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...


Nolichucky Roots said...

Welcome Home! Sounds like a wonderful time exploring, but I'm glad to have you back.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the kind words, Cynthia! I am so glad you had a good time in San Francisco!

Joan said...

Cynthia, sounds like you had a good vacation in my part of the country--yes, we Oregonians do claim northern California as a distant cousin of sorts. All kidding aside, enjoyed your post and thanks for the mention in regard to Rosie the Riveter.

Cynthia Shenette said...

Hi Ladies. Thanks for your comments. Susan, we did have a wonderful trip, but I am happy to be back home. I really do love your website Jennifer! It's always so interesting. And Joan, you sparked my interest with your article on Gail. But as Dorothy said, "There's no place like home..."

jvd13950 said...


Last time I saw the city was the last time I flew a plane. Cessna 172 out of Sacremento to SFO for lunch and a day visit. Back to the 80's, Know the area well. God awfull expensive to live, beautiful place.

In Genealogy, still hoping to take care of your distant cousin William. Perhaps a little research, your end in your neck of the woods?

Take care Jacques

Cynthia Shenette said...

Nice to hear from you Jacques!

You're right, lovely city but I will say we found it expensive. That's coming from someone use to Boston and Massachusetts prices.

Sadly, not too much time for research this summer. I'm hoping to take some time again, once my son is back in school. I miss my research time at the library.