Tag Archive | DeYoung Museum

Planning for the California Road Trip

Jon and I had some vacation scheduled for mid-March and of course, it fell to me to make a plan about where we should go.  Jon needed to take his vacation before the busy spring/summer season starts.  For those of you who have followed this blog, you know that I was also dealing with my sweet kitty Martini, who was undergoing chemo treatment for lymphoma.  I wanted to go to Virginia, but I was too anxious about flying somewhere and having something happen to Martini, so we decided on something within driving distance.  Sadly, we made the decision to euthanize Martini on March 1 – she was no longer holding her own against her lymphoma.

So, the idea of a California Road Trip was born.  I had been aching to get to San Francisco to see The Girl with a Pearl Earring, the famous painting by Johannes Vermeer.  The painting is currently on display at the DeYoung Museum until June, on loan from the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery in the Netherlands.

Jon had been itching to visit Point Reyes again; he took a day trip there when he lived in California and really enjoyed the small town on the coast.  And what do you know?  Point Reyes National Seashore is there – an opportunity for me to get a stamp in my National Parks Passport!

We also wanted to visit the Northern California coast – we have seen most of the Oregon coast and the Southern California coast, so it seemed like it just had to be done.  There is also a National Park there – Redwood National Park.  Coast Redwoods are the world’s tallest and oldest trees.

And no trip to California would be complete without wine.  We have visited Napa, Sonoma, and the Santa Ynez Valley, and we wanted to add another wine-notch on our belt so to speak.  We had heard that the Anderson Valley is known for their Pinot Noirs, with cool night temperatures from the coastal fog that settles in the valley.  It sounded like a win!

To round out the trip, I planned visits to Monterey and Sacramento.  Monterey because I have heard nothing but good things about this little seaside community.  And Sacramento because Jon’s long-time friend lives there.  And I think Jon secretly wants to relive his memories of living there.  Or perhaps not so secretly.

So, just like that, we had a plan.  Who am I kidding?  I google-mapped distances, figured out where there were historical sites and national parks, tried to plot overnight stays in the most convenient, yet still affordable locations, and asked Jon 57,975 times for his input.  Which was answered each time with a “Yeah, I’ll look at it tonight.”  And finally I just planned what I wanted to do.  Because secretly (or not so secretly), I would rather just do what I want to do, and hey, if Jon isn’t going to provide input, then who cares!

And that is how the California Road Trip was born.  My series of posts will be coming over the next few weeks!

And our last day in San Francisco

On the last day of our trip to California, we decided to head into San Francisco to see an exhibit of the Impressionists at the DeYoung Museum.  The exhibit is on loan through the beginning of September, 2010 from the Musee d’Orsay in France.  They are remodeling, and were willing to let the exhibit travel.  Our flight didn’t go out until 3:45, so we had a bit of time before we had to be back at the Oakland Airport.  Of course, traffic going into downtown San Francisco was heavy, so it took us a bit of time to get to Golden Gate Park.  We got to the DeYoung at 10 am, and they still had a couple of tickets for the 10 am entry to the exhibit.  It was a timed entrance, due to the crowds, so they didn’t let too many people in at one time.  Of course, even so, it was still really crowded.  It was an amazing exhibit, though, so we tried not to let all the geriatric visitors with their oxygen tanks slow us down!

The exhibit explained how Impressionism was born, and the paintings showed the progression from a more realistic style to the style we all recognize as Impressionism.  It also explained how some of the artists in the movement did not believe themselves to be part of the Impressionist movement.  Overall, the exhibit was well worth it.  We saw some paintings that we have all seen before, like Whistler’s Mother, and some that are lesser known.  Jon and I both really loved The Magpie, by Monet.

The Magpie by Claude Monet, 1868

We had a little bit of time to tour the other exhibits, but then it was time to go.  We headed back to the Oakland Airport for our flight back home, lamenting how our vacations are always too short.