Oh, San Francisco…you are not what I cracked you up to be

Well it came and it went.
Now I sit back on my couch in Wyoming, most certainly bigger and rounder than I was 5 days ago when I left.
I was uber-psyched about the trip. Some solo, anonymous time in the big city. Walking about, exploring, seeing, watching, tasting, soaking up some sunshine…
But instead it was full of failures, dead-ends, frustrations, and wasted time.
It wasn’t all bad. I’m glad I went. Some things were terrific…I could have just gone home a day or two earlier.

The rental car fella said “here are some of your options”, and this little Fiat was within his arm sweep. i said “oooh, i’ll try that little penny racer!”. and it was fun. and i was able to park it in spots that seemed impossible. and the gas mileage was terrific. but it didn’t make the traffic any better. it didn’t make the one-way streets and better. it didn’t make the construction go away. it didn’t help me to understand where i was or where i was going…it didn’t find the UPS store when i must have driven right by it even though i scouted it out several days before i needed to use it. i spent too much time with the wee little Fiat. wasted time. time i’ll never get back….but it took me to some pretty cool places too!

Like here. On Sunday, I had no work commitments so i drove up to Point Reyes to go for a hike. Saturday was record breaking temperatures, and I was inside all day. I was not prepared for the weather on Sunday. I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge (although i couldn’t even tell i was on it due to the thick fog) and over to Marin County. Started up Highway 1, ended up turning around cause the construction traffic was more than i wanted to bargain for on a free-day Sunday. Realized I was starving and went on a breakfast search. Ended up at a most fabulous little cafe in Mill Valley. Had crepes. Why don’t i eat them more often? The sun was shining there, so i ate outside and read the paper – it was delightful. I must say all the crappiness of the trip was certainly interrupted my moments of pure pleasure!

Thought about bailing on the hike and just walking around at an Earth Day Festival in the sunshine. Talked myself out of it as I’ve always wanted to check out Point Reyes and I needed a brisk stroll in fresh air after a day of standing around inside a building, which was preceded by a day of sitting during multiple car hours and multiple flight hours.

As i drove out to the coast, the clouds and the fog swallowed me up again. I was sad to leave the sunshine, but thought it was kind of Northern-Californian of me to be driving through the infamous marine layer. I left the hotel in the morning wearing a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, and had a little lightweight wrap layer with me. When I arrived in the parking lot at the trailhead, EVERYONE was in puffy coats, long pants, and winter hats. It was windy and chilly..but come on, it wasn’t THAT cold. I figured it would be good for me to have to walk swiftly…and I did. I scooted right along the path and passed bunches of people (who knew that there would be droves of people on a trail that i had to drive over an hour to get to!). I chose this particular hike because it was triple starred on a website that I looked at. Said the wildflowers in the springtime were simply outstanding…felt like i could use a bit of bloomage in my world. It claimed to be 3.5 miles one way. MALARKEY! The hike was rather lame-o. There were a couple of spur trails that climbed up to some sweet looking cliffs, but there all had signs posted on them that said NO ACCESS. I was a tad disappointed…I really wanted some good quality exercise. Oh, and due to jogging up the trail (at least it was uphill most of the way out to the point) and Sprout sitting cozily on my bladder, I had to pee so terribly!!! On a coastal hike in one of the most populated counties in America, there is no place to do that! I longed for Wyoming!!!  The wildflowers were quite charming, and had a special quality to them under the introspectively gloomy sky. I couldn’t stay too long to view them because I had to book it back to the trail head where a restroom awaited me. Well, it may not have been what I was hoping for, but i did get to take a little uphill jog and see some flowers and lay eyes on the Pacific and feel west-coast saturated. There is something in that!

I ate incredibly well too! That was the highlight in fact. I’d have one big meal of the day, and then some little fresh-food snacks. One night was Indian, one night Thai, one night Italian. Greek for lunches and breakfasts. It was rather incredible! Oh – and I had Cold Stone ice cream too. and it was beautiful. i have purposely been avoiding ice creams and desserts during Sprout’s incubation since i may have overdone it during Critter’s. but when i indulge, it is simply fabulous!!!!

I did see and learn a lot about San Francisco and the areas around it. All the way up to Petaluma and over to Oakland. I was blown away with how many road bikers there were!!! It has reinforced my desire to take a bike tour through Napa Valley some fall or spring. The pastoral hills of Marin County were screaming for me to pedal my bicycle through them…and I will.

It wasn’t all bad, it just wasn’t my best flying-solo travel performance (which I kind of considered myself an expert in). Perhaps it could have climbed up a notch if I could have had a glass of wine or a bloody mary during my strolls around the city. Or if I could have gone for a legitimate run across the Golden Gate bridge, or up the hills of San Fran in the early morning (hernia pain is a MAJOR suck!). And I missed Critter and Daddio. That doesn’t really happen to me. I am always quite content no matter where I am. But for part of this trip, I felt like I was just spinning my wheels waiting for my flight home.

And now I’m here. And all is quite well. Got to have a regular ‘ol Wyoming dinner on the grill and dine with Critter and Daddio and pick up the sippy cup 90 times and pop peas into Crittter’s mouth inbetween her gnocchi bites. Got to watch her scrambled about and show off her new spin move. Got to take a garden tour with Daddio and he showed me all the new trees that he and Crit dug up in the forest on Earth Day to transplant at our house. Got to see Daddio’s potato box creation. Got to check out the asparagus that emerged in my absence (and eat a few of the for dinner). Got to give Crit a kitchen sink bath and put her in her PJs. Got to tuck her in and listen to her wail for a solid 5-10 minutes. Got to hear the Backcountry Basset howling at the sliver of a moon. Got to get up and let the Mountain Mutt in and out of the door at least times. And shortly, I get to climb up (that’s right – I need the assistance of a tree stump to get up into my bed) and lie next to Daddio, with Sprout inside, and Critter across the hall, and relish in how it truly perfect it feels to be home.