For Inspiration: San Francisco and Catalina

I recently took a cruise to SF with a stop at Catalina Island (near Los Angeles). I didn’t get to see the painted ladies of SF, sadly, but Catalina had some interesting architecture. Plus a mini find aboard the ship!

First, the minis. I was on a Holland America ship and in their “Grand Dutch Cafe” (coffee and pastries, yum), they have these little porcelain windmills. They’re displayed inside a table, with mirrors so you can see all sides. I was sipping tea, looked down into my table, and cried, “Minis!!” (Well, I yelled it to myself.)

You can see my tea mug above on the table–the windmills are about that size.

Now, on to buildings:

In San Francisco, we took a bay cruise from the Golden Gate to the Oakland Bay Bridge. We passed close around Alcatraz. It’s derelict, but maybe some inspiration for weathered minis.

Iconic San Francisco (click photos for larger versions). The last photo is a seal statue done with succulent plants on the waterfront.

On to Catalina! I had never been to Santa Catalina before. The little town (which is about two square miles) is called Avalon. It’s an interesting, and quiet little beach town–tourists stay in the marina, and the back streets were almost silent and traffic free. People tool around the town in golf carts (gas-driven ones).

The round building is the Casino–but not a gambling one. They’re using the word “Casino” in the sense of “Gathering Place.” The Art Nouveau entrance (first row of pics) is under the arched portico. They do a film festival and other events there.

As you can see, the architecture goes from cute beach style houses to mansions up the hill. I will have to go back and explore this island!

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