Sausalito Ferry

28 03 2011

Our hotel room has a view of the city’s southern skyline. We also get half of the last span of the Bay Bridge, and you can see the traffic coming in from the east bay. There’s a cathedral just below, its bells ring only once a day, so far as I can tell, at 5 in the afternoon. The MOMA is just beyond that, as is Yerba Buena park and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. I could write a novel with this view, and I could write another one about this view alone.

Romantic. We went to a crêpe place for breakfast. The real Normandy style (painstakingly made by a Latino). One savory, one sweet. Because that’s the way to do it. We ordered the savory first, with our coffee. Mushroom, cheese, and sausage on the hearty, chestnut brown buckwheat crêpe. We must have been hungry, because it didn’t last long. Halfway through it, we ordered our sweet crêpe (butter, banana, and honey) because that’s the way to do it. To ensure you enjoy it piping hot.

There is a ferry. It runs from the Ferry Building to Sausalito and back multiple times a day, even on the weekends. After our crêpes, we rushed to the 16th Street BART station so we could meet my mom and sister at the hotel, collect our bags, and rush off to catch the ferry. Apparently the overcast and darkening skies did not inspire maritime travel for them, so we decided to just drive, which worked out fine because Julia had never walked the Golden Gate Bridge, which we pulled off the 101 to do.

Sausalito is the kind of town that loves to have terrible parking on a sunday. Though I think we managed to find the last public spot in town. Our destination, Wellington’s Wine Bar, didn’t open until 3, so we stepped next door to Bar Bocce. They serve fine, modern Italian (shaved artichoke salad with fennel and pecorino, eggplant parmigiana with panko crust) and thin-crust pizza, and the patio is right on the water, looking out over the baylet to Tiburon. The wine was reasonably priced: I had a proper, earthy Napa Zinfandel that would have cost twice as much in LA, had it been offered at all. And yeah, they have a Bocce court just off the patio, in case you were wondering.

By the time we paid the bill, the mist in the air had escalated to a drizzle. Wellington’s had opened, and we were happy to grab a cozy couch by the window to watch the rain instead of be out in it. We enjoyed a 2001 Cabernet Franc from Diamond Mountain in Napa with the house charcuterie plate. As the wind picked up and the rain fell heavier, we couldn’t imagine a better activity to while the storm away.

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LAX to SFO

27 03 2011

First of all, I just love the airport codes. They feel modern and techie and cool. These are my associations. So many innovations happen between these two cities that affects global culture, Los Angeles has entertainment while the bay area has tech. Living in the middle of it in LA, a gear in the content machine, you start to feel the fungus on you. Between wrap and call, there are few precious hours for yourself and your family. San Francisco, while only 350 miles away, can feel further in the mind, exotic, a youthful energy awakens inside you. The inspiration to live on the cusp of life takes hold of you, to eat the freshest food, to dance on the incoming tide of lights and aromas, to plug in to the motherboard of lured all around you.

Before we take off, we’re ready to be there. That’s the treasure of this passage: within an hour, we will be. And from there, I am excited and energized to use only public transportation. BART will take us from the airport to a stop a block from the hotel, walking distance from fine, amusing food and drink at the Ferry Building. That’s where we will lunch after our check-in.

We have a view of the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island. The sky is overcast, sealed by clouds, and the ferries go in and out. I demand that we order a bowl of the clam chowder, half red half white. No other food has so aptly suited a place and time. The sourdough baguette is fresh, crunchy and chewy, delivered by foot and hand from the bakery a few doors down. The Cesar comes topped with a mound of fresh crab, and it is as close to the best salad as I have ever come: full, crisp leaves of romaine, the anchovies have been blended into the hand-whisked, house-made dressing. We both ordered pints of Anchor Steam, and it has never tasted so fresh, having come all of ten blocks from the brewery.

I’ll spare most of of the evening’s details. We did attend a Jeopardy party, not just a dork-fan gathering, but a celebration for an actual contestant, and a friend of ours. Yeah, she won. They have a great loft on Harrison and 11th. While dark & stormy was the drink of the evening, a personal favorite, I drank mostly wine (red and white), beer, champagne and yes, a zesty, spicy rum treat (or two). Two AM came all too fast, so salvation came in the form of a cab.