Weekend in California: Part 2

I don’t think I could choose which part of our West Coast weekend I enjoyed most (although I will say that the pear French toast is definitely in the running for first place… sorry Mike and Vanessa).  The wedding was very fun, as were the running around downtown bits, but the more relaxed Sunday we spent meandering about the coastline with Alex and Rachel was also fantastic — and we even ended up in jail!

The trouble all started during brunch.  We were still in Mountainview, having stopped to stock up on Scones of Tastiness (which Rachel, despite the fact that I chose the blackcurrant one, it was still delicious) and headed to a brunching joint.  Over the meal, we decided to go “hiking”.  (I say “hiking” because let’s face it:  Rachel and I were both in skirts — there’s a limit to how much bramble we were really prepared for that day.)  We’d driven along down a winding, scenic road in a park (most of the drive being accompanied by commentary on the retardedness of some of more cavalier motorcyclists) and had stopped at a flea market which seemed to be more flea than market, but which was definitely good fun.  The sunny heat was a very welcome change from the previous evening’s San Francisco chill.

Along the way we passed by fantastic views (which of course I didn’t photograph), crazy-expensive ranch houses way up in the hills, the road to a microbrewery, and local farms!  Eventually, we ended at Half-Moon Bay, where we got out and scrambled about on the hills for a bit.

It shows that these two have adapted to their environment:  whereas I am relatively adept (you know, for a clutz) at clambering over rocks and hills, the sandiness of this (obviously well-trod) trail presented more than a couple “uh…AAH!  Oh.  I’m okay!” moments for me.  Then again, The Boy seemed to manage just fine, so maybe it was just me.  Huh.

Well, despite my unsure footing, I did manage to get a (somewhat sloppy) panorama of the bay:

My software had more than a few issues with that one, let me tell you.  I mean, normally I’m a little rough around the edges, but this was the first time I had to manually find match-up points for the whole thing.  Apparently oceans are hard?

Anyway, fun was had by all, and we even did the tourist-camera exchange to get a picture of the four of us!

After that, we headed to the town itself where Rachel and I went on a quest for ice cream while the boys sought out coffee and snacks of somewhat more substance.  We trawled though a couple used book stores and then I spotted:  The Yarn Store.  I promptly vanished.

You see, way back when we got the wedding invitation, and The Boy was daydreaming about all the tasty Mexican food he’d be able to snarf down, I’d had one “must”:  Go visit ArtFibers, that legendary San Francisco yarn store where they make all their own yarns.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to buy or make, but I knew I wanted something with silk in it, and I knew I’d make something small, unique and entirely for me with it.

Did we go?  Umm, no.  So when I spotted this small but very nice yarn store in the town on our last day in the area, I launched myself at it with a fervour normally reserved for waffles.  They didn’t carry ArtFibres (obviously), but they did have some luscious ArtYarns SuperMerino in their discount tables out front.  Really?  Soft, squashy, machine-washable yarn in a sea-inspired blue-green colourway for half price?  And we have friends with a brand new baby I should probably knit something for?  DONE.  I may or may not have been fondling the yarn on the flight back home.

(If you’re curious, I knit up a Pebble, and it’s Ravelled here, but I haven’t finished or posted pictures yet, due to Button Drama, although all the knitting and end-weaving is done.)

After my fibre needs were sated, we headed back downtown to hop a ferry to… Alcatraz!  This was something I’d long wanted to do:  in fact, every time we’d visited San Francisco, somewhere on the second or third day, it would occur to me that I wanted to go, but by then, of course, tickets were long sold out.  This time, however, I’d planned ahead and we’d arrived in town with tickets for an evening tour in hand.

Disappointingly, I really didn’t take all that many pictures.  Partly it was lack of light, but mostly it was just that… I don’t know that I could really capture the sad, empty feel of the place on the tour.  It was very interesting, to be sure, and I’d like to go again during the day to have more time to wander over the rest of the island.  Still, The Boy and I had a good first exposure, we learned about The Birdman, and left with cute souvenirs for his nephews.

Still, it wouldn’t be a trip there without at least a picture of the islands:  The Rock itself, and Angel Island.

We wrapped up the trip with a sleepy drive home and early goodbyes.  The following morning we left in the wee hours — although apparently we missed Alex waving goodbye! — and spent the wait through airport security lines munching on tasty scones.

Thanks again for hosting us guys — we had so much fun and are looking forward to going back!

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