Follow Friday: California Dreamin'

(Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette) I know your asking yourself, "What's up with Cynthia at Heritage Zen? We haven't had decent a blog post from her in ages." Or maybe you've had better things to do (which I really hope is the case) like genealogy. Anyway, if you are wondering, my family and I just returned from a month-long sojourn in sunny northern California, specifically the San Francisco Bay area. My husband was in California on an extended business trip, so my son and I went along to keep him company, see the sights, and enjoy what the Bay Area has to offer.

Let me first say my perfect vacation in California would involve enjoying the beauty of the unique scenery of the area, taking in some historical sights, and spending hours at the San Francisco Public Library researching a couple of Gold Rush ancestors. Let me also say I have a seven-year-old, so that didn't happen. The best I could hope for was a three-way compromise in order to keep us all happy and entertained on our trip.

While I didn't do much writing, I did do a fair amount of blog reading. Mostly on my iPhone while watching my son play at the
Lawrence Hall of Science or the play circle at Yerba Buena Gardens, from what I like to refer to as the "bored parent bench." I know I mentioned Rainy Day Genealogy Readings in a previous Follow Friday post (Follow Friday: Oh Those Poles! and More...), but I really love it. Jennifer writes about the Oakland/San Francisco Bay area. I particularly like her Tribune Tuesday posts, which have given me the idea to post old articles from my local newspaper, the Worcester Telegram, on my blog at some point. Jennifer is a thorough researcher, writes well, and knows her way around a citation. A win, win, win combination. I also read Craig Manson's posts at GeneaBlogie on his Grand Genealogy Journey, specifically his posts GeneaBlogie Grand Genealogy Journey - Day 1 Sacramento and the The Grand Genealogy Journey: Aboard the California Zephyr. My family and I visited the California Railroad Museum which he mentions in his Sacramento post. What a great museum! I was amazed at the extent of the collection, and my husband and son enjoyed the museum as well.

To humor me, or as I like to say, "Just make mommy happy, okay..." the guys agreed to check out the
Rosie the Riveter Memorial Park in Richmond, California. A while back Joan at Roots 'n Leaves mentioned that her aunt Gail Sigford worked in the shipyards. When I noticed the sign for the the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park in Richmond I thought it would make an interesting stop. The memorial is interesting and informative, and is situated in a very pretty park. The National Park Service offers free ranger tours a few times a month. I also noticed on their website that you can submit a World War II home front story to their website about the Rosie the Riveter or Wendy the Welder in your family. My mom worked for the Worcester, MA office of the Ration Board during the World War II, so I plan to submit a story.

I did a little pleasure reading while on vacation. I read the Kindle version of Alan Furst's The Spies of Warsaw. I honestly had never heard of Alan Furst before but found the Spies of Warsaw fascinating. The novel takes place in 1937 Warsaw, the exact year I am writing about in my series of articles
Trip to Poland, 1937. The book was a great read, and I am looking forward to reading another one of his books, The Polish Officer sometime soon.

Finally, I've decided to reread my copy of Simon Winchester's A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906. I read it and enjoyed it a couple of years ago. I decided not to re-read it before or during vacation, as I didn't want to tempt fate in some weird way, if you know what I'm saying. I started it last night, but need to recover a bit more from my jet-lag induced state before continuing on. I only managed to read a few pages before falling asleep, which is no reflection on Mr. Winchester's writing, but is very much a reflection on my ability to function on the limited amount of sleep afforded passengers on the red-eye to Boston.

There was so much to see and do in California. I wished we could have done more, but we just ran out of time. Overall, we had a lovely vacation, but I'm glad to be back home in New England. Now it's time to get busy blogging, but first I think I'll take that nap. Zzzzz...

Wordless Wednesday: A San Francisco Treat

(Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette) Our vacation, July 2010. A rare view for us--a San Francisco sunset without fog. Wow.

Not So Wordless Wednesday: Cape Cod Memories

(Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette) This picture of me on Cape Cod was taken about 1968 at either Rock Harbor or Skaket Beach in Orleans, Massachusetts. I still remember wearing this outfit. I absolutely loved it--pink and white seersucker stripes with applique butterflies. My mom made almost all of my clothes, so my guess is she made this outfit as well. Notice the plastic bag in my hand. I was always trying to catch little fish or snails or tiny crabs to bring home, and my mother was always trying to talk me into setting them free...

Wordless Wednesday: A Good Catch

(Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette) Dad, Henry A. Shenette (1916-1985). Leisure time on ship, circa 1952.

Wordless Wednesday: Fuller Gardens, Circa 1966

(Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette) This is a photo of my aunt Helen Bulak (1894-1985), my grandmother Anna (Bulak) Szerejko (1896-1990), and me taken at the Fuller Gardens in North Hampton, New Hampshire, circa 1966.