MSP–>SFO

So we got lotsa snow. Just keeeeeeps on comin.’  Luckily, Henry is super good at turning it into fun (often by helping me shovel, which is awesome)

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Nothing like a good snow tunnel

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But sometimes, you need a break. My answer to that was a weekend in California with Julia!

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Friday was a workday for her, so I went for a wander in San Francisco. I had a definite plan for my day, but a minor bus snafu was enough to get me to let go of the plan and just follow my heart instead. And I’m so glad I did!

My heart led me here

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and here

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and here

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You get the idea. It was glorious to walk in a beautiful city (without a winter parka) and just see what came next.

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This is the only spotting I had of the Golden Gate Bridge, even though a bus I rode literally took me past the bridge’s visitor center. It was soooo foggy.

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Oh hey, Prison Island

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The Wave Organ. I was 100% planning to come here. Then I changed my plan, then I ended up here…then I decided the extra backtracking involved in actually getting out to that point was too much. But at least I saw it.

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I hoped The Doctor might pop out!

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Pretty

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Coastal Trail

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Bath ruins at Land’s End

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So Land’s End was pretty much the ONLY thing I knew I definitely wanted to do in San Francisco, and it was just the prettiest ever. The whole park is incredible

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I climbed down a few different trails to the water, looking for the fabled Land’s End Labyrinth. I found lots of other things instead. In this particular area, I was pretty sure someone was lurking and waiting to leap out and attack, but luckily all was fine and I got a great view of the water.

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Just when I’d almost given up hope that the labyrinth really existed, a kindly fellow told me I was thirty steps away from that trail. Another woman chimed in telling me it was down the bazillion steps.

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She wasn’t wrong

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I definitely thought this was the labyrinth (there are cairns in there that you can’t really see) and was disappointed for a bit…but then I looked around! Soooo pretty. The sound of the ocean is the best of all the sounds.

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Cairns

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Then, on the way back, I decided to take a side trail for a higher view.

And there she was!

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I walked the paths til everyone else left and then walked some more while listening to the waves punch the rocks below.

Eventually, I had to go back up those bajillion steps, but I was so happy I even enjoyed it

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When I got to the top, I got the good news that Julia was off work early, so we each snagged buses to meet up on Haight Street for some cheese and beer

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En route, I saw this dude. What?!

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Just look at some of these lovelies!

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Twin Peaks was calling to Julia, so we ascended via cab and observed some seriously rolling fog. It was beautiful, and cool to see the area from above.

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I liked the sign on this residential street up there.

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We went back downtown and to Berkeley and ultimately back to good ol’ Temescal, her neighborhood in Oakland.

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Saturday morning, I roamed the ‘hood for a few hours before we headed up to wine country.

Okay, look at this:

 

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Literally the view from our campsite. It could not have been more incredible. Or so I thought, but then the next morning the fog rolled in, and it was more incredible. You’ll see in a moment.

After a hilarious ride in an inflatable boat that was neither kayak nor canoe, but somewhere in between, we enjoyed the sunset from a nearby overlook. This is Lake Sonoma, btw, in case you have any idea about where that is.

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My camping companions: Julia and her friend-and-neighbor

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We tried to do the timer-thing on my camera, so here they are, holding the place where I’ll join the photo.

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We did not figure it out. So we had a nearby astronomy student do the honors.

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See?! The view!

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The tent where Julia read me to sleep

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This is love, right here

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