Tuesday, October 26, 2010

San Francisco

A few weeks ago I took a long weekend to visit some family in California. I flew in to San Francisco, spent a day in the city and headed north to Santa Rosa. The weekend consisted of some (much overdue) time with my big brother, Aunts and Uncles, Mom and Chuck--lots of wineries, and of course, a break from BOTH jobs. Thank goodness!

After having been in the rainy city for quite some time, California felt like the sunniest place on earth. The weather was perfect! I kept picturing myself in a sun hat and summer dress with dirty feet, eating blueberries in a field somewhere. ahhhh.

Anyway, I thought I would post a few pictures to share.

I took this picture while we were driving from the Redwoods State Reserve up a steep, narrow road to a  ridge over Bullfrog Pond Campgrounds. I love the combination of the focus and spinning here--and the color. I'm completely supportive of car pictures!

This one was a little higher up that same steep road leading to Bullfrog Pond. What do I have to do for this to be my backyard?! Park Ranger? Lottery? Creepy shack in the woods?

Wine Country, another view from the car:

I didn't take too many pictures at the wineries, but Ferrari-Carano was pretty amazing. It was a bit uppity for my taste, but rightfully so, I suppose. Everything there was delicious and their gardens were beautiful. 

I had never heard of a cork tree until I ran into this big guy.
Have you ever touched a cork tree? It's pretty amazing!

We debated for awhile whether or not to stop and see the Redwoods, and I'm so glad we did! My Mom and I walked through the State Reserve, and AJ and Chuck drove through and waited for us. Chuck is a trooper, but I'm not sure his new hips are up for walking that far.

Mom, AJ, Chuck and I. I propped the camera up on some fallen trees so we'd have a Redwoods family picture. It's been awhile since all of us have been together, let alone taken a picture for proof!

Early Sunday morning we took the Larkspur Ferry to San Francisco. Mom and Chuck hadn't been to the city yet, and I was anxious to look around a little more. AJ and I spent part of the day Thursday in the city... Just as we were leaving, his car broke down on the on-ramp to the Golden Gate Bridge. 
Anyway, we eventually made it back via ferry:

AJ, Mom and Chuck on the ferry.

Approaching San Francisco and the morning fog. It was a dense blanket between Larkspur and San Francisco--and much more compact than I had expected. I don't know if I've ever been in an area that is open enough to observe fog from a distance, but it wasn't that giant fog filter impairing my whole view like I had expected. I can't explain, so see below!

And then our fog horn tooted and next thing I know we're right in the midst (mist, haha) of it. I couldn't even see the front of the ferry very well so I was hoping there weren't any morning kayakers in our way. The fog was so thick for a few short minutes that it felt different just breathing!

I have a series of pictures where the fog gets thinner and thinner, but rather than post a thousand nearly identical shots, here is the end result: San Francisco!

I was told by my brow waxer that I must visit Chinatown, so it was our first stop.

 ... and the last picture of the city I took that day (that's worth looking at, anyway).

Here's the Haight/Ashbury sign from the aforementioned car-troubled Thursday we spent in the city.

And of course, the Golden Gate Bridge (taken Thursday)

Below are pictures from the ferry ride back to Larkspur for the evening. By the way, I forgot to mention how expensive the San Francisco ferries are! In Seattle, a round trip ticket is $6.25. We have an awesome ferry terminal with food, coffee, alcohol, handy wipes--whatever you want. In San Francisco, we waited to board the ferry outside, like a big crowded herd being contained behind a metal rail (there actually was a metal rail containing us). No bathroom, no coffee. And all of those things really make absolutely no difference to me, but we paid $8.25 ONE WAY! It cost the four of us (even after Chuck's sizable senior discount) $60.00 to ride the stinkin' ferry!

Here are a few shots from the return trip:

As if I didn't get enough of the Blue Angels flying over my house all summer, I happened to hit San Francisco for Fleet Week! You can just imagine my surprise!

This was taken inside the ferry. I was exhausted and couldn't stop dozing off to the water's reflection on the ceiling.

After our day in the city we went to a cookout at Alma's house.  This was part of Alma's front yard. Her and her husband have their own vineyard where they grow the grapes and sell them to wineries.
The long path below leads from the main house (on the top of the hill) down to their barn.

Everyone was super welcoming, and I had such a nice time! Wonderful food, good conversation, and of course lots of wine. I can't wait to go back!

For now, I'll leave you with this Edna St. Vincent Millay poem that I can't help but think of every time I'm on the ferry... and some new projects are coming soon!

e were very tired, we were very merry --
We had gone back and forth all night upon the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable --
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on the hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.
We were very tired, we were very merry --
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.
We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed, "Good morrow, mother!" to a shawl-covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, "God bless you!" for the apples and the pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.

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