Sundays in My City - San Francisco Edition

I'm actually a week behind in blogging. I'm a month behind in reading blogs. Ridiculous how life is taking me away from my computer so much!!
We'll consider this blog officially on Summer Hours. Don't leave me though, cause once the dreary winter returns, I'll need every one of you to boost my bloggy-spirit and bring me joy.

Most of you heard that I went to a training in California the day after Andrew's wonderful graduation party. I was EXHAUSTED - it was a long three-week build-up to the graduation weekend. My sister and niece flew out of town just after me also, so I didn't really have any down-time to recover. So you would think that once I was away and in a comfy hotel for five days that I would take advantage and just chill, right?
Wrong. Because the first day I was in California, the news had a report about "the average american life span" - which is now 78. And I was thinking...and then I was worried...cause that's the AVERAGE life. I'm not always average. What if this is one area where I'm below average?? Which led me to think that I needed to Carpe Diem as much as possible and seize every day that I have left on this earth, whether it's 41 years worth of days, or just 1 year.

So Carpe Diem I did....I carpe diem'ed all over San Francisco.

I made it a point to leave my hotel every night for the majority of the night.

Night one, I explored the city I was in: Pleasanton. I drove around and went for a short walk in the bluffs.
I love these cactus plants, we saw them all over San Diego. They appear to have big fan-like arms that are smooth, with little prickly points only on the tops on the smaller fans. I unfortunately found out that they are not smooth. Not in any way. I leaned way in to get a picture and just barely touched one of the arms on this monstrous plant and was shocked to find my entire arm covered with nasty, sharp, nearly-invisible little cactus-knives.
Innocent looking demon plant
I wandered around some, avoiding all stupid cacti, and followed a wild turkey and some wee turkey babies wandering down the road. I followed them to get closer but didn't really get a good picture. After the cactus attack, I wasn't really up for a turkey attack, so I kept a bit of distance from them.

I had a GPS in my car, who I referred to as SFB all weekend (Stupid F*cking B*tch). She randomly gave me directions, but 97% of the time she just gave me a message that she was "acquiring gps"...I hated her. Especially so because I was lost multiple times because of her....however, while driving around lost that first night, I came across a lake I had considered going to anyway, so it worked out (this time).
The sunset at the lake was awesome. It was a full moon too-just gorgeous.
My geese friends who kept me company while the sun set.

This tree jutted out into the lake a bit, but it's roots reached back towards the mainland. I love nature.
The next night, I went down to old town Pleasanton and wandered the street and had a yummy Italian dinner. I went to bed at a good time, but didn't sleep very well. Which was unfortunate, since the next night (Thursday), I drove into the big ctiy - San Francisco!

I was fore-warned about the ridiculous traffic and the amount of time it would take to drive the 40 miles, but I left immediately after training at 4pm and made it into the city just after 5pm, which isn't bad at all!
Saw this car on the road when I first started out - love the wheels!

I only hit traffic just before the toll bridge, which seemed okay, but deargod-it was a LONG time of just sitting, not moving.

I can see why people from Pleasanton are leery to make the drive into the city on a weekday! And I dont' want to generalize, but California drivers are not friendly!! I did my normal "give a wave" when you merge, and expected it when letting someone else merge. But most of the time, people didn't let you merge. And they wouldn't make eye contact with you, so if you looked over at someone and tried to smile at them to indicate that you would just LOVE it if they would come over, you couldn't catch their eye for NOTHIN! Just mean drivers!!

I did the typical tourist things, like Pier 39 and Lombard Street, but I've done all that before (Andrew's dad is from San Fran and we visited the city many times).
Lombard Street
Baby seals at the Pier!!
I do love visiting Fisherman's Wharf - there is no better place for people watching I think.

Some woman was carving the meat off this tiger shark right on the pier. A cop came along and didn't seem to care at all, just asked that she keep the area clean (which she did by feeding her "scraps" to the seagulls nearby. Disgusting, but intriguing.
But I was really excited to go to Treasure Island and watch the sunset from there.

