February 19, 2014

west coast weekend

In a moment of wintery desperation last month, I found myself on the phone with one of my dearest girlfriends agreeing to the purchase of cheap airfare for a trip out west to visit friends in Northern California.

We were scheduled to leave Philadelphia at happy hour on a Thursday evening and get in to San Francisco with time for a night cap and midnight soak in the jacuzzi. But instead it snowed. Again. Our flight was cancelled. Suddenly three days in Marin didn't seem rational. Oh, and I woke up sick with a nagging cough that quickly morphed into a full blown head cold.

The next flight we could get on left Friday evening and so we took it. We watched the full moon rise with the plane and the the setting sun glowed warmly promising better weather in our very immediate future.

Our first of the three days was cool and pleasantly foggy giving way to the lightest of rain at times. We passed most of our time winding lazily through redwood canopied roads surveying perfectly content cattle grazing on newly greened hills resplendent from the recent downpours. After a short while we stopped in lovely old Inverness at the Saltwater Cafe sharing freshly shucked oysters harvested from just across the road and sipping local wine.

Day two started early for me. I was finally feeling better and a touch restless so I abandoned bed as the sun was burning through morning's lingering fog, and set to work on a bread dough. While the rest house was quiet and the dough worked through it's first rise, I wrote in my travel journal and read Claire Bidwell Smith's The Rules of Inheritance. I made a carafe of coffee and was soon joined by my hosts, Scott and his wife Rachel, their silky black cat Wallabee and my travel partner-in-crime, Maura. We spent late morning at the farmers market and then took our groceries up into the hills to a friend's magical hidden home and had a proper cookout that stretched late into a festive night complete with lots of singing, instrument playing and merry making.

Day three started at the Pine Cone Diner in Pt. Reyes. A hearty brunch laid the foundation of a long day of driving and beach bumming. Out on Bolinas Beach with the sun shinning brightly and the waves tumbling loudly I wasted no time unlacing my boots, stripping off my heavy black tights and sliding my toes down deep into the chilly water and sand. We laid down blankets, shared a bottle of wine and lost ourselves in the hypnotic dance of the surfers riding their boards. We got home tired from a full day in the sun but with enough time for a group-effort home cooked meal. Turning in early, we were up before daylight to catch the morning bus back to the airport.

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