Ryan and his brother are flora and fauna nerds. Every vacation involves a lot of plant conversation and tree photos. They fondle the leaves, admire the stems and ask me to get out of the way so they can get a good picture of the bark.
We only spent Friday and Saturday in San Francisco. So just two days with a rehearsal dinner and a 3 o' clock Catholic wedding cushioning our sight seeing. We definitely did not get to take in as much as might have liked.
Saturday I got up early to run a 10K in the Golden Gate park with Poppy. The race was put on by a local running club and was really low key. Or was suppose to be and maybe it was. Unfortunately, we never found the race. Our map for the park lacked the necessary street name of the start/finish and we just couldn't figure out exactly which unnamed street it was. So we made up our own course. I won and I ran further. We still did about 6-7 miles so I feel good about it.
I may hate flying to California but I love running there. I totally dig the no humidity and the perfect 60 degree weather. And I especially loved running through the Golden Gate Park. What an amazing park. Just WOW!
After my run I met up with the tree geeks and Meme and we toured the Tea Gardens and wandered about until starvation forced us to cab it to the Wharf for some lunch. We even saw a little Tai Chi on our way out of the park-- which I totally do not get but was still interesting to watch. I can't believe whole groups of people do this outside in public for anyone to watch. Show-offs.
Ryan took some pretty neat pictures of the Tea Gardens. I really wish we had had more time to see the other gardens in the park. There is a flower conservatory, which I felt pretty certain there would be some cool orchids in that I would have loved seeing. Not to mention the Shakespeare Garden that I ran past but was too nervous to venture in alone. As a woman runner I get skeeved out about desolate places. I need cars and people and well traveled roads to feel safe. Sadly, no trail marathons for me.
Sunday we left San Francisco but not before I got to try Dim Sum. I am not a breakfast food lover. I do not like eggs. At all. Blech! And since almost all breakfast/brunch foods seems to revolve around the egg I am often S.O.L. So Dim Sum was a nice change for me. I got to eat something other than cereal. This is a breakfast I can get on board with: shrimp and pork and vegetables wrapped up in a dumpling! Yum!
After breakfast and some requisite Bridge pictures we drove on to Napa but not before stopping in Muir Woods to placate the tree geeks.
Having grown up in the South and because I am too well acquainted (meaning visually bored to death) with the fauna and foliage of the Appalachian I am always enamored by the Northwest forests along the coast. I say forests because to me forest is a magical word and the woods in Oregon, Northern California and Washington seem magical to me. They are conjuring places. Places that I think hobbits, fairies and brownies could really live. Tolkien comes to life here, I am certain.
I felt these woods were so magical that I chose to listen to my ipod rather than the commentary from the tree geeks. I felt other worldly. And yes it may have been the Anchor Steams we enjoyed at our lunch in Tiburon. But know that Cold Play and Pavement and World Party proved wonderful companions on my stroll through Muir Woods.
Muir Woods made me wish that I did live right outside of San Francisco-- maybe in Tiburon or Sausilito, and that I wasn't scared and that I was a trail runner. Sigh. Maybe in another life. And in that life, maybe I wouldn't even wear my ipod and would let my rhythmic breathing and the sound of my quiet footfall echoing in the forest motivate me rather than the tunes in my head.