Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Finally~ A Refreshing, Enlivening Day Trip

After looking over the weather forecast, today was the best day for us to head out on a little get away. Every week that we get to do this we ask each other what we would like to do. Inevitably it is~Go to The City! The last time we headed over the bridge it was $4.00 toll. Today $6.00! That is a sizable hike since last year (as in 12 days ago.)

But whenever we see that beautiful, majestic city in the distance, we know we would gladly pay more...but don't tell anybody! Today was a little hazy this morning but the day developed into a beautiful sunny day. I needed that. The maladies that have been plaguing me for a few weeks seemed to vanish for good under the toasty rays of the sun on my face. It was still cold but dressed for it, it was quite enjoyable to be out and about.

Looking west from along the Embarcadero~ beautiful clear blue skies!

The Ferry Building our first destination.
Very spontaneous stop...

when we saw a parking
right in front, we took it.

There are these big monolithic things in the middle of the plaza as you cross the street to go into the Ferry Building. We had never noticed them before. I love how it is totally empty in the plaza. A rare sight in this area. It is jam-packed on the weekends and later in the day. We arrived just as things were opening up and business getting underway.

Jim went up to the mezzanine where all the offices are and that is where he found the seal of California mosaic at the top of the post. I went downstairs to meander through the shops that are so fun. Everything is so yen like and they carry things you don't see other places. Most of the shops are food places. They even have Italian Gelato here and it is very authentic. It was way too early and too cold for Gelato but we enjoyed just looking at the rectangular stainless trays all lined up with the different flavors, they were so colorful. So Italy and for only a $6.00 dollar bridge toll.

We love the cheese shop and always go in when we are here. They have the most enormous cheese wheels we have ever seen and every variety of exotic and imported cheeses that you can imagine. We enjoyed talking to the young lady that worked there and she gave us many samples. It wasn't too early for that.

Check out these ridiculously high prices for a pound of cheese. This place also carries lavender sugar, and all kinds of exotic salts for a mere $12.50 of about 4 oz. It is a fun place to just look around and see how the other half lives. We told the lady how much we enjoyed Cabot cheeses from Vermont and of course they had it, so we sampled some more.

Then she brought out this little soft goat cheese from Vermont and it was reasonably priced so we bought some for our picnic. It was very flavorful and somewhat like brie, but better.

This is the back side of the Ferry Building where we sat on a bench and shared a tiny lemon tart that we realized was $1.25 per bite. Very tiny and well savored. Just right. We have that tradition of finding and sharing a little pastry when we go out on these day trips. The Ferry Building was the perfect place to find something. Jim strolled along the pier and I just sat on the bench for a few minutes and soaked up the sun. I cannot believe how much I needed that. I felt better almost immediately! That and fresh air, at sea level, was exactly what the doctor ordered. I am a new woman!

Back inside and strolling through the marketplace we saw these beautiful flowers and it was a glimmer of hope that spring is coming. I know they are hot house flowers but it gave me hope. I don't know why but I am so tried of winter already and it has barely just begun. But I am not going to even think about that right now. Day dreaming is free.

Tulips push your little blades up
as soon as possible, OK?

It was getting closer to lunch by the time we left the Ferry Building so we decided to go over to the Presidio and look around. This is a beautiful old Army Base that is no longer functioning as such. We love to go over here the scenery is outstanding and it is just a beautiful peaceful place. It is the actual place that inspired my love of Eucalyptus trees I think.

When I see them I always know
it is a fun day, weird but true!
I don't see them just around our town.
We are always out and having a good time!

We found a road we had never been on before and so discovered some new things like this weird sculpture made from tree branches and trunks. Only in San Francisco, as they say!

We pulled the car over at one point and this is what we saw
when we ventured down the hill a bit.

Just a small area of the military
cemetery here in the Presidio.

Then we found a great little cafe at the top of the mountain. But since we had brought a picnic we drove a little farther and saw this place called Inspiration Point. We had never seen it before. So we sat on a nice bench over looking this view of the Bay, Alcatraz, and the top of the Palace of Fine Arts and ate our little picnic of cheese and crackers, hard boiled eggs, fruit and chocolate! We did not see a single sail boat, but could only imagine the view of that from here on a busy day on the Bay.

It was a perfect day and I did not feel one ounce of stress after sitting here with my Honey for 30 minutes. Pure heaven! Then we went down and Jim went in the Visitor's Center to pick up some brochures and I fell asleep in the nice warm car. Not a day filled with overwhelming excitement, just a nice, mellow day and very welcomed.

Tomorrow we are putting Christmas to bed for the year and getting our house back in order so today was just right. Have I mentioned lately how much we love retirement? We have decided it is a secret society of people with a twinkle in our eyes, because we know that the world is a different place on the weekdays, when most people are doing the 9 to 5 thing. I wish it for each of you when the time and place is right, you will love it! If you want, we'll take you on a guided, friends' free tour then!


Julie Harward said...

I still cannot get used to toll areas, none here, thats for sure! I think I have seen that Ferry bld. in a movie! My hub was retired for 2 years, then the recession hit us, he is back to work. I enjoyed your day, thanks for sharing it! :D

LA Adams said...

Ahh, this is so lovely! Thanks

margaret said...

Yum to the cheese. I didn't bother with the prices as I'm never likely to have to buy cheese there. I just enjoyed the photo and let my inner-Frenchwoman have her say.

The lady in your top photo used to appear (minus the bear) on old British pennies (pre 1969) as Britannia.

Sister Susie said...

First of all, I had to look up "Enlivening" (I'm only in Kindergarten, you know!) LOL

Your city picture: I loved your snowflakes coming from a bright blue sky down through the skyscrapers!

I know what you mean about the cold. It was below freezing last night and will be tonight too. Right now I am on the north side of the house and my uncovered toes are numb with cold, ha!

Ferry Building: You were at the right place, right time. The shopping area reminds me of Israel's shops (only closer.)

Cheese: Maybe that's why no one was there. They can't afford the prices (I found that out when I was waiting over in England at the airport shops!)

Winter weather: yesterday I heard on the news that there was snow in 49 states (except Florida, even tough it feels like it!)

What a sculpture of tree trunks! A lightening rod waiting to happen, lol!

Cementary: A prayer is lifted that all will rise at the Rapture!

Alcatraz: What a view, what a prison, what a mystery about those who escaped and were never found!

Retirement: I'm living on the joy of yours!!!

Praying for Hazie, love to you all,

Marie said...

Oh Bonnie, it did look a lovely day out. I just love visiting these places and "seeing" them through your beautiful camera's eye! It all looks so wonderful, even the expensive cheese! I am looking forward to spring too. Can it be much longer before the snowdrops and crocus pop their little heads out? I think not! Still praying for Hazie! xxoo

PS, thought that was funny about Colin! I knew who you meant, but since Jo's hubbie is also Colin I could not resist!

Shelli said...

I loved this post, Bon ... It made me miss SF and YOU very much. I have to admit though, I would have gotten gelato, no matter the time of day or the weather. :) Love you!!

laura.elizabeth said...

I love your "day out" posts! They make me feel like I am right there with you. Although I still long to actually be with you on days like these! Sigh. Maybe someday, right? Anyway, thanks for sharing!

Faye said...

I love that you are finding the hidden gems of the city - like Inspiration Point - the view was awesome. I have to get there myself one of these days.