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 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.|
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).
|Baby seals at the Pier!!|
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|
|San Francisco at Night|
|Driving to Half Moon Bay|
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.|
Next stop: Legion of Honor Museum - some amazing stuff here. I discovered that I REALLY love Rodin, who did sculptures. He was amazing!