Sunday, August 23, 2009

One Last Trip Before I Jump In

The past few weeks of vacation have flown by! Before I officially headed back to school, Ed and I decided to have one last trip together. So, a few days after he returned from back east, we headed up to Marin County.

We went midweek, which had me picturing the sleepy town of Sausalito with just a few people milling around in the afternoon. However, apparently this is a popular place to visit! The streets were teeming with tourists, enjoying the spectacular views and the nice weather. As soon as we parked, we quickly joined them, taking in the amazing San Francisco Skyline just across the bay.

While I could have stayed staring at that view all afternoon, we quickly realized that our hunger was going to need to be addressed, so we started walking down the main street, looking for a restaurant that was not too expensive but still looked tempting. We walked on, and on, and on, until we were getting so hungry that the price no longer became an issue. Finally, we picked a restaurant that was perfect. It had a bay view, good food, and prices that weren't to bad.

We enjoyed a somewhat leisurely meal, before heading off to check into the hotel.

We were staying at Casa Madrona, and had a pleasant surprise waiting for us. We had been upgraded to a room with a bay view!

While we could have relaxed all afternoon, we had bigger plans in mind.
Off we went to go hiking in the Marin Headlands. However, on our way, I convinced Ed to head up to the bluffs above the Golden Gate for some excellent photo opportunities. I hadn't been up there before, and just had to take advantage of the beautiful day! And I was playing tourist, after all :)

Soon, it was time to move onto our main event - a hike starting at Rodeo Beach. We decided to initially follow the start of the PCTR Pirate's Cove race, which means a very steep beginning - stairs and all! What it lacked in ease, it certainly made up for in view! When I did the 30k here it was incredibly foggy, so I loved soaking in this vistas this time around.

It was 4 1/2 miles total, with a sprinkling of running thrown in. I had gone on a very hard 5 1/2 mile hike on Sunday, a 3 mile hike monday, and my normal 'run' on tuesday, so the legs were tired to begin with! It was fun and beautiful though.

After all that exercise, we were ready for a good meal, and headed to the Spinnaker, where we had delicious food and a delicious view. It was the perfect end to our day.

The next morning, what better place to head than Mt Tam! We decided to go down to Muir Woods, since it had been a while since either of us had gone there. What I didn't expect were the hundreds who also felt that it was the perfect morning for a walk in the woods. At 10am it was packed. We also didn't realize how expensive the entrance fee would be. So, instead of our plan to head into the woods for a loop, we decided to start up on the Dipsea Trail and then loop down so we finished through the woods. It worked great, though the steep uphill and heat made for a challenging start.

Luckily, once we left the Dipsea, it was all downhill from there - literally. We had a good mile and a half of cushioned, redwood downhill, which is my absolute favorite kind of running. We ran almost all of this stretch, and it was wonderful!

Once we reached the valley floor, we found the crowds, as well as the old growth redwoods, and we finished with a leisurely walk through these towering giants

With 4.6 miles completed and smiles on our faces, what better place to head than to our future wedding site. We wanted to see it in the summer, since our visit in the spring featured green grasses that will be gone by the wedding day. What we saw made us even more excited for our ceremony. The golden grasses looked amazing, bringing out the deep blue of the ocean and the sky. The view of the San Francisco Skyline was spectacular.

Ed wasn't quite ready to be done with the trails, so after we soaked in the views, I dropped him off for another 6 or 7 miles, while I headed to Mountain Home Inn for a light lunch, a glass of wine, and beautiful views. It was gorgeous and relaxing and I enjoyed a very contented hour with The Age of Innocence. It was the perfect end to a day on Mt Tam. Ed joined me in what seemed like no time at all, and we headed back to the real world.

Now work is about to begin in full force. The classroom is coming together and I even got to meet my wonderful students at a Lemonade Social on Friday! Two more days of hard work and the year officially begins. I'm very excited about what I think will be a wonderful new teaching experience!


Jean said...

Wow, what a great trip. And what beautiful photos! I can't get over the various landscapes out in that part of the country, and I am sure the gorgeous pictures do not do the views justice.

Glad you had a great time, and I wish you well as you start up a new adventure in a new school! :)

Dave - Atlanta Trails said...

great wedding site!

I love the golden hills of California in the summer almost as much as the green, flower filled ones in the spring. As you pointed out, they contrast so well with ocean and sky.

Jessica DeLine said...

Love your pictures! You always take such good ones!