The Many Adventures of the Bay Area: Part III

Day 3: Muir Woods

Muir Woods is one of the many red woods preserves in California – and it’s just over the Golden Gate Bridge! You just need to have the stomach to drive the hairpin turns on the edges of mountains! It was pretty scary. We also happened to go on a “free day,” so there were a ton of people there. Katy and I parked a mile and a half from the park entrance and decided to take one of the off-shoot trails to avoid the many peoples. All-in-all, we walked about 6 miles. We were whooped when we got home!

There was a long line of traffic to get into the park.

Well worth the long walk.

These trees are massive!

Really big.

We had to walk over this scary bridge over the little river! So cool. Katy was terrified.

There were all kinds of cool natures.

After climbing up the next mountain, we got to see the bridge we crossed.

There's also a trail in the Muir Woods that is named after Matt. hehe.

Just too beautiful.

Banana slug!

Fuzzy trees!

New fern growth.

Red wood bark is very durable and able to survive forest fires a lot. But sometimes the fires cause a rotting inside the tree. This one fell over from the rot.

We saw turkeys! They moved too fast for me to get a good shot. Also, I was standing on a busy road trying to get the picture, soo...

You can see the road we had to drive on to get to the forest.

Anyway, it was a lovely day.


The Many Adventures of the Bay Area: Part II

Day 2: Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes is the best kind of sanctuary for natural, cultural, and historical preservation! There are preserved farmlands first settled by some of the first European dairy farmers to California, an historical lighthouse that you walk over 300 steps down to a whale watching point, beach and marshland preserves, and an elephant seal sanctuary! Because it’s peak whale watching season and there are so many tourists, we had to take a shuttle bus. Worked out, because the bus driver gave us some lovely information about the island!

These are cranes in Oakland for the docks. We like to refer to them at AT-ATs because we're Star Wars nerds.

Going over the Richmond Bridge to the North Bay from Oakland. That's the mountains of the North Bay!

We found a street!

The island of Point Reyes! So cool!

Heading down to the visitors center to catch the shuttle to the lighthouse!

Widdle tweety bird ate lunch with us!

More cliffs and beaches!

Weird lookin' seaweed.

Oh no! A dead elephant seal!

Some weird stone coral stuff.

Feet in the water! Oh yea!

So pretty.

We got on the shuttle and headed to the lighthouse!

I forget the actual name of these deer/elk animals, but it's a sanctuary.

The waves looked so cool! Our driver told us these are called "sleeper waves"...or maybe "sweeper waves"....
Either way, it's a wave with a strong riptide that sneaks up on swimmers and they drown. No swimming today!

More cute little deer!

The waves were so cool!

We had to walk over 300 steps down to the lighthouse.

And then walk back up them.

Well worth it. We saw some grey whales!


Cool rock erosion and nifty little plant.

ELEPHANT SEALS! The dark ones are the pups. The human-like figure is an actual human. They were doing some studies. Helps you with the size. Actually, there weren't many of the big males. These are mostly females and pups. This particular stretch of beach is one of the few places that are only for elephant seals!

Sun on the hills on the way home.

Yup, I live here now. Pretty awesome.


The Many Adventures of the Bay Area: Part I

Last weekend Katy and I rented a car (a little Kia, GREAT gas mileage) from the Oakland airport and headed off for adventures and to explore the Bay Area. Just to be clear, The Bay Area refers to the entire area around the bay, it’s more than just San Francisco. (To be in on this really funny joke, please see below Julie Goldman’s funny sketch about The Bay Area – it’s spot on.)

Day 1: Highway 1
First we decided, let’s just drive down the infamous Highway 1 for some lovely sights of coastal California!

With no map and no clear understanding of the directions and locations of many of the places to which we wanted to go, we headed out and made our great mistake: taking the “scenic route” with the Bay Bridge, the Embarcadero, and Golden Gate Park during Chinese New Year celebrations and the Tulip Festival (and apparently, some kind of marching band competition? I have no idea…).

Ah, typical San Francisco overcast and fog. We were headed over the Bay Bridge.

This is Mateo's favorite part of the Embarcadero: The Fire Truck!

Old part of the Bay Bridge that connects Treasure Island and San Francisco. I get to go over this every day for the commute. The other half, Treasure Island to Oakland, is all brand new. Those pictures can be seen later. :)

A sail boat in the bay!

Did we get to see any of the fun festivities of the Chinese New Year? Nope. Did we see any tulips? Nope. Did we deal with tourist traffics? Yep. Ok ok, we were also acting as tourists, but the Embarcadero is where we WORK. Lame! Driving through the different docks was an awful idea too. Why did we want to keep along the coast line?? What were we thinking?? Oh well, it was gorgeous day and we kept the windows down.

This is what people talk about when they refer to "foggy San Francisco."

Golden Gate Bridge.

I really liked this weird building. Neither of us know what it is, exactly. Someone told us once, but we can't remember.

After getting lost for a bit in Golden Gate Park and having a chilling almost-going-over-the-Golden-Gate-Bridge-when-we-want-to-stay-on-this-side experience, we finally found our way to Highway 1!


Highway 1! Oh yea!

Gorgeous sea views.

West Coast trees!


Cliffs and beaches.

Yup, this is California.

Pretty chill.

Pretty awesome.

Random boat?

Finally! We were on our way to Half Moon Bay! Hey hey, we even got to play on the beach! The waves were pretty scary, and somehow the Pacific Ocean seems SO MASSIVE even though the visibility is the same or less than looking out at the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean.

We didn't stay for long, though. It was starting to get dark and we were hungry, so went to a taqueria.

Half Moon Bay.

It was a fun drive, as you can see. The way back in the dark was also very nice!

I thought Denise would love this. We love the Coca-Cola sign.

Traffic on the Bay Bridge. Ugh.

San Francisco at night.

The new half of the Bay Bridge. I think she's beautiful!


I'll post about the remainder of the weekend in other posts, but I at least wanted to update once. I love living here: so much to do in one area.