Wednesday, January 23, 2013


We flew home from San Francisco on Christmas Eve, in time for dinner with friends and then Christmas Day with family.  I sort of lost track of that next week, but after New Year's, D flew off for Minnesota and M flew off for St. Pete Beach.  I stayed home to work.  And to finish the new bed frame, which I barely completed in time for M's return.

On the MLK weekend, we took the Bolt Bus to Portland and spent most of the next two days eating.  And eating well, with dinners at Mother's Bistro and Andina and a breakfast at Gravy.  The cold fog lifted on Sunday and left us with some beautiful, but still very cold, blue skies.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Fort Funston

It was late Saturday afternoon and things were a little slow around the apartment, so I made the short drive out to Fort Funston.  Given the weather had taken a general turn for the worse - it was pouring earlier in the day and would really pour later that night - I was lucky to get a beautiful late afternoon sunbreak.

It was partly the aesthetics and the hang gliders, but it was also the geology that made my brief excursion compelling.  High bluffs, enormous landslides, and the San Andreas fault going out to sea just a couple miles to the south (see Gravel Beach for a more geologic interpretation of the last few days).  I probably spent less than 40 minutes at Fort Funston, before taking a circuitous drive back through Daly City, exploring the path of the fault as it cuts through residential neighborhoods and schools.

Ocean Beach

Saturday morning, the three of us took off on a driving excursion around San Francisco.  It seemed a little touristy, but I guess that was the point.  And frankly, it was a great way to spend a few hours on a nice day.

We began on the Great Highway which was basically a beach stop (okay, several of them) for me, admiring the beach, the seawall, and the rolling dunes that are now the Sunset and Richmond neighborhoods.  We worked our way towards downtown, found Chinatown, Lombard Street, North Beach, and the Embarcadero, before somehow ending up back in Noe Valley for a late lunch.

Point Reyes

M and her mom needed to go out and shop for food for Sunday, so D and I had the afternoon to explore.  Or, more accurately, I had the afternoon to explore and D was willing to tag along.  We drove north, across the Golden Gate, through Mill Valley, and along the coast up past Stimson Beach and Bolinas Lagoon.  It would have been nice to have more time to linger and to explore, but we really didn't have the time.

Point Reyes was gorgeous with no fog and almost no people, but plenty of beaches and cows (sorry, no cow pictures). The lighthouse itself was closed, but I was able to peer down at it and watch gray whales (well, I think they were gray whales) spouting offshore.  I got in as many stops as I could before the sun hit the horizon, which left just enough time to get back to the city for dinner.

Twin Peaks

Our first full day in the city was spectacular.  And making the quick drive up to the top of Twin Peaks was an easy side trip between our temporary housing in Diamond Heights and our primary objective of Park Merced.

I always find something special about visiting San Francisco - not the least of which is that it is fun thinking about what it must have been like for M to grow up and go to school here.

Diamond Heights

I guess there hasn't been much to post since we got back from our Minnesota trip in mid-September, so we jump from northern Idaho to the middle of San Francisco.  Which is where we spent the week before Christmas, visiting M's mom along with various relatives and friends. The main purpose was to attend the unveiling ceremony at her dad's grave on the 23rd.

Rene let us stay at her place in Diamond Heights, which was great and much less crowded then staying with the others at the apartment in Park Merced. The first couple of mornings I got up pretty early and was ambitious enough to wander down to 24th in Noe Valley for coffee (Bernie's) - and then make my way back up the hill to the condo.  Both the weather and my commitment dwindled and the last couple of days my routine shifted to driving down to Glen Park (coffee at Bello).

The views from outside of the condo were great -- Twin Peaks in one direction, the Bay in the other.  And you didn't have to go far for good views of the city.  San Francisco is a fascinating landscape and I wish I had both better knowledge of it's geographical history and more time to explore it.