San Francisco and Point Reyes

I recently returned from visiting old friends in San Francisco. I had a great time visiting old haunts and exploring new ones.

First stop was Golden Gate Park and a walk around Stow Lake. We saw lots of turtles. Stow Lake is located between John F. Kennedy Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive – west of the Japanese Tea Gardens.

Somehow it had never registered with me that San Quentin maximum security prison is located right on the Bay. It must have a fantastic view. It is the oldest prison in California opened in 1852. It sits on 432 acres and houses about 3,776 occupants. It is easily seen as you cross the Richmond bridge from the East Bay to Marin County.

San Quentin

We were on our way to Point Reyes National park about an hour and a half northwest via Sir Francis Drake Blvd. The road took us through Roy’s Redwoods Preserve and Samuel P. Taylor State Park.

We stopped at the visitor center at the entrance to Point Reyes and headed towards the lighthouse. The lighthouse itself was closed off but the views were spectacular.

Next day was dedicated to The City. We spent the day wandering around the neighborhoods and enjoying the energy. We strolled through Chinatown, stopping to look at all the treasures to be found in it’s small crowded shops. We stopped for lunch at a restaurants where everybody spoke Chinese and shared large dishes.

After cutting through some familiar places in North Beach…

…we ended up at the Ferry Building, a large commingling of many foods-cheese, chocolate, meat, bread, baked goods, produce and dry goods.

We took a trolley from the Ferry Building to the Wharf and wandered down to Scoma’s for a few drinks. Scoma’s is a restaurant located at the end of Pier 47 that has been around since the 1960’s. The waiters wear white coats and black ties and the menu consists of fresh-off-the-boat seafood. Plus they make a good cocktail.

Next week – the wine country and the East Bay.


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