Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Early morning Ferry and walk back

Yesterday I had a plan to walk to lunch. I came in my walking gear and had my fanny pack ready, water in my sports bottle, shoes laced up, sun screen on... but the day didn't cooperate. There was just too much to do, business wise, and I didn't leave the office until 7 pm. The furthest I walked was to the bathroom down the hall.

I was determined today would be different. So when I woke up I didn't bother to go into the office. I let Myriam know I would be in later in the afternoon and I headed straight to the ferry.

As I reached the parking lot I saw numerous movie trucks and groups of people gathered around the Yacht Club parking lot. Cursing to myself I drove out of the parking lot to look for street parking. I can park for free right next to the ferry at our Yacht Club. Everything else downtown Sausalito is expensive. The other streets are only for permitted parking. I was basically screwed.

DAMN IT. I repeated as I drove around realizing that if I didn't park soon I would miss the 8:20 Ferry. So I finally just went back to the lot and parked. I walked over to one of the Sausalito cops who were helping out and explained my predicament. He gave me his card and told me to put it on my dashboard with a note saying I couldn't access the club parking lot. Hopefully that would do the trick and I won't received some HUGE ticket later on.

Now that I was parked and ready to wait for the ferry I looked at what all these people were doing. They were filming a Capital One Credit Card commercial.. "What's in Your Wallet?" You could tell immediately from the vikings in costume surrounding the Alcatraz Ferry ticket booth. (BTW there is no ticket booth at this ferry dock... but they managed to have one for the shoot.)

The fellow above was smoking on a cigarette while he waited for the SF passengers to disembark. I thought that looked odd while he was in the stocks.
So road block #1 ended up to be a pretty cool experience. Lots of people were calling folks while they were on the ferry telling them about it. We were only a little late arriving in SF.
When I got there, I could tell it was too early for the tourists to arrive. It was a little after 9 am.

Outside the Ferry building the farmer's market folks were setting up.

But they weren't ready for shoppers yet...
The skies looked grey for the entire walk. I was hoping the rain would hold off. I am not really a fan of walking long distances in the rain. And today's walk would be around 12 miles.

Along the Embarcadero there are little plaques set in the sidewalk.
I notice a series of them today.
ONCE ( said the first plaque)
Along the Embarcadero I took a few photos of where the America's Cup boats and campagins will be housed. Along Pier 29. In the process of renovating these piers they will displace a few businesses. Bauer limos.

Tetro Zazanni

But in the end it will revitalize an area of the waterfront and hopefully change SF for the better.

I can picture the hustle and bustle of all those racing campaigns. It is going to be exciting. The San Francisco Bay will make a wonderful theater for this event. You will be able to watch as these faster than lightening trimarans fly across the water circling the bay. There will be many prime seats in Marin and SF and the East Bay. Glenn has clients in a high rise Coop who worry that people will be tempted to rent the places out just for watching these races.

I decided to see if the sea lions have returned to Pier 39. They had taken a vacation awhile back and basically disappeared. Of course for Pier 39 that was a concern, the sea lions have drawn lots of visitors.
And there was definitely a crowd watching them today.

The numbers on the dock were down, but there was quite a few in the water too. So definitely they have returned.

The pier has planted a ton of spring flowers.

Nearing Fishermen's wharf, you can peak through the old terminus to see the Jeremiah O'Brien.
Old piers are rotting.

