Monday, October 17, 2011

My 77 Hours on the Left Coast

I just returned from a whirlwind weekend in San Francisco and parts therein. I've made several visits there over the years but, this time, my family came along and I loved introducing them to one of my favorite places.

The purpose of the trip was my nephew's wedding so that, of course, was the real highlight of the weekend. The nuptuals took place at The Tavern at Lark Creek, a charming Victorian inn nestled in a stand of redwood trees. Hard to say which was the more enticing aroma: food or trees! The weather was perfect, the bride and groom all smiles, and by day's end, they were well on their way to happily ever after and the rest of us were on our way to Frisco.

With a full moon shimmering overhead, the Bay was more enchanting than ever. With our limited time, we did what is de rigueur: Golden Gate Bridge, Embarcadero, Fisherman's Wharf, sea lions, Lombard Street, sourdough bread, and clam chowder. We mourned having to miss Alcatraz, Golden Gate Park, and a bike ride across the bridge itself, but we enjoyed an unanticipated trek (read: we got lost) through Oakland's International Container Terminal (a surprisingly interesting sidetrip!), a quick jaunt through the Larkspur Farmer's Market, and a marvelous stroll around Sausalito which culminated in a display of some wonderfully whimsical creations by Dr. Seuss at Petri's Fine Arts.

After so much romance, so much scenery, and lots of special moments with new friends and old, a last-minute suggestion led to the best denouement we could ever have hoped for. En route to the airport, we found ourselves at sunset at Ocean Beach. Oh, my goodness. California's coast has no shortage of stunning views, but this one is truly breathtaking. After our frenetic pace, it was like a visual elixer. We drank in the serenity, the more adventurous of us explored the morass of caves and baths below, then we joined up at Louis' Restaurant (less pretentious than Cliff House, and with an equally interesting history) to cap off our day.

Didn't leave our hearts in San Francisco but, boy, we sure brought home some good memories.