San Francisco Bloomin Stuff

[oqeygallery id=4]I was in San Francisco last week at a big Information Security Conference.  What I learned is that between the movement of applications to “the cloud” and the proliferation of different kinds of personal, mobile devices, we are losing what little control we had over information security in the corporate environment.  But former President Bill Clinton closed the conference saying we must be optimistic.  What choice do we have?  It rained every day but I did get in a walk and snapped some pictures that bring out the optimism in me. 

The first shot was from my hotel room window.  Some shots of winter flowers near the convention center follow.  The last are from a walk to Fisherman’s warf.  Does anyone know what the blue succulents are in shots five and six?  They really work well mixed with the greens.

You can see my cable car trip home on YouTube.

Enjoy.

Parc Floral, Orleans France

[wpvideo tO4B4taw]I found this park on one of my first visits to France. My early research had advised me that the Loire Valley was the place to visit for garden interest.  Although it doesn’t have the history of Monet’s Garden or Villandry, what it does have is this well-loved feeling and such a variety of beautiful plants and special-purpose gardens that it’s always worth a visit.  Ironically, the rose garden, a semi-ampitheatre around a large reflecting pond, was one of the best I’d ever seen on my first trip — no camera.  By the time I started recording my journeys they decided that drainage was an issue there and were reworking that area to improve it. 

Orleans is a short distance from Paris and it makes a great starting or return point for a car-based visit to greater France.  The Mecure near the center of Orleans is a favorite of mine, especially when I’m ready for the air conditioned, large room hotel experience.  I’d spent a week in Saumur at what was supposed to be an exclusive and historic B & B.  The new owner stuck me in a badly furnished attick room up three flights of stairs (because a bus was coming (no bus came)), wouldn’t let me use the pool (problems with the permit and could use it but it could destroy his business), and wouldn’t let me into my room between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm (everybody knows that’s how it’s done).  It was near 100 deg F most days and the attic didn’t cool down well at night.  I gave up, and to my host’s great displeasure moved to the Mecure for the last few days and sunk into the luxury of air conditioning and dinner by the pool.

Peace Garden, Caen France

[oqeygallery id=1]These are pictures from the Peace Garden, it’s associated with the War Memorial in Caen.  There were not good directions to the gardens itself, but if you drive around the block where the Memorial is located, you will find it.  There is parking specifically for the garden.

I love the architecture of the rose garden and remember when I first visited.  I came over a hill and saw this fantastic theatre in the round open out before me, full of roses.  Breathtaking.  These pictures are from two visits, one in the spring, where the rose pictures were taken and one in the fall.  There is a really nice area that features dahlias and the blooms go well into October  Notice the picture of the rose hips in the fall set.  That rose is “Wedding Day”, and I would like to find a source for it in the US.