August is over, bring two-thirds of the year with it. It seems long ago that J and I arrived in the city wide-eyed and jobless. Our new apartment doesn’t feel new, nor does my full-time job. We’ve already explored a radius as large as foot or scooter can carry us. And the year is still passing quickly, despite how dense we pack it.
On Wednesday afternoon, J’s folks came to stay with us. We surrendered our bed and inflated a vinyl-scented mattress as a temporary replacement.
Despite production ramping up at work, I was able leave at reasonable hours.
On Friday evening, we drove down to Baker Beach with enough time to watch the sun set on the rippling horizon. The silhouettes of pelicans and gulls marked the peach colored sky. While not misty, the air was bitingly cold.
Brown pelicans flying in formation during a Baker Beach sunset.
J and her parents.
The sun hits the rippling horizon.
In darkness, we went for a seafood dinner at the Cliff House Bistro. It didn’t feel as touristy as I feared. The food was pricy, but tasty. Our waiter was almost creepily chipper, like a Botoxed Zach Morris.
During the dinner, emergency vehicles busied themselves with an incident by the beach.
Full of fish, we came home and played a heated games of Spades. The men’s team was victorious, despite an insurmountable lead the ladies carried at the start.
On Saturday, we went on a one hour boat cruise of the bay. Our vessel was the standard Blue and Gold tourist boat you see plying back and forth all day. The fare: $19 each, plus a $12 convenience fee for the group for buying online.
Our boat departed from Pier 39, ramming countless sea lions and belching black marine diesel exhaust into the clear sky. It was windy, and the waves had more white heads than a room full of boys playing Dungeons and Dragons.
Old warship getting towed for fun.
Our boat, the Harbor Emperor.
Sea Lions resting at Pier 39.
Another view of the sailboat, this time with a red boat chasing it.
Heading under the Golden Gate Bridge.
Windsurfer without wetsuit. He’s either stupid or impervious to cold.
The skyline seen from the water.
The edge of Alcatraz with the Marin Headlands in the background.
The ride was great, despite the blaring narrative playing on the weather-resistant speakers. The story tried to create a heightened sense of adventure, but the format depended on swelling music and Captain Nemo as host interviewing horribly overacted characters from San Francisco lore. The accents were so thick I could barely understand what was being said. I feel for any of the tourists where English was a second language.
Riding on the bow, I got splashed. I also saw dolphins again. Are they plotting a takeover?
For a late lunch, we took the packed F-Line to the Ferry building and ate burgers at Gott’s.
From there, I parted company to meet V for some coffee and Bionic Commando. J and her folks went to Union Square to watch a free outdoor showing of Hitchcock’s “Rear Window.”
That evening ended with another victorious game of Spades.
On Sunday, we hung about the house before heading to the airport. After the parental parting, I did my best to cheer J up. I went through my whole repertoire of annoying songs, voices, Guy Noire detective narration, and scenery commentary. She was either annoyed or entertained. To me, the difference is vague.
The weather was excellent, so we met V for a taco lunch and decided to go on an epic drive around the Bay. Our two checkpoints were a park in Tiburon and IKEA in Emeryville.
Along the water we passed nature, wealth, and industry.
Old St Hilary’s Church in Belvedere/Tiburon.
Looking out towards San Quentin Prison over the weird settlement of Paradise Cay.
V looking a little like Bond.
The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
Supports in black and white.
Ruined Terminal One port facility at Brickyard Cove in the Point Richmond area of Richmond. More information on these structures can be found on this page
Inside the warehouse. I admit, it was a little scary.
Another view of a marked wall.
The other half of the warehouse.
A makeshift door.
Abandoned train tracks falling into the water from the old Santa Fe Railroad’s western terminus.
Fire damage on the pier.
Another view of the pier.
Oil storage tanks in the hills.
Severe tire damage.
One of three garish motorcycles on the highway to IKEA.
Traffic on the Bay Bridge as we headed home in time to miss sunset.
That night, we returned to our luxurious futon. No longer would we drift into restless sleep on a squeaky raft.
It was fun having J’s parents in town. I hope both the city and I were good hosts, and I look forward to when my family can visit too.
I leave for a few busy days of production in LA tomorrow. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be able to visit any of my friends or foes down there. This trip is strictly for taking care of business.