Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Precious Day on Treasure Island

Between, work and work, and work, it seems like Glenn and I rarely have a day that we spend outside, just the two of us. We are often found noses buried in our computers at home working on projects. That has been our together time. Today, was a rare and special time when we left work behind and headed out for an adventure.

Today, in an hour or so, I will be at an open house and Glenn will be in his office working. I wonder sometimes how did we find the time when we were younger to disappear from responsibilities. Even when the kids were little we would grab a couple of weeks to go bare boat sailing. And even when sailing with friends we could escape, taking our dingy to hidden corners of the world. Now, it seems responsibilities weigh on us both making it feel like free time is never free. But I cannot help but feel, even if we do not escape to small little corners of the world thousands of miles away, we MUST find the time to escape in our own beautiful backyard.

After all, it is true, there is no one quite like Glenn. He is my best friend, my unwavering support through all of life's ups and downs. There is no one I would rather spend the day with, even after 28 years. I could keep this day "just between the two of us", but I would rather share some photos of our escape to Treasure Island.

They say spouses of three day walkers are at times awed by the distances they walk. I know last year Glenn and I took a hike in Pt Reyes, and after 12 miles, we both felt that was a long way.... After that walk together the succeeding walks with Glenn were all shorter and somewhat flatter. Today is a walk he has wanted to do for awhile. Treasure Island.

Treasure Island was built (on fill ) in 1939 to host the World's Fair. We heard about the fair from Glenn's Mom. On the island now, there is little left of those original fanciful buildings constructed for the event. The second war created a mission for this island and the Navy occupied it until the 80's. 2010 is the year the ownership of the island was transferred to the city of San Francisco. Currently, developers are vying for the rights to develop the island.

There are several buildings available for rental for events including the chapel which has been the site of many weddings recently. The views for this location are amazing and led Glenn to declare this to be a must for all out of town visitors, along with the headlands.

But in addition to buildings suitable for partied there are those occupied by lower income folk, juxtaposed with those boarded up plastered with warning signs. Being built on fill, I am assuming the soil could contain some...questionable material.

Making our way around the island we ran into more than one fence barring our way warning of "toxic" materials. But once we would make it to the water's edge we were treated to panoramic views of the Bay. People in kayaks enjoying the still waters of the morning, Folks fishing on the shores of the island seemed to have no worries about the pollution on this man-made island.

Passing the collection of old boarded up quarters Glenn said "This looks like a combination of Detroit and Chernobyl"
Further along the residences end and building which are of a more public nature appear. The Department of Public Works, with their attempt at landscaping... The sewage treatment training area...schools and play fields.

There was a large group of girls from many teams practicing Lacrosse.

We decided to explore the middle part of the island for awhile and came across the old PX. Outside there was a Doggy Dinner trailer...who can resist some photos of that!

Outside the PX I saw some pots with vegetables growing in them. I suppose that would make sense if the soil is polluted. The only way to grown vegetables would be in pots or raised beds.

All around the island, like throughout the Bay Area now you can see early signs of spring, like this Pride of Madera.
Continuing our interior exploration we came across a large warehouse that had a few boats stored inside, along with a lot of crowd control barriers. But much to my delight... there I found what I would love to have as our 3 day tent during this years walk!

These buildings are used for fire training.

Ah there are some firemen practicing!

The views from this East side of the island include Berkeley and Spear Tower, and the Bay Bridge, the port of Oakland and barges anchored out.

I wondered if this anti-nuclear expression was left in the concrete in the 60's or last year.

A reminder of how San Francisco depends on the water of the Sierras.

As you near the South side of the Island and the Bay Bridge you can see where San Francisco keeps its fireboats. This is Phoenix, the older of the two boats.

There were several dozen Cameros all lined up for some sort of show.

The old hangers are now used as sound studios.

In the small cove at the South of the Isalnd is Treasure Island Sailing Center, who help teach people to sail. I am guessing these samll boats are Lasers.

Time has aged most of the buidlings on the island.

The city comes into view!

My Honey.

Thinking an overnight , or sail for the day would be nice...

We did stop at the Treasure Isalnd Yacht club to check on guest docks etc....

We decided to wait until we explored Yerba Buena Island to have lunch at the bar and grill at the marina.
Yerba Buena is the wooded natural island onto which the Bay Bridge is anchored. The Coast Guard has a station here. There is a building that looks just like a control tower at an airport, that is the Vessel Control Tower, managing the traffic on the Bay.
Officers used to have their quarters on this Island and a few of the buidlings go WAY back. It was a hike up to the perimeter road.

The older buildings were mainly unoccupied, but there were several "apartment" like buildings that did have residences in them. The older of these were joined by an odd collection of huge metal conduits. We assumed the hot water and heat traveled through these. The conduits actually crossed the street overhead. It didn't seem that efficient to me!
When we reached the mid point of the island we saw both sides of the Bay Bridge. I suppose TV stations have shot from these locaitons before, because the view was familiar. But it was quite something to see it live.

Really living in some of these older homes wouldn't be half bad. They have character that is hard to find these days!

Then we walked through a break in a fence to explore the home that was used for a short while by Willie Brown, to entertain. I LOVE THIS HOME! It has a wonderful setting with a view out over a gently sloping lawn to the quiet cove below. I could definately imagine Wine Wars II graciously spread out on the grounds. We could make a fortune !

But I am afraid the best I could ever had been able to expect to live in... would have been this small cabin on the far edge of the grounds. For the help I assume.

Like those wood gutters?

Back to TI - We had a nice lunch at the bar and grill, then headed back to our car.

I saw a sign directing us to a wine tasting and we both were quite intriqued, so we headed off.

In one of the old buildings on the inland portion of the island was this door leading to one of the most fun wine tasting we have ever attended!

Jeff, who is the vintner for Blue Cellars Wines was in house and "on stage". We tasted wines from three wineries all very good, but I have to say, two HUGE stand outs were his Syrah and his Angelica Chardonnay Port (tastes of Hazelnuts). He invited us to barrel sample. Somehow he saw a kindred spirit in me and told me all about his dream to create a single malt scotch using his old port barrels to finish the whiskey in... He must have seen the scotch envy in my eyes. He showed me a sibgle malt scoth bottled in the 70's that was 15 years old when it was bottled. What a great guy, with a wonderful talent. It was one of those "finds" you can only enjoy if you set your watch aside and just live the day.

We'll be back!

Nicely relaxed, and fully content we ended our day in TI.

I have a couple of resolutions from this day.
#1. Go back. We can go back via boat, via car but we will be back. Maybe with you!
#2. See is I can convince the folks at TI wines, Blue Cellars and all... to come to Wine Wars II and share their fine wines with Marin
#3. Make it a priority to have more Glenn days
We each are given only so much time in life. I really don't think I will be remembering the moments I spent doing statistics for a client, or the exciting website I created. I think I will remember the smile on the faces of those I love when we are able to simply enjoy life together. I will remember the freedom of feeling it is enough to just be who you are at that moment with someone who loves you just that way.
I could go on and on... but suffice it to say, Glenn is that kind of person for me.
If you haven't met him before, you can meet him at another grand adventure... WINE WARS II! He will be there to join me in the fight to end Breast Cancer. Visit the website RSVP and make your plans.
So far we have comittments from a wine distributor, two wineries and our silent auction items are starting to accumulate. It will be AWESOME. Because in order to have as many of these magical adventures as we can, we can't let Breast Cancer stop us!