Tuesday, October 5th through Tuesday October 12th

by William Bossen Photography

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Chapter 4/San Francisco, Long Beach, and Cardiff by the Sea

Spending time in SF is always a great mixture of art, nightlife, friends and food.  We had the pleasure of attending the Legion of Honors French Impressionist Exhibit on loan from the Musee d’ Orsay in Paris and first Thursday at 49 Geary.  49 Geary hosted several galleries with a variety of modern pieces and mediums and was filled with a lively and seemingly cultured SF crowd.  The exhibit at the Legion of Honor was impressive and the architecture of the remodeled museum was a stunning site utilizing impeccable design principles and architectural genius.

Nightlife and friends is always big on the agenda as well.  A night out with my brother and dear friend Kira at a bar in the tenderloin was anything but dull.  The company could not be any finer, but the Speakeasy with classic cocktails, a secret library, and unmarked door which required a password to get in was quite entertaining.  Will also took his time exploring the many Taquierias that populate the Mission District, enticing his palate with spices and meats that complete these delicious savory Mexican treats.   Fresh and delicious food abounds in SF.

We spent our last evening with Ellen, Emily, Steven and their adorable sons at their home in the hills of San Carlos before heading south.  Note the gorgeous portrait of their sons that Will shot spontaneously in the back yard.

The dull, hot, and numbing drive to Long Beach via Interstate 5 reminded us of why we enjoy driving slow and small scenic highways.   However, the long haul was worth the sweet surprise awaiting us. Who would have ever guessed that Long Beach had its own system of Canals and traditional Italian Gondoliers?  My dear friends Liz and Josh surprised Will and I with a romantic starry evening of paddling amidst the million dollar homes of Long Beach.  The four of us shared a lovely picnic on the Gondola, fine wine, and the occasional serenade under one of the many bridges that cross the canals.  The Italian tradition is to kiss your mate whenever you cross under a bridge, and so there was a lot of kissing as well.   The following morning we went to a lively farmers market and bought ripe tomatoes, sunflower sprouts, heirloom cucumbers, Chinese radishes,   organic greens, and sweet corn; the perfect ingredients for a delicious dinner salad!

We shared our farm fresh produce later that evening with another set of dear friends that recently relocated to Cardiff by the Sea, a beach community about 20 miles north of San Diego.  The coastal city hosts a famous surf spot called Swami’s by the sea, which Will surfed and bravely fought 15 foot waves.

Encinitas is the neighboring town and home to the legendary “Self Realization Fellowship Retreat” founded in 1920 by Paramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi .  Panagiota and James were our lovely hosts and while the boys were out surfing “P” and I enjoyed exploring the public gardens at the Retreat.  The gardens are designed for slow meandering walks or simply sitting in one of the many majestic spots to reflect and meditate.  The spiritual sanctuary was totally lacking in any commercial feel or overly zealous religious overtones.  It was yet another sweet surprise on our little adventure. Friends, sunshine, the sound of crashing waves, and a cute little beach side cabana are all that we area leaving behind in this charming and sacred spot which we will certainly visit again.