Iconic Fishermen's wharf.
When I walk along here I remember my Mother. I feel like she is sitting on my shoulder.
I remember when I was a little girl we went to Fishermen's wharf. I remember going to one of the restaurants there and eating crab with really sour french bread. My Mom loved to eat food with her fingers. (I think I inherited that). Ribs, Corn on the cob, Watermelon, Fried Chicken, Crab. Sort of all of my favorites.
Whenever I think about my Mother I feel a special duty to really really enjoy life. I miss her so much. But it is really amazing how I can hear her laugh on days like today. I truly think she would be amazed at my walking (but not at all surprised that I love to eat with my hands).
Their getting ready on Fishermen's Wharf. They have a couple of years to wait....
I had the time so I stepped down Hyde Street Pier to take a couple of photos.
The Boating and Swimming clubs at the end of Fishermen's Wharf have been there a long time. Back in the day they used to row out to the big ships to help them into harbor.
Despite the fact that this is February, the grey skies didn't deter the hundreds of bikes that now share my walks.
San Francisco is such a beautiful city.
Walking this "other" direction I get to see some of the same sites from difference vantage points. Like looking over the red roofs of Fort Mason to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Gashouse Cove.
The Harbor office at Marina Green.

Crissy Field looking back across at the bridge.
Over restored marsh land to the bridge at Crissy.
As I neared the Warming Hut area there were many TV helicopters circling. That plus the noise of the construction on Doyle drive was making the walk kind of noisy. I was wondering why all those copters until I came to a group of about 4 dozen people standing around a stage.

This small group was listening to Jennifer Newsom (Gavin's wife) talking.
I still didn't know what it was all about. There was a table set up with water and snacks, so I figured it must be a run or a walk.
Potential road block #2. Then I saw a sign. It is International Women's day and some poeple were going to walk acorss the bridge. Some how I think both the copters and the water and snacks were over kill for a 2 mile walk. Ahem... Where were the copters for the thousands of women walking in the Susan G Komen 3 day. Perhaps Mrs. Newsom would like to join us and then we would get the coverage we deserve. AFTER all 60 miles verus 2? You do the math. Which is more impressive.
I decided I didn't want to walk with the mobs (cough cough) of people due to cross the bridge, so I walked at a quicker pace, stopping to take this picture mid span.
On the Marin side of the bridge, there were several dolphin playing the tide and current. Of course my little camera didn't snap even one. I did try though.
Potential road block #3
I could see as I approached the end of the bridge the work had begun on the resurfacing of the parking lot on the west side of the Marin side of the bridge. I worried that they would have it blocked off to foot traffic. That would mean I would have to walk down Alexander Blvd, which is treacherous . I felt a little better when I saw that I could still pass under the bridge. Surely they would have blocked that off if I wouldn't be allowed to walk down the hill to Cavallo Point. But I got worried as I was herded to the far end of the lot. DAMN I thought.
But luckily they let me walk over the freshing plowed dirt so I could go down the hill.
Another potential road block averted.
Myriam and I had been carrying on business via text message and cell call while I was walking.
I decided to forgo the stop at Cavallo Point to head back to work.
Flowers are starting to show signs of spring even on this grey day.
Aha, back in Sausalito.

I jumped in my car and headed back to the house to shower before going into work. As I did, I read email. One from a High School friend who recently lost her Brother-in-law to advanced Cancer and has a sister-in-law dying of pancreatic Cancer. It's a sobering thought because I know how much pain that causes. But at the same time I know how lucky her family is to have her. She has an angel's soul my friend Barb. I thought about what she is going through and how difficult it must be. I thought about the day that I have just had, walking through road blocks to discover wonderful adventures along the road.
It is hard to imagine at the time you are going through something difficult that that experience will ever bring you anything of value. In the loss of someone you love, it is hard to believe that the emptiness can ever be filled. Why did you have to bear such saddness. What was the point?
Could it be that part of it is your saddness allows you to live your days in joy for those who are no longer with you. Is it that their lives have shown you how to grab yours with both hands and simply relish in the wind on your face, the sun on your back and the beauty that surrounds you. There are times when I find myself looking at situations through the eyes of people who are no longer here. Like Fishermen's Wharf and the feeling I needed to eat something with my hands for my Mother. Or walking by a disco and thinking I need to spin around and dance a bit for Om. Or seeing a humming bird and watching it fly from flower to flower with a smile for Oma.
I am thinking of you Barb.
I know you will be there for your love ones now, and in the years to come.