Weekend in Marin

Marin: land of hills, homes, and plenty!

On Friday, J. and I checked out of the hotel and were picked up by one of our kind hosts for the weekend. Our luggage was of an embarrassing quantity for just a weekend stay, but only we seemed to notice. As we passed over the Golden Gate Bridge, I couldn’t help but imagine a helicopter view of us pulling away from the car just in time to see words “Full House” appear.


Situated on the northern border of San Rafael, was a remodeled Eichler home in the Modernist style. Our hosts had two wonderful, friendly dogs with white hair and quiet dispositions.

The weekend was full of activity, though the highlight by far was a trip out on the bay in the couple’s 50 foot powerboat.

I’ve been on few boats in my life, but that Saturday helped me understand their appeal: freedom, fresh air, amazing views, being a part of a dock of like-minded hobbyists. I felt a little out of place though, like Nick Carraway mingling in Gatsby’s social circles. It’s a way of life that seems both attainable and impossible. Maybe I can start my boating at the dingy level.

The bay was full of other pleasure craft, shipping vessels, sea birds, and seals. We departed from Sausalito, headed towards the Golden Gate Bridge, then around Angel Island to drop anchor in the still waters of Paradise for a lunch of sandwiched, coffee, and chocolate.

The boat.

J. tending to a rope.


A moored fishing boat by the dock.

One of many junky boats moored in the water.

Cormorants in a row.

Stopping for gas.

Our boat was filled with 300 gallons of marine diesel. $$$

Moving out into the open bay.

Pelican in mid dive.

Pier and city.


Heading towards Golden Gate Bridge.

Another view.

Sail boat.

Sail boats and the bridge.

Splashes once the boat had started planing.


J. and the bridge.

A view of Angel Island.

Our hosts.

Our us.

The bridge in the evening haze.

On Sunday, we borrowed a car and drove up to the top of Mt. Tamalpais. Lunch was a split Safeway sandwich and Fruit Gushers, sitting on a secluded little rock overlooking the whole Bay Area. Fog was consistently rolling westward, but there were pockets of views.

Afterward, we wandered around the green, blooming hillsides feeling a bit like lost Teletubbies. There were rabbits, groundhogs, and numerous birds. Dirt trails cut across the tall, soft feeling grassy hills. Everyone seemed to be heading towards the ocean.

Our route back to the house took us by Bolinas Lagoon and up a windy, nearly one lane road through the wooded hills. It passed Alpine Lake and dropped us out at Fairfax.

Wooden stairs to the top of Mt. Tam.

Smooth, maroon bark.

The view north.

Green hills.

Shaded trail near the top.

Moss on a rock.


Oil tanker near the Richmond Bridge.

Looking towards the city from Mt. Tam.

Crows everywhere.

Bay leaves, ready for some stew.

The city in the distance.

Trail on the green hills.

Amazing view.

The tree at the top of the hill.


A groundhog.

Seals in Bolinas Lagoon.

The road home.


On Monday, we took a walk up a trail near the house. We found a nice tree at the top of a hill and sat in the dappled shade watching hawks prowl for lunch. Game and human trails went everywhere. We took one down the hill and found another shade tree overlooking a neighborhood. I got a rash on my arm from lying there and looking at the gnats, but it was worth it.

A sunny day for a walk in the hills.

Woods on a hill top.

Mossy rock.

A good tree for sitting under.

Barbed wire fence.

A bumble bee.

That evening, J. and I made our hosts a thank you dinner of green curry and chicken lab. The curry contained fresh lime leaves from the tree in the backyard. No food poisoning was reported.

Our weekend ended with an early ride back into the city on Tuesday morning. I’m thankful for the trust and generosity our hosts provided. Someday I hope to return the favor, or to try to pay it forward. After all, you can’t spell “generalized reciprocity” without “I”.

[SFX: Studio audience laughter.]

This blog post was written in front of a live studio audience and is a Miller-Boyett Production.

Archives for February, 2010
February 17th, 2010. Categories / San Francisco

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