I've never been there and I had read online that it's the best place to get a picture of the city at night.
Sun setting over Alcatraz
But I was sooooo tired, that I left within 15 min of the sun going down and the Bay Bridge (below) was lit up but the famous San Francisco bridge was still dark....

San Francisco at Night
The next day was my last training day and we got out a little early, which was great because I was headed for the coast! It was a gorgeous drive out to the ocean, I crossed this ridiculously long bridge, and then drove on a windy highway surrounded by trees. Just phenomenal views. So peaceful!!

Driving to Half Moon Bay
I got to the coast and checked into my motel (not a place I would recommend) and did a little googling and found that the tide was going out in just 30 minutes-AND there was a state park very close by to see the tidepools at...but they were super boring and had nothing colorful to take pics of. Still beautiful, but not what I was expecting.
The park I was at for the tidepools has a large family of sea lions that live there, and I was able to see them lounging about. They seem different than the ones at the Pier, probably because they didn't have 100 tourists marveling over them. These guys were just chilling on the beach.

The next morning, I took a leisurely drive up the coast and went a bit north of the city to Muir Woods to see the Redwoods. Nothing is as amazing as these bazillion year old trees that go on forever and ever when you look up.

I arrived just in time to join in on a guided tour called: The Albino Redwood: Ghost Trees.The ranger was REALLY enthusiastic about the albinos, which made the other seven of us excited to see them also. And we trekked through the forest and enjoyed the wealth of knowledge he shared about everything Redwood Trees. If you ever have the chance to do a guided tour- I highly recommend it. I would have otherwise just wandered through the forest and walked away happy that I was there, but after walking through with my own personal ranger - I learned a TON about the forest that I would never have known.

The albino redwoods don't grow very large, and actually look like a bush/shrub. It was a bit anti-climactic after how excited the ranger was for the first 40 minutes of our walk to reach the first albino and have it appear so different than we all expected. It is really fascinating though that this is considered a redwood at all:

A fragile little shell of what the typical Redwood appears to be.

Most of the longer trails were actually closed from trees falling recently, but I had to move on anyway, as I was making a trip to a museum back in San Francisco still, before flying out later that night.
Next stop: Legion of Honor Museum - some amazing stuff here. I discovered that I REALLY love Rodin, who did sculptures. He was amazing!

Thinking away...
My last stop before heading to the airport was to swing by Robin Williams house near Sea Cliff (though I hear rumor that he may have moved) and to stop by a great beach spot to see the bridge.
And then my STB GPS got me horribly lost and then I got stuck in traffic and then I swore a lot and stopped smiling at other drivers and did the eye-avoidance thing...and then I made it to the airport and life was swell.

Unknown Mami


  1. Brian Miller said...:

    nice...this was a cool trip...sure the SFB made it interesting but...smiles. nice pics...would love to make it back out there again...

  1. Unknown Mami said...:

    I love me some California and San Francisco.

  1. "...and then I made it to the airport and life was swell." Ya know, I think that's how so many of my trips end. But the stuff in between was lovely! I'm so happy to have taken this trip with you.
    Thank you!

  1. oh and I'm miles behind in reading my blog friends and all of the Friday Fragments and SIMC from month ago. It's OK.

  1. EmptyNester said...:

    Whew. That's quite a trip! I've been to SF once- and I loved it. I need to go back now that I am an adult...would probs like it even better. Fisherman's Warf was the first place I ever had swordfish steak.

    Absolutely LOVE your 'pet' name for your GPS lady!

  1. carma said...:

    that was quite an adventure! I've never been to San Fran - but seeing your pics makes me want to go soon - We have a Rodin sculpture at the college in our town - yes, magnificent!

  1. SF is one of my favorite cities. My uncle and I did all the driving for our trip to SF and the Sonoma Valley. We had a running joke about how many times we got lost and had to make U-turns.


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