Healdsburg, Thursday, May 11, 2017

Today we were off to Healdsburg via Muir Woods and Berkeley. To get to Muir Woods, we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, which turns out to be free if you’re northbound. After the bridge there’s a convenient viewing spot.

Golden Gate Bridge, looking from the north side. It was about 10 a.m. -- still lots of cars.

Golden Gate Bridge, looking from the north side. It was about 10 a.m. — still lots of cars.

From the parking area you have lots of views. Here’s one of San Francisco, across the way:

San Francisco, from the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco, from the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge

And a more-than-just-a-sailboat:

Looking out from the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge

Looking out from the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge

After getting back on the highway, we headed for Muir Woods National Monument. In spite of my phone’s insistent instructions and Mapquest’s weird ones, we arrived — via a very windy road. I’m not sure what was going on in the middle of a May week, but the parking lots were packed. We ended up in the second overflow lot, a hike away from the visitors’ center.

Entrance to Muir Woods National Monument

Entrance to Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods, an amazing spot near a major city, has many large redwoods. This one absolutely dwarfs the ticket office. Thanks to my pass, we saved the $10 / person fee.

We wandered around for almost an hour, enjoying the quiet, despite all the other tourists.

Along the path at Muir Woods National Monument, a quiet and calming place

Along the path at Muir Woods National Monument, a quiet and calming place

Giant redwood (or sequoia, not sure which) at Muir Woods

Giant redwood (or sequoia, not sure which) at Muir Woods

All too soon, we had to dash off, since we had a reservation at Chez Panisse, the famous restaurant begun by chef Alice Waters. Jacqueline’s last name is similar, so she wanted to go to the restaurant. Treating me to a late birthday lunch was the excuse. We did eat well.

Entrance to Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA

Entrance to Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA

The food was excellent. I didn’t take photos, though Jacqueline did — with her phone. Technology is great if you can figure out how to transfer things around.

I failed to find out about parking. The restaurant does not have a lot, it’s in a densely populated area and you park on the street. We found a meter quickly, but it was only a one-hour meter, so I had to feed it a couple of times.

Afterwards, we visited a farmers’ market across the street, then set off for Healdsburg and the Sonoma Valley wine country. Thanks to the nice young employees at the reception desk of the Best Western Dry Creek Inn, we had tips on wineries to visit the next day.

 

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