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Pismo Beach, CA

Today, I take you to Pismo Beach in San Luis Obispo County. Pismo lies on California's Central Coast and is known for its long beach and its 1200ft long pier.

Pismo Beach on a very grey day:

Pismo Beach, CA

Pismo Beach, CA

Pismo Beach, CA

Pismo Beach, CA

Pismo Beach, CA

Pismo Beach, CA

Pismo Beach, CA

Pismo Beach, CA

Pismo Beach, CA

If you have Pismo Beach plans, you could also trip to:

 Linking to:
Our World
HAL murals, Bangalore.

Last week I showed you some murals from 'The Capital of Silicon Valley' -- San Jose, CA. This week I take you to 'India's tech capital' or  'The Silicon Valley of India' -- Bangalore or Bengaluru -- to show you some HAL murals.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is a company that is into the making of defence aircraft and parts and has called Bangalore home since 1940. I'm sure that explains the defence planes and helicoptors in the murals.

I chanced upon on Old Madras Road in the city, last year.

HAL murals, Bangalore.

HAL murals, Bangalore.

HAL murals, Bangalore.

Happy Independence Day, India.
Linking to 

If you like murals, you'll find more HERE





Public Art, Downtown San Jose
Reflection by  Stefania Gueorguieva
I found these pieces of art during a walk through San Jose's Plaza de Cesar Chavez in June last year. The first two paintings in this post were on utility boxes in the park.

These works of art are part of a project called Downtown Doors. I hear that these paintings are selections from art competitions held for students in the city.
Public Art, Downtown San Jose
Modern World by Renee Gonzalez
Public Art, Downtown San Jose

Public Art, Downtown San Jose
'Reflections of a Lifetime' by Kittisak Lakham.
This one is on the walls of Fairmont (Hotel), not very far from Ceasar Chavez park.
 Linking to Monday Mural
&
Our World 

See more murals HERE

The scenic route to Mt. Rainier National Park.

It was late-May and we were in the SeaTac area. With Winter behind us and a good part of Spring too, it seemed like a fairly good time to squeeze in a drive to Mt. Rainier.

So we drove South for a bit and left I-5S to drive into Spanaway Loop Road and then onto WA 7 (S). This was the route to the southwest entrance of Mt. Rainier National Park and we knew we were on another scenic drive.

It is not for nothing that Washington is called the Evergreen State. This state in the Pacific Northwest gets rain for more than half the year and that helps keep it as verdant as it can be. Nurturing vast areas of protected forests and being one of the addresses of the Cascade Mountain Range, Washington is a refreshingly beautiful state.

Being on the National Park Highway we passed miles and miles of land forested in evergreen trees and patches of wild flowers. We drove alongside the Nisqually River and kept spotting it beside the highway we were on, only we were going in opposite directions.

The scenic route to Mt.Rainier National Park, WA

Scenic route: Mt.Rainier National Park, WA

Nisqually River
The Nisqually River flowing away from Mt. Rainier.
This glacial river flows west and empties itself into Puget Sound near Seattle.
As we drove eastward we met with some light showers, which seemed to have made the Evergreen state, 'greener.' At one point we also got a glimpse of the serene and absolutely lovely Alder Lake which reserves some of Nisqually's water.

The road to Mt. Rainier National Park

Alder Lake, WA
Alder Lake.
Had it been a clear day, we might have seen Mt. Rainier from here.
As we drove into Mt. Rainier National Park, we got to what might have been a path of some kind of massive flow. Considering we were nearing a volcano and the fact that there were no trees on that rocky patch, it is natural to think that this was one of the routes that Mt. Rainier's lava took. But no, that was not really the story. An information board we stopped at moments later, told me that glacial rivers are known to deposit sediment on the riverbed, building obstructions, so the water is often forced to curve and 'braid' over its path and form new channels.

Mt. Rainier National Park, WA

Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
As such this must be the handiwork of the water that flows off the Nisqually glacier on Mt. Rainier.
As we drove further towards Paradise, an area in the southern part of Mt. Rainier, we worked our way along mountainous terrain and spotted some water falling off high cliffs. Higher up there was fog. And because of that, we hadn't spotted the 14,410 ft. tall mountain that is said to be visible for hundreds of miles away from where it stands. However I was pretty sure we'd get to see it as we neared it.

The route took us past more scenic beauty. All the while it had been raining for a bit and pausing, and the pattern seemed to go on and on. I was optimistic that I would be able to take back some sights of the largest-volcanic-mountain-of-the-Cascade Range, during one of those breaks the rain seemed to be taking every now and then.

Further up the road we encountered Christine Falls. A part of the waterfall flowed down the side of the road on what seemed like a natural staircase. The Fall then had another fall, this part over a bigger drop below the level of the bridge on the road. When we got to Christine Falls' viewpoint, there was a respite from the showers so I got to take some pictures of this cascade.

Christine Falls,  Mt. Rainier National Park.

Christine Falls, Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
Christine Falls

Mt. Rainier National Park, WA

After more rain and a few more miles on the road to Paradise, there was the Narada Falls that was clearly fresh glacial melt rushing down a path of lava rocks.

