Friday, July 29, 2016

stairs, stairs and more stairs

a tip from lilcee led us to a little bake shop one morning as we headed out for another adventure.


ever heard of a cruffin?  it's a happy marriage of a croissant and a muffin, and people flock to mr. holmes bakehouse to grab them.  it was just after 9:00 on a thursday morning, and the line looked like this:


it wasn't too long of a wait, though.  we found ourselves smelling the deliciousness of the baked goods as we stepped inside to scope out the options:


and because lilcee told me to, i made sure i got the old lady to take this for me.


i'm a sucker for cute packaging.  shocking, i know.



the cruffin flavor of the day was s'mores.  it was almost as if they knew i was coming.  we picked up one for each of us, plus a chocolate croissant and some sort of caramel-coated brioche roll.


the old lady had also requested the choux bomb (i'm not gonna lie, my uncultured ass totally thought this thing was called a SHOE bomb, which i'd balked at a bit but still ordered).  isn't it pretty?  she said it was super delicious.


and then we headed out towards the ocean to do a little hiking and burn off all those calories.  my list of attractions led us to something we'd never heard of before - ruins of a giant saltwater swimming pool complex that folks used to flock to back in the day when swimming was the cool new thing to do.  it's located in the lands end section of the gigantic golden gate national recreation area.



it was a chilly, cloudy day - perfect for outdoor activities, don't you think?  and how pretty is the view from here?



we followed the signs and headed down to check out the ruins.



i had done a bit of research on this whole area the night before, although it was still hard for me to picture what may have been where as we gazed out onto what was left of the giant complex that had entertained so many people for a whole bunch of years.  there had been several large pools, plus shops and a restaurant.




some artsy-fartsy dude with a nice camera came by and asked if one of us would mind taking a picture of him from across the pool.  and when it was done, he offered to get one of us too, so i handed him my iPhone (hahaha) and he took this:


this tunnel was off to one side, which looked like it had potential for some cool views.


the old lady said it was spooky as hell, but even she agreed that it was fun to watch the waves crash through this hole in one side.


the other end of it was blocked off, but still offered this view:


we climbed up a little bit and found this lookout point.



and then there were more stairs to keep on going.  this is part of a coastal trail that goes on for several miles, although i couldn't talk her into going much longer than a couple of them roundtrip.





there was another rather steep set of stairs that led up towards the u.s.s. san francisco memorial.



we weren't alone on the trail, which helped us figure out that we were going in the right direction.  not too long after that, we came upon this sign and even more rickety stairs:


mile rock beach was pretty.  there were tons of rocks, a bunch of which people had stacked as high as they could go.  


and then the old lady got super excited, because she spotted something waaaaaay out in the water that  we both had always wanted to see - a whale!  you can't see a darn thing in this picture, so you'll just have to take my word for it.


we climbed up a bit further and found the labyrinth that some local artist had created.


and then we spotted that whale again, swimming further and further away.


as we made our way back to the trail, we paused to read the signs that we found along the way that told us what kinds of things had once been where we stood.


and found some very helpful life advice:


we decided to look around the small museum-slash-gift shop, where we found lots of pictures of what the area used to look like along with some artifacts that had been found in the years since it became part of the golden gate national parks.



the nearby cliff house, which had been rebuilt and remodeled several times over, has a restaurant, bar and casual diner.  we tried to get a table at the latter, but found that we hadn't been the only ones playing tourist and declined to wait the 45 minutes to be seated.  boo.


and even the camera obscura, despite it being during during the posted open hours, wasn't available for us to look at.


that's okay, though.  we'd gotten a nice workout in, seen some really interesting sights, and got a great history lesson.  history, man.  it fascinates me so much.

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