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Roadside Attractions

The Frenchman’s Tower

On Old Page Mill Road in Palo Alto, tucked in amongst scrubby California brush, next to the Matadero Creek, and on the border of Stanford University, is the Frenchman’s Tower. Built in 1875, this tower seems out of place and… Continue Reading →

Madonna Inn

Alex Madonna is the man responsible for most of the roads, bridges, and freeways in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. During his long construction career, he often lamented that there were no good hotels where workers could stay,… Continue Reading →

Bubblegum Alley, San Luis Obispo

Since we’ve visited TripAdvisor’s Top 2 germiest tourist destinations (the Blarney Stone and Seattle’s Bubblegum Wall), we thought it apropos to add a third to our repertoire: the Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo. This particular bubblegum wall pre-dates the… Continue Reading →

The Old Dutch Windmill

I saw this windmill on two separate occasions: once on a drive to Cliff House and once during an extremely windy day from atop the Sutro Parapet; and, I wondered why it wasn’t moving. It had what it needed: plenty… Continue Reading →

San Francisco Fire and the Golden Hydrant

Though the water mains were broken and dry on April 18, 1906; yet from this GREENSBERG hydrant on the following night there came a stream of water allowing the firemen to save the Mission District. The earthquake of 1906 was… Continue Reading →

Sutro Baths

Sutro Baths, built in 1896, was the brainchild of Adolph Sutro and was once considered the “world’s largest indoor swimming pool.” I’d not heard of Sutro Baths, or knew of its existence behind Cliff House; however, the foundational remains of… Continue Reading →

The Painted Ladies

The Painted Ladies of Postcard Row are thought to be the most photographed houses in the US (after the White House). The view from Almo Square is most certainly iconic and people lay in the park to soak in a… Continue Reading →

The Sea Lions of Pier 39

They’re loud, entertaining, and really really stinky… and people will line the docks to watch them bellow, fight, play and swim around the docks. They even have their own realtime webcam. There’s no doubt about it, the Sea Lions of… Continue Reading →

Totem Poles

There’s no imagry that says “British Columbia” more than a Totem Pole. I’ve not seen totems outside of British Columbia (or even Vancouver for that matter), though this doesn’t mean they don’t exist… Historically, there are no early examples because… Continue Reading →

Vancouver’s Nine O’Clock Gun

For the first week that I worked in Vancouver, every evening at 9 o’clock I would hear a very loud bang that made me jump. The first time I heard it I wondered if it was a car backfiring or… Continue Reading →

Trinity Street Christmas Lights

Trinity Street is located in one of Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhoods: Hasting-Sunrise. Once known as the “Brighton” of Vancouver, houses in this community were weekend beachfront cottages for the those who worked in the mills. As the years passed and the… Continue Reading →

Eamon’s Bungalow Camp

Way way back in the 40s and 50s, there was a movement called the Art Moderne movement, where sleek homes and roadside gas station-motel-drive-in restaurants were vogue. Art Moderne is less cheap motel and more Radiator Springs (Cars) meets Route… Continue Reading →

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