Thursday, April 21, through Wednesday, May 4, 2011: At Pacifica:
It was an easy 103-mile trip from Morgan Hill to Pacifica---and the San Francisco RV Park. The park is a typical in-city RV park---small spaces and no grassy areas. But it's nice, the people are very helpful, and the location is spectacular---on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and just a few miles from San Francisco.
We celebrated arriving with a lunch (substituting for dinner) at a local Japanese resrarant (Ocean Fish). Good food and reasonable prices.
Friday included a quick trip to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, a round trip of fewer than 15 miles. We saw bison,
a gazillion people who apparently have no need (or desire) to work, and Anglers Lodge, a depression-era facility for flyfishing enthusiasts. It has a nice building and a pond that is still used regularly for casting competitions. Very civilized.
The park itself is vast (more than 1,000 acres) and provides a nice refuge for residents of San Francisco, which, while a magnificent city in many ways, is very compacted and tension-producing. The last time we visited Golden Gate Park was many years ago, when we rented bicycles from a bike shop at the Haight/Ashbury corner---across the street from one of the park entrances. It's still very popular, and very nice.
On the way back from the park, we went through some areas (mostly along Junipero Serra Street) with quite nicely preserved, fine homes dating back to probably the '20s. I imagine they are spectacularly expensive. Lunch (again a substitute for dinner) was at Tam's Chinese Restaurant, a block from our RV park. Yummy!
Saturday saw us taking a short trip to Half Moon Bay, a half hour away. We took the dogs for a walk on the beach.
It reminded us of the Atlantic coast in Massachusetts, probably because of the wind and cold, and the bleakness.
Sunday involved a 20-minute BART ride to the Embarcadero in the city,
meeting Lucy Daggett and her significant other, Joe Friedman, at a wonderful restaurant. called The Slanted Door, located in the Ferry Building. Lucy and Becky were classmates at San Marino High School. We last saw Lucy at the El Tovar hotel at the Grand Canyon several years ago. They were fun to be with.
It was the first time I've been on BART in many years. It's a very efficient system.
Thursday involved another BART ride to the Embarcadero to have a glass of wine with Carla Schmidt
at the Franklin Bowles Gallery next door to Ghirardelli Square and to meet Harry Murphy and Deborah Gilden
for dinner at a restaurant called Fuzio in the Embarcadero 1 building. Carla was a schoolomate of our friend Barbara Coad many years ago. She sells high-end art. Very nice lady.
Fuzio was mostly neo-Italian food. Very good; small portions. We first met Harry and Debbie 14 years ago on a cruise in the western Caribbean, including the Panama Canal and Acapulco. We've only seen them sporadically since, though we've always stayed in touch. They travel so much (even delivering on-board lectures) they make us look like shut-ins. Interesting and fun people. They've been together for 24 years, and actualy got married a year ago.
Thursday night I set our DVRs to record the big wedding on two different stations. Didn't want to miss a moment. It took place in the middle of the night here, of course. I thought Kate was spectacular and William was properly royal. Altogether a fun few hours.
On Saturday we met Deborah Lepold, a banking buddy of Becky's (from Union Bank days) at the Woodside restaurant called Buck's---which, judging from the crowd, is a local favorite---
after which we went to Filoli, a 654-acre, very well-preserved mansion and grounds dating from the 'teens. It was built by a gold mining mogul after the San Francisco earthquake caused many of the wealthy locals to rebuild down the peninsula. Filoli is the last remaining of the genre. The original owner died in 1936 and the place was bought by William Roth, the owner of the Matson shipping line. His wife, Lurline, after whom several of the lines' ships were named, loved gardening, and the place shows it. It is simply magnificent. (The place now has 10 full-time gardeners on staff.)
The home was, incidentally, used in the flyover opening of "Dynasty" the TV series that was set in Denver. In 1975, Mrs. Roth donated the place to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
On Monday, we visited Mike and Karen Obley (friends of Becky's from Union Bank days, once again) at their beautiful home in Tiburon.
It even has a wine cellar that will hold 3,000 bottles.
They took us to lunch at Sam's Anchor Cafe, located on the water. It's been there since the '20s. Funky place; good food; great weather.
On Tuesday, Becky walked into the local Verizon store to talk about a new phone. An hour later, she walked out with a red Droid Something-Or-Other. She's loving it. It really does amazing things.
Wednesday was our day to visit the Walt Disney Family Museum, located in the Presidio---which was closed as a military base some years ago and is now operated by the National Park Service as a National Recreation Area. A lot of the old buildings are still there, so it still looks like an army base. The Disney Museum is located in what used to be a barracks building that was completely gutted and rebuilt (inside) into a magnificent site for an incredible array of Disney family memorabilia.
It's quite an amazing place. Well worth seeing. We were told that the reason the museum is so far from southern California where Walt did his most famous work was primarily that his daughter Diane now lives there and most of the artifacts have been stored there for many years.
We then topped off our stay in Pacifica by having dinner at Ocean Fish, the sushi place we have now visited three times while here in Pacifica. Tomorow, it's off to the Lake of the Springs Thousand Trails Preserve in Oregon House, California, of all the oddly-named places we could have chosen.