SEARCH: The Presidio, San Francisco

 

The Presidio, San Francisco

by Emerian Rich

PresidioThe Presidio is a beautiful stretch of land filled with gorgeous wooded parks, fabulous ocean views, 17th century buildings, and a vibrant history. The 1,500 acre park, a past military post transformed into an outdoor recreational hub,retains its important historical charm. With 25 miles of bikeways and trails, 323 bird species, 330 native plant species, and 30 butterfly species, the Presidio is a nature-lovers’ dream.

The first thing you’ll find yourself doing here is snapping photos. I dare you to visit without immediately pulling out your phone or digital camera and snapping away.

Standing on the Main Post grass, looking out at the ocean, it’s hard to believe such a placid place was once the site of military readiness. To think military men resided there, right on the ocean, and looked out at the same sea as me, blows my mind. Did their eyes meet the sea and awe at its beauty? Or were they fearful of the enemy who might attack and paranoid about how open and vulnerable they were? Even still, when told they were being sent overseas, did they imagine what that other coast might be like where they would meet the enemy face-to-face? What would they be asked to do to protect their country? Continue reading in the Winter 2018 issue of SEARCH magazine.

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SEARCH: Love, Travel, and Tamales

Love, Travel, and Tamales

BY MICHELE ROGER

travel.jpgAh love, amor! There’s nothing more beautiful than a couple in love and nothing more delicious than watching them proclaim that love to one another as they tie the knot. That is to say, nothing more delicious unless you’re talking tamales, specifically Eliza- beth’s tamales, enchiladas, and posole.

Elizabeth’s brother Diego is marrying his beautiful bride in Mexico. Countless guests are invited, and the celebration food is going to be epic! I love the traditional food of Mexico and have always been curious how some of my favorite dishes are made. Elizabeth and her mom invited me to join them in an entire day devoted to cooking the family recipes.

Tamales

While I’ve watched cooking shows and read cook books, nothing prepared me for the work intensive process of truly, mouthwatering tamales. Elizabeth and her mother boil potatoes and rice. While they cook, we all help to separate the dried corn husks. Once we have a mountain piled up on a plate, they go into water to soak.

When the rice and potatoes are cooked and cooled, they’re mashed and added to a mixture of maize, water, and chicken concentrate. Over and over, the two women knead the mixture, testing the texture, adding water, tasting. They let it rest. They knead more and add corn oil. Meanwhile… continue reading in the Fall 2018 issue of SEARCH.

SEARCH: Rosicrucian Museum

Rosicrucian Museum

by Emerian Rich

egyptian museumEgyptian mythology is something I’ve been interested in for a long time. Ever since I tried to write my name in hieroglyphics for history class the pull of the exotic and unknown has infected me. The fashion, the makeup, the clothes—one needs only watch The Mummy or read about Cleopatra to be interested in their society.

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California is a fabulous place to explore Egyptian beliefs, customs, and daily life. Built in 1928, the location was the site of The Rosicrucian Order and holds the largest collection of Egyptian antiquities in the Western United States. The artifacts have grown and outbuildings continue to multiply.

The massive lot the museum sits on not only holds the museum, expansive gardens, and planetarium, but the Rose-Croix University and the Rosicrucian Research Library. Peace Garden is a reproduction of an 18th Dynasty Estate Garden where you can experience many plants that grew in ancient Egypt and sit for a quiet moment of meditation. Rosicrucian Park holds statues, monuments, and even a giant obelisk to admire. The gardens are relaxing and seem to transport you into a different, calmer time.

In 2018, the museum became a net-zero energy building, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis … continue reading in the Fall 2018 issue of SEARCH.

 

SEARCH: Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park
by Heather Roulo

KalalochBleachedLogs

Photo by Timothy Roulo

Tucked away in the northwest corner of the contiguous United States is the amazing Olympic National Park. Nearly a million acres, the park encompasses a temperate rain forest, ancient trees, lakes, waterfalls, hot springs, and a series of beautiful coastal beaches.

Among the seventy miles of beaches, Kalaloch is a popular destination. The beach rests just off Highway 101 with an easy walk from the gazebo at Kalaloch Lodge. It offers wonderful viewing of bird colonies. Bald eagles rest atop tall snags, feeding on salmon and ignoring the common murres and tufted puffins.

Cliffside cabins beside historic Kalaloch Lodge can be reserved in advance. Pets are allowed in some cabins, and on-leash dogs are allowed on the beach. There is easy access to the beach below, where entire trees lie in sun-bleached glory. During storms, common during the winter months, the trees… continue reading in the Summer 2018 issue.

