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Big Sur - Hiking Andrew Molera State Park

One of the great delights of living in the Bay Area is the proximity to the natural beauty of California and it's hard to beat the stunning drive down Highway One to Big Sur. This is certainly one of the iconic American road trips, but for me the joy of being in the area is getting out of your car and hitting a trail, so you can be "in" the landscape rather than just looking at it from the asphalt. 

Locks of Love on the Bridges of Paris

I can't be a romantic when my first thought on seeing the "locks of love" on Paris bridges is that the lock industry must have something to do with this phenomenon! Perhaps it started here, I don't know, but this trend has spread far beyond Paris. Am I cynical to see the industry rubbing its hands in glee? Like the phenomena of the London Eye, each city now needs its own giant ferris wheel and people need a place to demonstrate their affection, albeit in the same way, apparently there are now love locks on the Great Wall! However, I'm not sure I'll be joining the throngs as I don't fancy the metaphor of being locked in to love, or the idea that every tourist who gets the urge should clutter the beautiful bridges of Paris.
The pedestrian Pont des Art at the Louvre and Pont de l'Archeveche behind Notre Dame are festooned with engraved locks (for the organized lovers above) or more commonly locks  inscribed with what has often  proved not to be a permanent marker. Unfortunately when they start appearing on the historic ironwork of other bridges  they just look like bad graffitti.