I Left My Sun Block in San Francisco

Trip Start Mar 17, 2014
Trip End Mar 23, 2014

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, March 30, 2014

The rain dance everyone in California was doing brought results. It poured hard Friday night and most of Saturday morning but Di and I braved it to take the ferry into the city for the day. Our trip took 45 minutes - it's a big bay - and we disembarked at the Ferry Building, the terminal for all ferries that travel across the Bay. 

The Ferry Building is one of my favorite structures. Built in the Beau Arts style in 1892, it has a big clock tower designed after a 12th C. bell tower in Seville, Spain and the entire length is based on an arched arcade. Well-built, it survived both the 1906 and the 1989 earthquakes. The later earthquake destroyed the elevated Embarcadero freeway built in the '50's that cut off the waterfront in this area and it was replaced with a gorgeous wide palm tree-lined pedestrian boulevard that reconnected a significant part of San Francisco's historic waterfront with the rest of the city. 

                                                             In 2002, the Ferry Building underwent an extensive restoration and renovation and the ground floor now houses a marketplace of lovely restaurants, coffee bars and food-focused shops. On Saturdays, there's an outdoor Saturday farmers' market but it was a wet looking bunch of vendors and we made for nice hot latte inside, followed by a few purchases at the great kitchen shop, Sur la Table and a wander down the Embarcadero. The rain finally let up and we admired all the plantings along the way and on the various levels of the Embarcadero buildings across from the Ferry Building.
Today the sun shone again so I took Dave's bike for another ride through the China Camp trails. This time I saw wild turkeys and came back through the Santa Venetia marshland, close to Dianne and Dave's neighbourhood. 

 They really live in a terrific location, close enough to drive into the city in less than half an hour or drive a short distance to the Larkspur ferry terminal and leave the car there. They are in the Santa Venetia Valley very close to the north end of the Bay and are surrounded with green space - the hills, the marsh, Santa Margarita Island and huge China Camp Park. The Santa Venetia neighbourhood is mostly small older homes on lots big enough for real gardens and  it is always so thrilling to see lemons and oranges and even grapefruits growing in people's yards. 
 Mt. Tamalpais and Muir Woods are close by and the Napa and Sonoma Valleys are an hour away. They can walk to the Marin Farmers' Market held twice a week year round and have access to every other kind of retail experience imaginable within Marin. And they have a charming home with the most private of gardens. Plus, they rarely get the cold summer fog that plagues San Francisco. I froze in the city once on July 4th.

Tomorrow this lovely respite comes to an end and I'll be heading home, along with Dianne who's coming for a week. I'm also bringing home a new pony - Dave's trail bike which he insisted he didn't want anymore. We had an interesting couple of hours wrapping it up in a plastic tarp and duct tape til it looked like a weird art piece from the di Rosa, in order to check it as oversize baggage on the flight tomorrow. I have had a fabulous two weeks - thanks so much Di and Dave for being such great hosts and such good friends! And thanks to your friends who added to the whole experience!

Looks like more rain is headed this way and the sun will be shining further north. Maybe I'll pack the sun block after all.

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Jane on

Hi Jen,
As usual, your blog is wonderful to read, and your photos are equally wonderful. Makes me want to move! So much wonderful public space nearby, and one of the world's great cities just across the bay.

Joanna Pettit on

Gosh, it sounds like just a perfect spot to live.

Wendy Parker on

I'm enjoying your holiday! Look forward to seeing you and Dianne soon. We had a beautiful day today 18C. on my deck. I spent the day in the garden.

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