully escaped The Rock, although more than a dozen known attempts were made over the years.

Looking back at the Golden Gate Bridge from Sausalito.  Sausalito is across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco and is a unique and picturesque community, perched on a hillside between San Francisco Bay and the Marin Headlands.

Woods National Park is on the Sausalito side of the Golden Gate Bridge and is the home of coastal redwoods, the largest tree species in the world.

On Monday we traveled by motor coach to the Napa Valley for the wine country portion of our trip.  Our group got together to pose for this picture at the V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena, CA.

More next week!



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