We went on the O’Neil Catamaran in Santa Cruz with Mayfield and it was a really nice time. We saw harbor seals on our way out of the harbor, then otters around the kelp beds. We made our way over to the Santa Cruz pier, and it was of course covered with Sea Lions. We then headed out to deeper water, and saw a number of humpbacks. They were very pretty. We had a pretty relaxing time, and it was nice to talk to Mark, Hai, KJ, and Michael.
Steph and I had a lovely day in SF starting with an Escape the room in Japan town. When we got there a festival was going on, and it made me really happy that we didn’t need to find parking. The room was designed for 11 people, and we only had 7. We ended up doing pretty well given that number difference, but we made one critical mistake and that cost us the round. I had a great time doing it, and was really happy I got to work on the puzzles I did.
Then Steph and I broke off from the rest of the group and went to Beach Blanket Babylon, which I thought of as Non Sequitur, the Musical, with HATS! It was amusing, but I don’t think I’d go again.
We had some time to kill before dinner so naturally we went to eat. We stopped by the Stinking Rose for some garlic bread, garlic ice cream, garlini, and roasted garlic. The roasted garlic spread on the bread was amazing.
Coi was a fantastic experience, and we got some fantastic food. One of the really unique things they had was the tea pairings, which Steph got. I got the California wine pairing and was not disappointed. They had some neat art on the walls that were MRI’s of different foods in cross sections. I was able to guess 3 of the 4 plants, an steph was able to guess the animal.
Stephanie and I went to a few open houses on Saturday and that was interesting because they had the exact same layout (which we didn’t like) and were in the same neighborhood but one was 200K more than the other. It was interesting to see what the differences were. We then kept going North into the city and stopped by the SF MOMA for a few hours. I really liked the sculptures, especially those that were living or moving. I wasn’t a huge fan of the paintings as I couldn’t understand what they were supposed to be doing most of the time, and so much of modern art is about the history behind it.
Steph and I then got a Lyft to one of the best dinner’s we’ve had at Atelier Crenn. We loved the food, but the wine wasn’t our favorite. I was especially amazed by the presentation, and the taste was delightful.
Stephanie planned an amazing weekend in Marin for the 4th of July long weekend. We got up there early evening on Friday, and I was able to work in the car on the way up so we could get going a bit earlier. Traffic was still bad, but I can’t even imagine what it would have been like should we have left later. We got to the inn and it was adorable. She really picked a great place, with a nice owner who cooked us breakfast in the morning.
We dropped off our stuff in the room, then left to get to the kayaking. We got to the launch point and there was only one group there so we assumed incorrectly that we were with them. Turns out there are four or five groups that head out for this bioluminescent kayaking trip every evening, so we found the group we were supposed to be with and it worked out. I didn’t realize it but the skirt on my kayak wasn’t sealing properly so it kept popping off on the first part of the trip, and I got soaking wet pretty quickly. It wasn’t that bad, since I’m naturally pretty warm.
We got to see some harbor seals and a lot of cormorants. There was one cormorant who had gotten the plastic rings from the top of a six pack stuck around its wing or neck and it had gotten another ring stuck on the tree near its nest. It had died and was mangled, hanging from the plastic six pack rings. I had heard about that kind of thing, but had never actually seen it before, it was very disturbing.
We got across Tomales Bay, and landed on a beach for a snack of cookies and hot chocolate. It was nice to get out of the wet kayak, and dry off a bit. After snacks, as it was getting dark, we got back in and I was able to properly seal the skirt. We paddled over to a dark secluded cove and I was surprised by how much bioluminescence there was. There was certainly the most I’ve seen in any one place.
We paddled back across and everyone else had a really hard time keeping up, the wind in the last stretch was strong, so many of them were getting blown down the coast. We made it back to the Inn and got some great sleep after washing all the seawater off.
The next day we had an amazing breakfast prepared by the inn owner, then we headed out to the northern point of Point Reyes. It was a lovely hike where we got to see a ton of elk. We didn’t know this but these were native Californian Elk. We had a nice lunch by a tiny pond there, then headed back to the town.
Stephanie looked up a meadery, and we got some drinks there. It was interesting with all the different types of honey and the different meads that those honeys made. The flavor was distinctly different with all of them. I would really like to try a cyser that was made with orange blossom honey.
Then we went to the Cowgirl Creamery, and got some really amazing goat cheeses. One was a standard goat cheese and the other was a truffle goat cheese, and possibly the best cheese I’ve ever had. They also had some really tasty looking crackers that we got to go with the cheeses.
We headed out to our next place an Airbnb at Mills Valley. It was cute, and pretty basic, but everything we needed and more for the evening. We went into Mills Valley proper and got some pretty tasty food at the nice restaurant there. We then just went back to the room and cuddled while watching some anime on netflix.
The next morning we got up decently early to get to Muir Woods. We were able to get parking, but we still had to park on the street despite getting there at 8:15. We had a really nice hike once we got out of the valley. There were more people on the early trails than Steph and I usually like to deal with, and I could tell she was getting aggravated by it. Luckily once we made it to some of the lesser used trails the crowds abated, leaving some wonderful views for us to observe in private and peace.
On the way back home we decided to look up restaurants along our route, and found an amazing dumpling place in Outer Richmond. They had some of the best soup dumplings I’ve ever had.
All in all Stephanie planned an amazing weekend, and I’ll have to repay her with a similarly amazing weekend soon.
Lindsay was having a Tour de Cure ride with her company. She sent out an email with a donation page and an invite, so I decided to join. Their group was doing a 50K, and since I had to bike there I added another 4.5 miles on top. All told it was about 35 miles that day. I got to see some of the people I worked with previously, and we had a loose group of 4 together. Stephanie and Kevin met us at the finish line, and Steph was nice enough to drive me home, since I was dead tired. blank-50k-2016
At the Finish Line
Stephanie and I had a great hike up the PG&E trail at Rancho San Antonio. It was a gorgeous day, and we had plenty of sun screen on. There were a lot of lizards with blue tails that we hadn’t seen before, as well as a lot of wildflowers in bloom. The picture below is from a random bike ride, but you get the idea (lots of flowers). We did the hike a bit faster than expected, and at the very end we saw two deer.
Stephanie, Stephany, Steven, and I went to EscapeSF and did their Escape the Antique Room on Monday.
We went to dinner at 21st amendment beforehand, and I got some delicious cider and jerk chicken. We grabbed a Lyft over to the EscapeSF location and jumped right into the room. It was really amazing, and the location based puzzles were really fun. The only puzzle we couldn’t do was one that wasn’t clear on how to approach it from the start. We did manage to escape, but needed a clue to get past that point.
Stephanie and I stopped by a 24 hour fitness to clean up after the hike, then headed to Jeremy and Nancys’ wedding. It was a nice affair, and the location was picturesque. I knew enough people there that it worked out nicely. We played some croquet, and had some amazing food before heading back home to watch the latest Game of Thrones episode.
Steph and I went for a fantastic hike in point reyes. We didn’t actually take the stairs down to the beach, but we did get to the stairs there and had nice lunch of yuba strips on a fallen branch. The views were amazing and the idyllic scenes along the trail through bear valley were lovely. The small clearings and creeks were splendid to look at. We also happened to be there with a lot of blooming wild flowers, I stopped counting at 20 different types, and we passed many more on the hike than that.