SEARCH: The Bahamas

The Bahamas

by Kay Tracy

BAHAMASAs a budget minded traveler, I found a great price for a four day cruise to the Bahamas. The two of us would have a nice break from the cold and frosty winter in Iceland. The grand adventure started with a quiet arrival in a mostly deserted airport, a shuttle to the rental car, then the start of a D.C. to Florida drive.

I know what you’re thinking. Why was I driving to Florida? Why not just fly? Because, there are states I have not yet been to. That and when I booked the trip, there was no storm bearing down in the east coast of the US. Oh, well, no sense not having a real adventure. I mean, how can you pass up truck stops with little alligator head souvenirs? And the scenery? Frosty but awesome all at the same time… continue reading in the Summer 2018 issue.

EXCLUSIVE! Inside The Queen Mary

In our Summer issue, SEARCH will be highlighting The Queen Mary in our #OceanLife Faceoff as one of the best ocean-themed places to visit. As a teaser, we were offered a chance to tour The Queen Mary and it’s newly-opened “most haunted” room, B340. Below, our correspondent, Linda Whitaker, shares her experience on the ship.

 The Queen Mary
by Linda Whitaker

I was led down a steel walkway suspended over deep darkness, lit only by the faint glimmer of a flashlight and the occasional glow of a cell phone, into the musty depths of the Queen Mary’s boiler room. Our guide, paranormal explorer Matthew Schulz, narrated the experiences of previous adventurers in this hotspot of paranormal activity; tugs on clothing, touches on skin, with no apparent source for these sensations.  Hearing the stories is chilling and a series of goosebumps ran down my arms.  At length, Matthew paused our walk at the ironically signposted “Safe Room”.  Inside, an arcane array of electrical equipment to record communications from the other world was arranged on the table.  Our group entered the darkened room, the door was closed and the spirits were called.  Matthew’s invitation to those spirits, and their responses, was recorded.   Listening to the playback left me uncertain, but it just might have been “Mary” I heard in response to his posed question, “Can you tell me what ship we are on?  What Queen are we on?”  We pelted our guide with questions: “Is this real?  Are those spirits talking?”  With a shrug of the shoulders, Matthew ended our tour with a philosophical, “we’ll never really know” and handed our group off to the Commodore, a thirty-seven-year veteran of the ship.

A brisk walk along B Deck led us to the infamous Room B340 where the stage was set, complete with crystal ball, tarot deck, and Ouija board.  The Commodore’s tales of B340 were eerie and its reputation was such that the room, until recently, has been unoccupied and out of use for years.   But new guests are in luck!  The newly renovated space is now available to the public and you can book your own stay in the haunted B340.  During its earlier years of occupancy, sleeping guests awakened to find the covers flown back and figures of people standing alongside the bed.  Housekeeping reports include making up the room, only to return moments later to tousled spreads and sheets and everything in disarray.   Our group, while exploring the dimly lit room, complained of vertigo and headaches and the stalwart Commodore confessed his own extreme discomfort. “I would never spend a night in this cabin,” he added.

Our last adventure that evening led us to a glimpse of the gorgeous art deco 1st class passenger swimming pool, where wet footprints abruptly ending have been reported, in spite of the pool having been drained for decades. A few steps away, we stopped in front of polished elevator doors where the reflection of an elegant “Woman In White” has been seen by some.   Strolling down a long walkway resplendent in bird’s-eye maple paneling and carpet reminiscent of a more elegant era, we are told of an image, seen by many, of a 7-8 year old girl nicknamed “Jackie”, her arms outstretched, reaching up as if asking to be lifted and comforted.  As our tour concluded, I believe we were all looking for a bit of comfort!

The history of this ship is fascinating.  Walking up to the Queen Mary one is immediately struck by the immensity, its dominance in the harbor.  It is so PRESENT!  How does something like that even float – let alone remain seaworthy after 82 years?  Although I can’t begin to understand the engineering feat, I did, after stepping into its beautifully preserved entry and touring her decks, understand her allure.  The ship beckons you to explore. Yes, you can feel her.

 Commissioned in 1936, the Queen Mary was a state-of-the-art luxury cruising vessel, one of the grandest ocean liners ever built.  During World War II, with resources being scarce, she was retrofitted as a troop ship, nicknamed the “Grey Ghost”, and began service to the allied forces.  After her return to civilian life, in the late 1940’s, she again spent a number of years in the luxury liner industry, but travel was a changing landscape and more and more people took to the air.  The Queen Mary was tired, weathered, and no longer in demand.  In 1967, finding a resting place in Long Beach, California, she’s become an iconic landmark that everyone should attempt to see.

