The 49 Mile Scenic Drive, Mill Valley & The Rock

Trip Start Jul 13, 2009
Trip End Oct 07, 2009

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, September 25, 2009

We arrived into San Francisco over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge which had a toll of $4. It gave us a great sight for our arrival in San Fran of Alcatraz, San Francisco City and Golden Gate Bridge. We follow on down to our hotel which was in South San Fran by the airport. We had a lazy afternoon after the drive and spoke to Kelly as well as arranging a time to catch up with Roddy and Anja on Sunday.

In the morning we thought the best way to see most of the sights would be to follow the 49 mile scenic drive route. We parked on the water front by the Ferry Building and walked up Market Street. We then headed to Union Square and then on to China Town. We realised our meter was running out so we went back to the car and drove on through Fisherman's Wharf (which looked great) to Fort Point via Marina Green Drive. It gave us some stunning views of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge. At Fort Point we also saw seals and dolphins. It was so nice to watch. The next point of call was Lincoln Park, down Great Highway that has a fantastic long beach and back up to Golden Gate Park. We were starving as it was about 16:00 by now so we grabbed BK and headed up Twin Peaks and were met with fantastic panoramic views. After soaking it all in we headed back to the hotel but thought it was best to find a supermarket before putting our feet up. We couldn't find anything we wanted to eat as it needed to be cold or already cooked. There was a cinema complex next door so we went and saw The Informant which was good but not what we had expected. Adrian checked to see if the folder had arrived and it hadn't. The following day was Sunday so it wasn't arriving then and we left San Fran on Monday. He called The Yosemite Bug and they confirmed later it hadn't been sent.

On Sunday Adrian headed back to Yosemite as we didn't feel like giving it a second go in case it didn't happen again and then we would be even further away to drive down and collect it. As it was, it ended up being a 6 hour round trip. In the meantime I gave Roddy a call and he came to pick me up with Anja. We headed up north over the Golden Gate Bridge and through Sausalito (very picturesque) to Muir Beach. We had a very yummy lunch at the Pelican Inn which is styled on an old English Pub and then headed to the beach for a paddle. It is a really nice cove but you have to watch out you don't stray into the nudist part around the rocks! After chillin' there (and the water was quite cold) we drove to Mill Valley (via Cascade Falls) and enjoyed an ice coffee while listening to a live band and watching the locals kick their heels up. Roddy and Anja got shopping and we went back to theirs for a BBQ dinner. They have a really cool flat overlooking the valley. It is a fantastic location, 20 minutes out of San Fran, loads of trails for mountain biking / hiking, great views and the climate. Also, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, the Redwoods are all close by. Adrian arrived at about 18:00 and we enjoyed a few drinks on the deck with cheese and crackers. We had a fab dinner and saw Roddy and Anja's photos of their beautiful wedding in Scotland. It was terrific to catch up as it had been about 4 years since Roddy and I worked at Arup. After a wonderful day Adi and I headed back over the bridge.

The next day we were off to Alcatraz. It was a captivating place. We started off by listening to the Escapes talk and then doing the audio tour. It is such an interesting place and to think it was only a federal prison for 30 years. It's history goes further back as it was previously a military prison. We enjoyed the trip and were really glad we went. Next for us was a long drive to Arcata so we could see the Giant Redwoods.
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