Every once in a while you have to get away from the drudgeries of life, and my son David and I did that last week. We went to the redwoods at Muir Woods above San Francisco. What an experience! About two or three miles before we arrived at the park, we saw cars parked on both sides of the road with people walking to the entrance. David drove past them and when we got to the entrance we saw the parking lot was full. As we were making the turn at the ticket booth to return to the end of the line of parked cars, a woman in the very first spot pulled out and we zipped right in. David joked she made his day more than the thrill of seeing the trees. This had the makings of a good day!
There was quite a bit of noise and clamor, especially from children as we began walking into the tree area. The further we went in amongst the gigantic trees the quieter it became. I noticed I began whispering, as were others around me, including the children without being told. We were experiencing a spiritual moment, an aura surrounding us similar to feeling the Holy Spirit, giving us a sense of calm and security. Just having that feeling was worth all the travel, time and expense to get there. The longer we were in the giant groves, the children and people returned to their normal selves, but I still felt the affects. It was another wonderful experience for me, one of many I’ve had during my travels in this “Blessed country,” as my father would say. That was quoted from by book, “Diary of a Young Musician, Final Days of the Big Band Era.”
When we left Muir Woods we drove to see the San Rafael Mission a few miles away, and after what we had just seen this was anticlimactic. With the many missions we had visited this was probably one of the weakest of the chain of 21 in California, as it had been torn down almost a century earlier. They began to rebuild it without truly knowing what the original looked like. Regardless, it was still a pleasant visit, as I’m sure they came close to the original.
Our spirits were rejuvenated when we saw the “eighth” wonder of the world, the San Rafael Civic Center. It was a sight to behold as it came into view. It gave the impression of being about three football fields long, a rectangular edifice connected to two hills on both sides, giving the impression it was an extension of the earth. This building was designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1929. The two-story building is as beautiful today as it was when it was built. The interior was breathtaking with colored tiles on the floors, walls, and the ceiling all in earth tones, the same as when it was built. Tree-like plants grew along the center of the first floor extending to the second floor. I leaned over the railing and touched them thinking they were fake, but they weren’t. I’m sure what I did was a no-no! Even the original phone booths inserted into the walls were still there sans telephones. I’m sure people with cell phones still use them for privacy. Then again in this day and age, those talking like everyone around them to know their business.
The day ended with total success when we found a wonderful Thai restaurant that had been given FIVE STARS in my iPad.