The RVing the Bay Area Double DVD set is a Great Guide,
But, It's an Even Better Story...

The bay area is full of hundreds of amazing places to visit.  But, even better is the treasure of fascinating stories that make the visit to these famous landmarks more meaningful.

Take the Palace of Fine Arts.  My friend Sebastian (then program director of KFRC) first took me to this beautiful attraction many years ago. While I thought it was certainly an amazing structure I really didn't get what it was doing sitting there in San Francisco's Marina district.  

But, these years later, while producing the RVing the Bay DVD, it has been my joy to do extensive research and read the incredible stories surrounding the Palace of Fine Arts.  It was constructed for the Panama Pacific International Exposition 100 years ago...1915... an event meant to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal.  San Francisco had beaten out New Orleans and Washington, D.C. to host this important world wide event.  

As you stand before the reflecting pool in front of that magnificent structure, the Palace of Fine Arts.. think of what the opening of the Panama Canal the world and mostly to the California coast?  A trip from the east coast to San Francisco would now take only weeks instead of months to travel the 5,000 miles instead of the 13,000 mile trip it required around Cape Horn.  Overland, from New York to San Francisco had taken six it was less than two by boat through the Canal.  It now meant goods, not only would be much less expensive for those living in the bay area, but, products that had never been available would now become commonplace.  And, for businesses in the bay area, it meant they could sell more goods to the east coast and Europe. But, the Panama Canal not only meant a huge jump in trade, but, hopes were that it would bring countries together and result in a more peaceful world.  And, that's why the Exposition was such an important event.

Even more importantly, the Pan Pacific Exposition came just 9 years after the city had been leveled by a devastating earthquake and ensueing fire.  San Francisco had grown from 800 people to over 400,000 in just over 50 years, and suddenly it was gone.  But, the residents cleaned up the rubble and rebuilt the city better than ever.  The Exposition
was a celebration of survival and the courage and determination of a population that refused to see their beloved city vanish.

The Palace of Fine Arts is the only one of the dozens of magnificent exhibits of the Pan Pacific International Exhibit that still stands on its original site today...all had been built to be torn down.  But, Phoebe Apperson Hearst, the mother of William Randolph Hearst would not hear of the wonderful Palace of Fine Arts falling to that fate.  It was Mrs. Hearst who raised the support and money to save the Palace, and it's because of her that you can visit it today.

 California architect Bernard Maybeck had created the Palace of Fine Arts to show a Roman ruin and serve as a message of “the mortality of grandeur and the vanity of human wishes.” But, a century later, it's ironic that it stands for just the opposite..a tribute to creativity and the power of human faith, determination and vision.  The Panama Canal was one of man's greatest accomplishments, and San Francisco rose from the defeat of 1906 to become one of greatest cities in the world.  And, that's why you should not miss visiting the Palace of Fine Arts.

The RVing the Bay Area DVD is a great guide for you when you visit the bay.  But it's an even greater collection of stories that will inspire you.  Palace of Fine Arts is just one of over 100 easily accessible chapters on the double DVD set.

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