San Francisco and Sonoma County Adventures - Part 1

The Golden Gate Bridge was especially beautiful at sunset.
In the beginning of October, my husband (Martin) and I flew to San Francisco for a long weekend full of adventures. Several others joined us on this adventure. My cousin and her husband who live in NYC flew out the same day. Another couple from Vancouver and their two young children also stayed with us. Plus, since my cousin’s husband had lived here previously, a couple of local friends joined in the festivities. Generally, our group ranged from 4 - 14, depending on the day and the activity.

We stayed at a rented house just outside the small town of Forestville. The house had a spectacular view of the woods and an elaborate three-level deck, which we used for grilling and eating our meals.

Before meeting up with my cousin and her husband, Martin and I had about 8 hours in San Francisco to explore. Neither of us had ever been in San Francisco nor had we spent any significant amount of time in California. We were ecstatic!

We made nearly zero plans before arriving in San Francisco. We had looked up a few things to do and had a general sense of the layout of the city, but that was it. It was exhilarating landing in a new city and not knowing where we were going to go or how we were going to get there.

After taking the train from the airport to the city, we grabbed a bite to eat and then strolled over to the Beat Museum.

It was pretty cool to be in the same place where so much creativity was shared. The museum was interesting, but could have been organized to present the information in a more captivating and comprehensive way - but I guess it emulated the typical organization of beatnik writings.

Sailboats were everywhere, and it was exciting to dream about someday living aboard one.

We discovered a beach; many people were swimming despite the frigid waters. The water was as cold as a Minnesota lake in early May! Brr!

We saw Alcatraz from afar, which was closed, like many other places, due to the government shutdown.

At dusk, we decided to begin a 3 mile walk to a restaurant for supper. Our directions told us to cross a major road where we couldn’t cross... making our walk a little longer. Our walk took us through the beautiful Presidio park - or rather mini forest. Had the sun not been going down, it would have been a wonderful stroll through the woods. Instead, it was a little terrifying, not knowing when we would be able to get out of the park, not knowing how safe the park was after dark, and knowing that we looked like tourists carrying luggage. We were very happy to get out of the park and even happier to arrive at the pizza restaurant and order a beer!

The highlight of the entire trip was the picnic lunch at a friend’s vacation home. There are no words for the view.

Driveway of the vacation home that was the location of our picnic lunch.
We lounged for several hours here, drinking many bottles of wine and eating a leisurely lunch.

If I were to describe the most perfect meal and afternoon, this picnic lunch would be better than that. I could have stayed here for the rest of my life and been happy.

The Redwoods at Armstrong State Park were simply majestic. I was amazed not only about the size of the trees, but also about the silence in the forest. The trees appear to absorb the noise. We even tried to yell to some people in our party who were just 50 yards away, and they couldn’t hear us at all.

We had many other adventures at restaurants and wineries during our time in northern California - too many for a single post. So, this post is the first of three San Francisco and Sonoma County posts. Part 2 will feature winery adventures!

Have you been to San Francisco and northern California? What were some of the fabulous sites you saw while there?

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