Saturday, February 29, 2020

California dreamin' (Part Two)

With Katie and Nancy on top of Coit Tower
You don’t want to use the word iconic lightly. I think though that it’s safe to use it for three places we went in the San Francisco area.

1: Golden Gate Bridge (needs no explanation.)
2: Muir Woods, the National Monument that is a redwood sanctuary with coast redwoods more than 250 feet high and 400 to 800 years old. The East Bay Times summarizes: “ The National Park Service preserves “that singular icon of Northern California, the coast redwood.”
3. Coit Tower, a top of Telegraph Hill. (Just to make sure I wasn’t exaggerating, I looked it up and read, “Coit Tower is an iconic site on the San Francisco skyline.”

Nancy planned a whole itinerary, starting with my arrival on last Thursday, to which we adhered pretty closely except for substituting more time outside instead of the Legion of Honor Museum. I had been to Coit Tower, but this was an exceptionally interesting visit because she booked a private tour, in which our guide explained the history behind the Depression-era murals.

Atop Coit Tower
A sign at the tower explains, “In early 1934, the building became the pilot project of the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP), and offshoot of the Civil Works Administration, one of the ‘alphabet soup’ of federal agencies that put people to work during the Depression. (Our guide said it owes a lot to Eleanor Roosevelt.)
…Many of the most important Bay Area artists of the time were hired to create the artwork. The twenty-six project artists worked together to support the unified theme of ‘Aspects of Life in California, 1934′, depicting scenes of agriculture, education, urban and rural life, and New Deal idealism. 

One of my favorites: life in a newspaper office.

Afterwards, we had lunch at the Saint Francis Yacht Club, where Nancy is a member, and walked along the beach towards the Golden Gate Bridge. It didn’t look real, but it was. I don’t know how many times I should say beautiful, but that’s what it is. It was sunny and in the 60s, a balm to East Coasters who had gone West out of the cold.

Lunch in the trees

Our Airbnb was in the town of Tiburon. I got in a jog of two and a half miles, part of it along the water, and met Nancy for coffee. We had a view of the water. I took a video of the ferry coming in. I could do all of that some more.

After checking out of the Airbnb, on the last day, we drove up into the mountains.

Tree hugger
We had lunch on the deck of the Mountain Home Inn, along the Mt. Tamalpais ridgeline, which felt like we were floating in the trees. Then it was on to Muir Woods, and then on to get a snack at the Parkside Café before a sunset walk along Stinson Beach. We found so many perfect sand dollars that my traveling companion wondered if they were real!

The joy of being there was compounded by watching little Goldie’s joy in everything. I treasured watching her and Katie play along the shoreline. Serena is doing such a good job with her. I got a kick out of how she kept calling us Cousin Ronni and Cousin Katie. Little baby Leo is of course cute too of course and seems to be always smiling.

Little cutie
Then it was on to the airport for Katie’s 8:43 p.m. flight and my flight at 10:10 p.m.

It’s hard to believe we squeezed so much into a few days, but we got it all in.

I arrived in Boston at 4 a.m./7 a.m… and was exhausted.

Driving home, I had to stop twice. It took days to get over it. I might not take the Red Eye again. I only slept a little. But if we hadn’t taken it, then we would have missed the magical day we had on Monday. The better way might have been to do what we did last year when we went to Jeremy and Karma’s wedding, leaving around 2 p.m.

Stinson Beach
As I write this a few days later I have finally recovered. I’m sad about it being over and concerned that somehow I got exposed to the Coronavirus. I asked my pharmacist if being on one milligram of prednisone counts as being immunosuppressed, and he said no. For good measure, I asked my nurse practitioner, Melissa, and she said the same. She said she was glad I went to California.

I think that to keep my mind off of it, I’m going to make a photo book. That way I can immerse myself in the love, and the wonder of it all, and look at the smiling faces and try not to get swallowed up in the hysteria. I talked to a friend about the worry and she said it doesn’t do any good to look back. It does good when looking back at the good part but not when second guessing. I have a tickle in my throat and am trying not to go overboard with it. My imagination helps in my writing but not when I apply it to myself and my symptoms. 


Mary Ellen said...

Thanks for this Ronnie, it is great reading about and seeing some of your travels. I was just ahead of you at both Muir Woods and Coit Tower! Our time there flew by too, but we loved it. And those murals! I took photos of them all but was not lucky enough to have a tour guide explaining them. It was great seeing you the other night.

Ronni Gordon said...

Great seeing you too! You should come to lunch some day. Glad you liked the post.