Saturday, October 22, 2011

Birthday on the Bay

Fun fact stat:

Since 2004, I have spent three birthdays in the San Francisco/Bay Area. Rather strange for a girl who lived on the other side of the country and just moved here! And I've loved every one.

My 28th birthday started out with Ina Garten's omelet for 2, since every day is better with Ina's cooking. She is truly my go-to for any occasion...a fancy dinner, quick meal for surprise drop-ins, and the frequent after-work dinner that I want to deeply enjoy.

To celebrate another year, Brian and I went sightseeing in San Francisco for the weekend. We BARTed in, emerging right in the midst of hustling Market Street, eyes wide and immediately clambering for sights of ornate architecture, intriguing people, and of course some Ghirardelli chocolate. Hopping a bus to the Richmond District, we rode west and, reaching our starting point, strode off into the wilds of Golden Gate Park. The dappled sunlight filtered through the giant redwoods as we meandered our way past the Conservatory of Flowers, the Botanical Garden, and fields full of volleyball tournaments and picnics, somehow missing the herd of bison that live somewhere.

Conservatory of Flowers

At the De Young Museum of Art we caught the closing weekend of the Picasso Exhibit, fresh from the Picasso Museum in Paris. Now, I never liked Picasso. But, on a random weekend in Paris I went and fell into liking him very much. His acres of sketchbook pages, some only 2 inches across, showed studies and lines very much like my own doodles. I loved that they were so simple. The exhibit here featured his own collection of Picasso's....his favorites you could say. Brian and I left in silent awe, forced into silence by the vastness of his creativity.
Sculpture Garden at the De Young

We walked all the way down Golden Gate Park (okay, okay, we caught a bus for the last 10 blocks) to the Pacific Ocean. I never think about San Francisco being on the ocean...and definitely didn't think about them having a beach. Who knew? There is a great old building that used to be the beach bathhouses, complete with detailed murals of SF and a live jazz band. We sauntered through the sand, eating asian-inspired tacos and judging the leftover creations from a sand castle contest. Up around past the Cliff-House, the Sutro Baths, and down the Coastal Trail.

Old Bathhouse

Sutro Baths

The Coastal Trail is being restored. Volunteers have planted thousands of native species on the hillsides...hopefully to soon be covering the ground once more. The views are incredible. My breath caught in my throat as we rounded the western corner of SF and caught sight of the burnt red Golden Gate Bridge. As Brian said, it really couldn't be any other color. The red stands out from the green-brown hillsides of the Marin Headlands, and the abundant blueness of the water and sky force it into your vision like a pop-up book.

We didn't make it as far as my optimistic mind initially wanted (the Presidio). But we made it to China Beach, with its towering homes and views behind them that i can only imagine are to die for. Tired and a bit hungry, we headed for the nearest bus stop to take us home.

Brian in front of our house. Just kidding. 

Not bad for a 28th birthday.

1 comment:

  1. great pics, i stayed over by golden gate park when i was there this summer. looking forward to the visit in december!