Sunday dawned cold, overcast and windy, but the weather did not deter four visitors with one day remaining in San Francisco. We looked forward to a hike in the woods. Muir Woods, viewing towering redwood trees.
We opted for public transportation, locals firmly warning against renting a car and driving. Too much traffic, parking scarce.
Our travels began with a half-hour ferry ride to Sausalito. On terra firma once again, signs directed us to the shuttle bus, a short walk from the ferry terminal. Buses scheduled every half hour did not arrive on time due to Sunday traffic, but we patiently waited.
About an hour after leaving the ferry a bus arrived. Unfortunately during that time tourists kept coming. We were four among a throng anticipating a day enjoying nature's wonders.
We thought we were at the front of the line, but the back of the line morphed into the front when the bus appeared. It quickly filled, leaving a couple of dozen people, including the four of us, waiting on the sidewalk.
Looking at each other, we all had the same feeling.
Enough. What happens at the end of the day? How long would we have to wait for a bus? What if, hanging around for the last bus we again were left standing in the dust?
Suddenly no one looked forward to a bus ride. And what fun is it hiking with a crowd?
So much for communing with nature.
We deferred Muir Woods for another trip and another day, preferably a weekday, avoiding the weekend multitudes.
Crossing the street and investigating Sausalito, we traded nature for an upscale, totally touristy town.
But flexibility is what traveling is sometimes all about.
We strolled the main street and enjoyed drinks at a cafe. Fog obscured the view of San Francisco, but the sunny Sausalito waterfront bustled with activity. Street musicians, cyclists, people strolling the waterfront promenade, sidewalks lined with tables filled with families and tourists.
Returning to the city via ferry, next on the agenda lunch, the place of choice The Plant, a restaurant renowned for vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Approaching the place we had a sinking feeling. No signs of activity. Outdoor tables empty. A sign posted on the door read 'closed for private event'. Peering inside we viewed the staff rushing around arranging tables and chairs.
Disappointed and dispirited, we slowly retraced our steps to the Marketplace by the ferry terminal. Home to a number of restaurants, we finally devoured a late lunch. Actually an early dinner…
Next stop the Buena Vista, a bar near Ghirardelli Square our friend Jim often patronized when in the city for business. The best Irish coffee, he insisted.
A trolley car ride and short walk later we arrived to find every table occupied. While waiting we engaged in conversation with three young women, eventually sharing their table.
The bar sat across the street from a cable car terminal. Deciding to end our day with a ride, we encountered a 45-minute line. Cold and windy, getting colder by the minute, we did not linger. While discussing alternative means of transport back to our lodging a limo driver approached, offering to drive us for $25.
The cable car cost $7 a person.
We arrived at our Airbnb about 7:00 p.m. as a rainy, cold mist began falling.
Our trip home would begin 4:00 a.m. the next morning.
Home, until traveling again.