Fortunately, not only is the Queen Mary still with us, and perhaps still hosting a number of passengers from the past, but she also offers a myriad of experiences for Los Angeles visitors and locals alike.  There are so many ways to experience the Queen Mary.  You must give one a try!  Oh, and if you see the little girl in the hallway?  Give her a hug from me.

The Queen Mary offers:

  • Historical Tours – For the history buffs.
  • Haunted Encounter Tours – This tour highlights stories of famous hauntings.
  • Ghosts & Legends Tours – Special effect enhance this tour experience.
  • 4-D Special Effects Theater – Sight, sound, aroma and wind to enhance your experience.
  • Paranormal Ship Walk – Be prepared, I’m told if the activity is hot, you may spend hours at this experience.
  • Dining with the Spirits – Dining, followed by the Paranormal Ship Walk.
  • Dark Harbor – Annual Halloween Event where spooky mazes of horror are staged onboard and in areas immediately adjacent to the ship. The event runs from late September through the end of October.  A sneak peek at the “Kitchen of Horror” maze leads me to believe a return visit is in order.
  • More information on events here: http://www.queenmary.com

SEARCH: Berkeley, California

Berkeley, California
By Sumiko Saulson

CITY SPOTLIGHT BERKELEYBerkeley is a progressive college town, well known for its commitment to arts, culture, and the ecology. It’s the first US city to create accessible spaces and curbside cutouts for the mobility impaired back in the seventies.

Farmer’s markets, pro-cyclist events like Sunday Streets Berkeley, plentiful bicycle lanes, and automobile-free zones, community gardens, composting, recycling centers, urban farming, and parks dedicated to preserving native wildlife are part of how Berkeley works towards a greener planet.

University of California Berkeley is home to a beautifully manicured thirty-four acre botanical garden featuring foot bridges, relaxing streams, lush flora, and aromatic flowers from around the globe. It’s Student Organic Garden at the corner of Walnut and Virginia Streets, encourages urban farmers to grow healthy, earth-friendly fresh foods…continue reading in the Spring 2018 issue.

SEARCH: Bartram’s House & Garden

Bartram’s House & Garden
by Murdo Morrison

BARTRAMS.jpgPhiladelphia’s role in the history of the United States is well known. In 2016, 41 million people visited the city, and many surely visited the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the other historical sites and museums located throughout the downtown area.

However, the visitor willing to make a short trip away from the city center will be amply rewarded with the opportunity to see an amazing survival from the 18th century, the Bartram House and Garden.

John Bartram (1699-1777), often described as ‘the father of American botany’, established his house and garden in 1728 after purchasing land bordering the Schuylkill River. In addition to his important role in the early history of botany in North America, Bartram and his friend Benjamin Franklin were among those who founded the American Philosophical Society in 1743… continue reading in the Spring 2018 issue.

SEARCH: Rodeo, California

Rodeo, California
By Leslie Light

RodeoRodeo, California was not my first choice to live in. It’s a small town on the north-western edge of the San Francisco Bay Area. It isn’t tony, or upscale, or even hipster. What it is, however, is easy. Easy to get to and out of. Easy to stay in and make a quiet home. We’ve been here five years and will probably stay five more.

Rodeo is bisected by the I-80 freeway. The built up part of town can be divided into three areas: Old, Mid-Century, and New. Most of the Rodeo town limits is open space where cows graze, and there is rumored to be an old military installation somewhere. Regardless of where you are, you can see a field of grass.

In the “old” part of town are cute three and four bedroom houses built before WWII. Sitting porches with views of rose bushes are the primary look and feel. Many have back decks have a view of San Pablo Bay. Most of the Mid-Century houses were built for…continue reading in the Winter issue for 2017.

SEARCH: Iceland

Iceland: The Land of Ice and Fire
by Kay Tracy

GeysirsThe land of Fire and Ice, Iceland (pronounced more ‘Iss-land’ by the locals) is an island nation in the north Atlantic, easily reachable by air from either coast of the US and a handy way point for flights further east to Europe.

With exciting scenery, occasional volcanic activity, and a chance to see the Northern lights, this is a country of vibrant culture, creative people, and unusual sights.

The entire population of Iceland is about 380,000 people, and the language is Icelandic, though many can speak English. It is polite to try to learn at least a few words, such as Ja’ for yes. Nei means no, Takk Fyrir or Takk is thank you. Speak English, and you might find someone… continue reading in the Winter 2017 issue.