A lovely day was had by all when my San Francisco family (son, sis, daughter-in-law) visited the newly restored Palace of Fine Arts, a tourists postcard dream just off the Marina Green near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Loved watching a small girl “hide” in a rounded massive column with its open space at the base. She had her own little universe to gaze up into.

As we view this Bernard Maybeck wonder with the ocean just beyond, the fine architecture of Julia Morgan comes to mind. I’ve since looked up both architects as I miss their sense of dignity and majesty and as we’re designing a house – is there ANY way to add an element they envisioned? The First Church of Christ Science in Berkeley comes to mind, its exterior always beckoning to me when I lived there.

A hunt for swans is always part of a Palace visit and SF has added a new pair just recently. They’re great at their job of looking perfect. The Palace was restored to the tune of $21 million and reopened Jan. 14th.

The place is a young photogs’ dream with its 45′ columns viewed best up steep stairs to capture the grandeur of the colonnades, the immense Grecian muses, their backs to us, peering down into the columns. Why we wonder.

A wonderful visit – for free – may be had by all, especially when you include a walk through the Lucas Film landscape nearby, walking on the stones along the man made stream with its fountain and incredible plants.