Tuesday, June 14, 2011

California Adventure: Day 7

My conference ended a little before noon on Friday. We checked out of the Silverado and left Napa Valley, headed back to the coast. Our first destination was Sausalito. It's a little hamlet across the bay from San Francisco. In fact, it has some real estate pricier than that in San Francisco proper since it's the place with the views of the city's skyline. It also has some pretty cool houseboats. And, it has the destination we had in mind for lunch: Fish.. And no, I did not mistype that - the restaurant is called Fish. with a period.They don't take credit cards and you sit at picnic tables to eat your cafeteria-style food but that doesn't mean it's cheap. All the fish is local, sustainable, humanely caught, etc. We both ordered up a big plate of fish tacos.The restaurant is under the blue awning. After filling up at Fish. we left Sausalito and headed back out of the city again. Just a few miles away is the entrance to the Muir Woods National Monument. I wanted to see some coastal redwoods, the tallest living things in the world, and this is one of the best places to do that. We skirted through Muir Woods on the Dipsea trail, but the part of the park surrounding the official visitors entrance has the oldest-growth (and thus largest) trees.
Muir Woods is one of those places that are breathtakingly beautiful and you look at your pictures when you get home and they really just don't do justice to how it felt to be there and see things in person. Plus, all that dappled light and shadow just doesn't translate well to a photo.I like this picture a lot... look at the teeny tiny people on the bottom right.A kind couple offered to take this picture of us, and I am glad they did, but limb chops are a photographic pet peeve of mine. I really wish the picture included our feet!It was very quiet and damp in the woods. We hiked a few miles around a paved path.This cross-section of tree is 1,000 years old. Pretty cool!We made a quick stop in the Muir Woods gift shop before we headed out. They had some pretty redwood salad bowls. I picked one up and considered it and then saw that it cost $487. It did not come home with me. I made do with two postcards instead.After we left Muir Woods, we headed back south to a finger of land that juts out - Point Bonita. There is a very cool lighthouse on Point Bonita and getting there involves crossing a suspension bridge. Unfortunately, the suspension bridge is closed until next year for repairs, and there is a tunnel you have to pass through to get to the start of the suspension bridge that is only open Sat/Sun/Mon. We were there on Friday and knew we wouldn't get through, nor could we cross the suspension bridge, but there were nice views of the ocean and city from there so it was still a worthwhile stop. The Point is a popular spot for seals to haul out of the ocean to sun themselves and we saw dozens.

Driving back, we were still ahead of schedule, so we pulled over at a beach to take a walk. Finally saw some California surf dudes in action up close.
And then we called the kids to say goodnight one last time, and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge for the last time.
Since it was the Friday of a long weekend we figured we'd better get through the city and close to the airport well in advance of our flight. We made it through in record time and then had some time to kill in a very suburban type area with no tourist attractions... so we went to see Hangover 2. We got out of the movie right in time to head to the airport. So off we went, to refuel, drop off the rental car, check in, grab a bite to eat, and then board our red-eye home. We were home by 9 a.m. the following morning... bleary eyed and exhausted, and so glad to see the kids again, but having had a wonderful trip.