Here are a few pictures from the upper Narada Falls and smaller falls near it:

Narada Falls, Mt. Rainier National Park

Narada Falls, Mt. Rainier National Park


As we went closer to Mt. Rainier, we saw there was snow on either sides of the road and finally got to the Henry M Jackson Memorial Visitor Center that was sure to show us that sight - the mountain that was made of layers and layers of lava. But alas! all we could see was a thick white pall of fog concealing that structure which was sure to have made my jaws drop.

And the rest of the way to the mountain was closed due to snow and the rough weather. :-|

Paradise, Mt. Rainier National Park, WA

Visitor Center, Paradise, Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
The Paradise area is said to receive over a 100 inches of snow every year. 
 Although the drive culminated in disappointment, that was indeed a scenic drive toward the heart of the Evergreen State. As for Mt. Rainier, I'll have to go see it another day.

Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington.

[If I disappointed you by not being able to show you Mt. Rainier, let me link you to pictures of the mountain from Henry M Jackson Memorial Visitor Center, here- Mt. Rainier from Paradise.]


Suggested Reading

If you are interested in Volcanoes, 
you'll probably like the posts under -- VOLCANIC sites:

Faithful Geyser of California

& Coming soon -- Mt. St. Helens ;)





Oldest Starbucks store
Look at the crowd here. You might wonder why people are taking pictures of a Starbucks cafe, and why the 'Starbucks Mermaid' looks different.
Oldest Starbucks store
Those who are from Seattle or who have been there will tell you that this is not just any 'Starbucks' store. The guidebooks and brochures call it the 'Original Starbucks.'

Oldest Starbucks store
This is said to be the very first of the long line of the company's coffee shops around the world.
This one is in the busy Pikes Place Market in Seattle, Washington.
(In the pic -- there's also the original Starbucks Logo.)

Oldest Starbucks store
They say it was in 1971 that Starbucks began serving its beverages.
But I also hear that the first store was moved here after it was set up elsewhere in the city for a few years.
In that case, it might be better to call it the oldest Starbucks store. 

Oldest Starbucks store
There was a large crowd outside and inside so I skipped the trip into the cafe. But I really would have liked an order of tall Frappuccino from the oldest Starbucks store. Next time, maybe. 
Linking to
Our World Tuesday


Carmel, California.

Carmel is like a picture you would see on a cover of an English classic: of a brightly painted door or an wood-framed window peeping out of a green facade of shrubs and creepers decked with flowers.

Carmel, California.
Take a walk around the town and you see brick house here, an English cottage there, some Mission-styled architecture, some half-timbered structures; each of them prettied up with a garden full of flowers or planters overflowing with flowers. There are decorative lamps adorning the stone and brick buildings, and flower-laden vines taking over many a wall and roof.

Carmel is a seaside town in California that you could easily mistake for an English village with some Spanish touches.

Also called Carmel-by-the sea, this charming town is also known for being home to several artists and poets and authors and musicians. The most famous resident of this city however must be Clint Eastwood. Mr. Eastwood had even served as the Mayor of Carmel in the 80s.

It has been a while since I was in Carmel. But I remember, like it was just yesterday that I was there, how charming and picturesque the little town was. Even the businesses in the downtown area were housed in the story-book type houses this place is known for. Carmel looked like a good place to buy art, specially crafted jewelry and unique pieces of home decor. The city also seemed to have several inns, Italian restaurants and coffee shops with wrought iron patio furniture outside, painted in white and looking like they belong in a period drama.

Carmel, California.

Carmel, California.

Carmel, California.

Carmel, California.

Carmel, California.

Carmel, California.

Carmel, California.

Another thing I must tell you is that there are no fast food chains here, almost no swanky buildings and no door numbers. In a long time, I hadn't seen houses with names written on the gates or at their front doors. It really did feel like another place, another country.

I also couldn't help noticing was that this city seemed an extremely dog friendly city. There were so many dogs out on the streets, big ones, tiny ones and dogs of every breed and colour. Several shops had doggie bowls with water at their doors, so that the canine tourists walking around town could take a sip if thirsty.

When I was reading up about the place, I found that this place had this rather unheard of law of prohibiting the use of high heels without permit. I hear that the idea is to prevent people from suing the city for uneven pavement of the side walks. Unfortunately I had come across this piece of information only after I got back from my visit, or I could have taken notice of what kind of footwear everybody was wearing. I'm not even sure many people know about the law. Maybe I'd have known if I had gone in heels. That was day I was wearing the most comfortable flats I had (with soles like that of a running shoe) and so I got to really enjoy the walk down Ocean Avenue.

Ocean Avenue is a road that turns off Highway one, passes through downtown Carmel and then goes all the way down to the beach. If you like scenic drives, you can continue down past Carmel City Beach and embark on a seaside drive past several sea-front homes and inns and beaches and finally get to Carmel River Beach.

Carmel City Beach, Carmel, California.
Carmel City Beach.

Carmel City Beach, Carmel, California.
Carmel City beach is a white sand beach.

Carmel City Beach, Carmel, California.
And almost a mile in length.

Seaside homes, Carmel, California.
Some seaside homes beside Carmel City Beach.
Carmel River State Beach, Carmel, California.
Carmel River State Beach.

Carmel River State Beach, Carmel, California.
Also from Carmel River State Beach.

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