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.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

gettin' hippie wit it

when i told the old lady about the history of the haight-ashbury district, i knew we would be adding it to our list of places to visit while we were in san francisco.  we found the perfect time to go after we were done with our twin peaks excursion.


after all the walking we'd done, we were ready for some lunch.  yelp helped us find it at 1428 haight, which turns out to have been previously occupied by squat and gobble, where we'd eaten just a couple of days before.



i was feeling a little saucy, so i ordered a mimosa to go with my crab cakes benedict.



the old lady opted for a simple mac & cheese, which she said was really delicious.


we went all in and added a s'mores sundae to top it all off.


as you might imagine, there are lots and lots of vintage clothing shops there.  we had so much fun walking through a handful of them.  like at this one, where we found a lot of higher-end designer goods on serious markdown:




 this is also apparently where a ton of flash-in-the-pan trends come to die.



this shop was absolutely fascinating.  they carried clothing separated by decade starting in the 20s.  no photos were allowed inside, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  we could have spent hours in there, just browsing through all of the racks full of the most fantastic vintage threads.


in this shop, we found a lot of pretty formal prom-y type dresses.  it was very "back to the future."



we found even more awesomeness in this shop.  here, items were sorted by era and style.





 and how great is this rack of vintage hawaiian shirts?


on our way back to the car, we spotted this.  i don't think ol' walt would have been too pleased:


before we picked up the bean, we had time to scout out a familiar spot...the house that served as the exterior set for "mrs. doubtfire."


lots of people have come here and left messages on rocks in tribute to robin williams.


and then after we picked up the bean, we took a drive across the golden gate bridge to see the tunnel that was recently renamed in robin's honor.  heading south, you see this:


and then on the way back, you see the painted rainbow that inspired people to campaign for it to be renamed...because it reminded them of the suspenders that robin wore when he was on "mork and mindy."


plus, you get some pretty views of the bridge that look terrible when photographed from the car.


oh, well.  you get the idea.
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