John & Anne Wiley

2011/07/20

Mystery

We enjoy the PBS Masterpiece Mystery series, and somehow today’s news of a mystery in San Diego has a similar fictional quality. It’s all too real, yet maybe I’m somewhat de-sensitized by the programs or the fact it all looked so peaceful when we flew over a few days ago.

2162 Spreckels Mystery

2162 Spreckels Mystery

The red-roofed mansion in the middle of the photo was the scene of tragic events over recent days. Somehow it has me imagining troubles in some of the other mansions we saw, like this mysterious looking place in La Jolla.

2204 Into Dark Water

2204 Into Dark Water

OK, maybe my imagination is running amok here. Nothing about this nearby scene other than the obvious real estate values indicates anything other than completely normal and happy families.

2119 Normal Mansions

2119 Normal Mansions

Oh, but then with the touch of a slider in my editing app, a fake moonlight hue on this scene next door has me imagining a dark and stormy night with furtive figures in those caves…

2120 Into Darkness

2120 Into Darkness

But getting a grip now, it’s easy to imagine a quiet couple sitting on their veranda enjoying a sparkling view from a home they bought decades ago and are now enjoying in a modest retirement. The grandkids love to visit and play in the airy caves, with the echo of gentle waves splashing in the sun.

2082 Sunny Mood

2082 Sunny Mood

Now I’m going to watch a Nova program.  🙂

Comment by Anne: We’ve definitely been watching too many mystery dramas!  It was odd though, to have just flown over this Spreckles mansion in typically peaceful Coronado, and then read of the murder mystery that is so recent and unsolved.  Ok, maybe we’ll switch to a comedy for our next viewing…

2011/07/18

SD Scenes

Though we do still prefer Santa Barbara, it’s certainly true that San Diego is fun to fly. Take for example this scene on Harbor Drive.

1844 Star of India

1844 Star of India

When we lived in SD, Adm. Cameron & Doris Briggs introduced us to the Berkeley and Star of India (and their rummage sale). Now there are several more major attractions nearby. The city looks good with a garnish of scattered clouds.

1846 Scattered Over SD

1846 Scattered Over SD

Along the beach from La Jolla toward the North there are plenty of interesting mansions to admire.

2062 No Rocks

2062 No Rocks

This airy marvel on a bluff over the waterfront is an advertisement for the axiom that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. I’d love to swim in that semi-outdoor pool with it’s waterfall front edge that forms a moat. The beach, caves and cliffs at La Jolla Cove used to be among our fav hangouts.

2108 La Jolla Cove

2108 La Jolla Cove

Nice place to visit, but…  🙂

2011/07/17

Why SB

Here’s another illustration of why we live in Santa Barbara. Despite the “Carmageddon” in LA that was predicted to bring the End of vehicular movement (everyone seems to have stayed home and averted that), the smog in the LA basin was about normal for a Saturday.

2279 Carmageddon

2279 Carmageddon

That’s the 405 “free”way running diagonally southbound from the bottom of the pic, starting at the Sunset Blvd. overpass. It did feel like a scene from “On the Beach with us the only survivors, to see that chronically jammed pavement devoid of cars.

2011/07/16

The Other Day

I wondered as a kid exactly what that meant: “The other day.” Clearly not today or even yesterday or tomorrow, but some other day. So the other day as we flew out to gawk at the royal polo gathering, we saw paragliders at Ellings Park near Hendry’s (aka Arroyo Burro) Beach.

1723 Hilltop Launch Area

1723 Hilltop Launch Area

This is reputed to be one of the best launching sites in North America because the soft grassy slope is just right, there’s usually a steady uphill breeze off the beach, and it’s fairly easy to glide across the street (out of view at the bottom) to the Wilcox (aka Douglas Preserve) and soar the updraft along the beach bluffs until you tire of that and land near the road where your chase car conveniently picks you up. This next pic was taken a moment later with more zoom, and I like how it shows the stages of takeoff.

1724 Ascent Of Man

1724 Ascent Of Man

I’m hopefully no more sexist than the next White Male, but if you click to view the largest version maybe you can tell as I kinda can from the full-size original that they’re all men ascending into the breeze. Anyway, coming back from the polo thing we saw what we’ve been told is Tom Cruise’s place near Oprah’s, and in the full-size of that one Anne can tell four women are in or sunning next to the pool – so maybe it is his place?

1791 Tom Cruise?

1791 Tom Cruise?

Then we climbed up to visit Tooth Rock (aka Cathedral Peak), and I caught one of my fav pix of this fav local rock.

1797 Tooth Rock

1797 Tooth Rock

2011/07/12

Hope expanded

Filed under: Aviation,by Anne,Flying,Has Photos,Nature,SB Region — Anne @ 20:40

John showed some of Hope Ranch in his last bog post, and I’m adding a photo I took the same day.   These were on 7-9-11, the day royals William and Kate came to the Santa Barbara Polo Club in Carpinteria, and we took a flight to see what we could capture.

When on the east coast, the homes and properties in the area around White Plains, in Westchester county, NY made these places in Hope Ranch seem small…

1552 Hope Ranch

1552 Hope Ranch

As we continued our flight toward the polo grounds, I enjoyed this view taken back across my, co-pilot seat, right shoulder

1555 Harbor & Wharf

1555 Harbor & Wharf

So, the places at Hope Ranch are lovely, but in terms of overall space, I think Oprah’s mansion in Montecito outdoes them all.  The spout in upper photo is actually a tall fountain on a lake in her back yard, and you can see how the property extends further out of sight at the top.  Well, there is another lake, unseen in this photo, that would be further below the photo, thus her front ‘yard’ is quite large.  It looks out across an expanse to the ocean, of course, something the Westchester folks don’t have!  Oh, and the pool on the right side of this photo is not someone else’s place – it is at Oprah’s poolside Guest house.

1559 Oprah's digs

1559 Oprah's digs

Pretty amazing place. What do you think?

~by Anne

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