The Pig Yard

San Francisco - July 2008

Our trip to San Francisco was primarily to support Steve's brother, Clive, in the run-up to his wedding to Tricia. We had to think long and hard as to whether we would attend. It was a long way to travel and the cost of flying has risen considerable since our last trip to San Francisco eighteen months ago. All of these factors helped us to decide that we would go for two weeks and spend some time down in Pacific Grove just south of Monterey.

We weren't prepared for the weather because two weeks prior to our arrival the city had experienced some very hot weather.

We had overcast skies and it felt quite chilly. Instead of wearing shorts and T shirts we were wearing shirts and sweat shirts to keep warm.


We had never been to Baker beach before which was a 30 minute drive through the city from 14th Street.

It gave us superb views of the Golden Gate bridge from an angle we had never seen before.

As is common at this time of year the bridge carried a mantle of cloud.


Jane has taken to using her camcorder in preference to her camera to capture events in full Technicolor motion.

Her voice-over to the scenes she captures really bring alive the moment and will help to remind us in the future of some classic moments.

Brothers standing on the beach discussing the meaning of life.

As you can see from their attire this was not a warm day with a brisk wind off the sea and a low cloud base.


We watched a group of fisherman monitoring their rods on the beach and here was one of their catch - a tiger shark.

Steve took a photo of the proud fisherman and his catch with the man's camera. He returned his bounty to the sea unharmed once the trophy had been digitally recorded.

  For the first time we took the BART from the 16th Street station into Union Square. After a coffee sitting outside a cafe on the square we strolled into Macey's and kept climbing the stairs before we reached a point where we could see the whole of Union Square.
We heard that tall ships were coming into San Francisco Bay but we were too late to see them sail under the Golden Gate Bridge and had to make do with seeing them at the wharf area.  

We'd never watched baseball and we were intrigued to understand the rules.

After watching for a long time we were none the wiser. We did learn that the ball travels very fast and the batsman often misses it.

  Here we are in Golden Gate park and the point of interest we spend most time on is a grey squirrel.

Without doubt this little fellow was very cute.

The loving couple...


Last time we stayed with Clive the roof garden was just a dream but now it can be a land of dreams.

Perhaps Jane's narcolepsy is catching because no sooner had Jane slipped off into the land of nod than Clive quickly followed her lead and he didn't have the excuse of jet lag.


We had pre-arranged with Marjorie (Steve's ex sister-in-law) to visit her and her new husband Emmanuel in San Jose. She still lives in the house we used to stay in when we first visited California back in 1989. It's a beautiful house that backs onto a wild parkland area.

Daisy, in the front row, is a new addition to the household and is gorgeous. 

We've stayed at Marjorie's second home in Pacific Grove once before. It stands at the top of a steep hill with views over Monterey Bay. It's a very pleasant, comfortable house and we are extremely grateful to Marjorie for allowing us to make use of it.

  We were advised to take a walk up from Lighthouse Avenue and take a look at the butterfly house. The owner's wife was losing her sight so he decided to brighten it up so she could see the colours as long as possible. Click here for more...   Steve starts to relax after the stresses of the journey...
The coast at Pacific Grove is largely rocky interspersed by a few sandy beaches.   The deer just in from the coastline roam everywhere and this is the edge of a golf course.   After walking for a couple of hours we decided to stop in a shelter, read our books and just relax. Within minutes Jane was asleep however the biting sea breeze soon has us walking again. Pacific Grove in July is not necessarily warm.
Pacific Grove lighthouse is at the end of... Lighthouse Avenue. It's really house with a light on the top.   No stay at Pacific Grove cannot pass without visiting Monterey Aquarium. The jellyfish are incredible but there is a whole range of creatures - this is no ordinary aquarium.   The aquarium is housed in the old cannery factories and there are some informative panels that give some indication what working life was like in the time of John Steinbeck's Cannery Row.

On our way back from Pacific Grove we stopped off at Santa Cruz. A favourite spot for us because of its roots in the 1960s and the hippie era.

North of Santa Cruz on Highway 1 we stopped to watch a mass of kite surfers. This was amazing and we couldn't understand how they didn't collide with each other.

  Another  lighthouse...

Located between Santa Cruz and San Francisco just south of Half Moon Bay.


The happy couple on the morning of their wedding day.

The rooftop garden was looking its best in the morning sunlight.

Clive & Tricia's wedding ceremony was very straightforward. Each declared their love for each other in turn and explained why they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. A couple of signatures and it was all done and dusted.

The ceremony was followed up with champagne and after informal toasts the newly weds made their apologies and escaped to one of their favourite restaurants. The rest mingled for an hour before we cleared away the bottles and glasses and made our exit.


The happy couple left 4th Street in the early afternoon heading north to the Di Rosa vineyard.

Tricia was doing her Audrey Hepburn impression and Clive relished the moment.

We were concerned that the Fiat Cinquecento wouldn't survive the journey but they'd left plenty of time for any unforeseen problems. The car gleamed as did the newly married couple.

  The Di Rosa vineyard was the venue for the wedding reception.

It was due to start at 16:30 and we arrived in plenty of time to photograph the arrivals.

Our early arrival at Di Rosa was quite unnecessary because the newly weds had car trouble on the way up. It overheated on more than one occasion and they had to wait for the air cooled engine to regain it's composure.

One and a half hours late Clive & Tricia arrived looking cool, calm, collected and very happy.

  As the evening progressed it was time to cut the cake. It had been designed using some of the architectural features of 14th Street.

It was an engineering feat to cut the first piece without the whole thing collapsing.

  After all the ceremony and excitement it was back to normality. Tricia driving off in the SmartCar. No chance of this overheating...

We flew home two days after the wedding and it was tough getting back into our work routine. Jet lag hung heavily on our shoulders for at least five days.