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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Last week, Sheila visited me for a few days. As usual, I'm a little bit slow to document the trip.
Sheila's flight got in last Wednesday at 2. We had lunch at a pho place and then went to Sports Basement to get last minute stuff for camping. I also bought a purple rashguard top since I wanted to look as sausage-like as possible in all the pictures. We then went to a free Celtic music concert in Redwood City featuring Molly's Revenge.Although the concert was part of the same summer series as the Tempest concert a few weeks ago, and the two bands frequently play together, the vibe was totally different this tie. This time it was definitely the yuppies (of the Bay Area mid-peninsula variety) with kids scene. Seriously, it was even worse then going to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's right after work. Although, form the looks of everyone's picnics, that's where they'd just been. Anyway, it was fun but I think I prefer other venues, particularly ones with single guys over the age of 5. After the concert we had sushi and then came back to my house.
On Thursday we got up, drove to Pt. Reyes and backpacked in to the campsite. it was about a 4 mile easy hike to Arch Rock, then a harder hike to the campsite (about another four miles.) There were some great ocean views, although the fog was really rolling in. There was a deceptively long uphill stretch,and I received multiple death threats from Sheila during this portion of the trail. Eventually, the trail leveled out, and then we were greeted with a view of a valley and beach. That was our campsite. We walked down the hill and found our campsite. The camp was nice. It was about 100 yards from the beach and there were two toilets, running water, and trash bins This was not exactly backwoods camping. I began to wish I'd packed some steaks and charcoal instead of couscous and foil packs of Indian food. Although our spot was officially a group campsite, we didn't have to share it.
We unpacked our stuff, put all the food in the raccoon-proof cabinet, and went down to the beach for a walk. When we returned, we drank mojitos and cooked our dinner. At this point the fog was turning into mist which was very close to turning into rain. We went to sleep rather than tough it out. In the tent, we could hear the waves crashing, with the occasional seal barking plus a few airplanes flying out of SFO.
The next day everything was completely drenched. It didn't really rain but it really misted. The night before, we put everything away except for our matches. Yes, we both have PhD's! We had breakfast and discovered that someone had walked off with out trail mix and some of our granola. Grr... I suspect the stoners at the next camp over. If this had been a multi-day backwoods trip we would've been in serious trouble. We walked to go see a waterfall on the beach and then packed up our gear and hiked out. We took a different trail, which was shorter and easier, although it was still 6 miles.
My knee help up fine on this trip. It helped that the trail was very even. I did roll my ankle when I got distracted by some good-looking guys, but it was no big deal.
Once we got back to the car we bought sandwiches at a deli and drove north to go see Drakes Beach + the lighthouse. There was some serious fog rolling in at the lighthouse. I found some sand dollars. The lighthouse was cool but we had to climb up a hill and then do a bunch of stairs. we were pretty tired. We came back and had dinner at Fiesta del Mar.
Fiesta del Mar and its' five sister restaurants are owned by an extended family. (Side note - it's a small world. When one of my coworkers was installing some reactors at JIRSA in Mexico City, one of the chemists there told him that her cousin owned one of the restaurants.) All the restaurants serve excellent Mexican food. The enjococado sauce (aka Grandma's secret sauce!) is not to be missed. It's a creamy orange sauce that they put on chicken dishes. We did our best to chat up the waiter and find out what the secret ingredients are, but he wouldn't tell us. I wasn't surprised - I've tried before, as have a lot of other people. I found a recipe on the internet, so I'm going to test it in an upcoming edition of Recipe Geek. Stay tuned! (Hint - oranges and ground almonds...)
On Saturday we went to Angel Island. We were slow moving in the morning and then hit a lot of traffic. We parked, got lunch and then got on the 1 pm ferry from Tiburon. I've never been to Angel Island before. It's pretty cool. We hiked to the top. It was sunny but SF was covered with fog. We couldn't even see the Golden Gate Bridge for more than a few seconds at a time. Once we were done with that trail it was around 4. we decided to catch the 4:30 ferry. We drove over to Rodeo Beach but it was foggy and cold, so we didn't stay long. it was around 6 pm at that point so we drove over to Sausalito for dinner. We went to a seafood restaurant right on the bay. Sheila's new iPod was very helpful with its restaurant app. We got really lucky and got a table right away, but it then filled up immediately. If we'd gotten there just a few minutes later we would have had a 1 - 1 1/2 hour wait. We could see Angel Island and the ferries from our table. That was massively cool.
After dinner, we drove back to my place. It was too short a visit, but nonetheless I was exhausted. After I dropped Sheila of at the airport at 6:30 AM on Sunday I came back and slept until noon. Yes, I'm an old biddy.
Sheila's got a great photo blog and posted a lot of stuff from the trip. Scroll back through the photos until you get to the Point Reyes/Angel Island pictures.
Random note #1: We saw two dead seals. I wanted there to be a lot of seals for Sheila to photograph, but this was NOT what I had in mind. However, we also saw a pair of extremely feisty seals who were leaping in the water. That was really cool.
Random Note #2: The weather was very typical for this time of year. It can be gorgeous, sunny, and warm, but you get tons of fog once you're within a half mile of the Pacific Ocean.

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