San Francisco and Half Moon Bay
I have always wanted to see Chinatown, and I did, a lot of it by driving around 45 minutes just to find a parking spot. I could find that Dim Sum restaurant with my eyes closed we went around so many times..I did enjoy it a bit as I got to scope out all these amazing sights while Mike muttered and swore about parking spots;)
I get a little bit “stunned” in the big city..so much for our senses to take in when we are not used to being bombarded with sight, smells and sound all at the same time…and yes, I love China town..it feels like a blast from my adolescence. Bustling merchants, unknown languages, exotic fruits and strange vegetables..feels like home. Next time though..park downtown and walk back up;), but I did get my Dim Sum lunch enjoyed every bite of steamed buns and the rest I had no idea what it was called (no English menu here) that I was eating but it was good, and good to walk it off afterwards down to Fisherman’s Pier through the throng of tourists..OK, that I did not like..I always feel that I may be among a herd of lemmings and if they all take off and decide to jump I may not get clear of the throng..does that make any sense?
The laundry hung on the balconies and fire escapes, people milling back and forth, grocers filling their bins on the street..it is amazing so many people can be in one place, one city. It fills your senses this city, rows of beautiful buildings, the trolley cars, steep steep hills and wires everywhere, and depending where you are you run the whole gamut of very very well off neighborhoods to street people sleeping on the sidewalks, all in a fairly small area. It is an assault on the senses in so many ways.
I’ll come back to this fascinating city one day when we have more than a day to explore, and walk, so much to see and to train my senses to slow down and savor and not become overwhelmed by it all!
The doorways fascinated me, I could have spent a day just photographing doors and windows,all the ornate gates and grating on the windows…your own personnel prison..to keep you safe, to keep the unwanted from sleeping on your doorstep…a bit of both? So many different realities for so many different people. I am an alien in these landscapes..I can shift and fit in for awhile but not too long before I need space..and nature. Half Moon Bay can certainly give you that. The beaches and of course Mavericks, one of the most famous big wave surf spots on the West Coast. Ever since watching “Riding Giants“, one of the most amazing surf movies, this place was on my mind..a go to, must see, even if it is calm…and it was what they proclaimed to be calm , a mere 10 ft swells, baby swells to these riders of giants but to me..absolutely stunning! The fact that people go out here among these rocks to ride these waves is crazy.
Not only was the surf fantastic but the bird life here was incredible…sad to see another “leash only” beach full of unleashed dogs next to a nature preserve..what goes guys? I know you want pooch to run free on the beach but chasing everything in sight..put a leash on it…Please! Give the birds a break from your drooling pitbulls.
Inside the bay it was wind protected and calm. The tide pools were full of Black Oyster Catchers, Willets, Turnstones and of course the ever running Sanderlings..a cornucopia of bird life. Over head in the bay Pelicans and Terns were diving for fish, and flocks of whimbrels flew..and the wind..it was a wild day, especially outside the breakwaters. I saw my first flock of Black Oyster Catchers with their beautiful red bills fly by…my kind of heaven here on earth.
We’d researched an RV Park right in the Half Moon Bay port but it backed directly onto the US1 and looked like a big parking lot..I think being out of town further South at Pelican Point was preferable. Their was website was a bit misleading, showing a large A class parked on a bluff overlooking the ocean..which would no doubt irritate the Ritz Carlton Golf Course if you did do that..creative advertising;)…the bluff and beach were a short walk away and you could almost see it if you stood on your tippy-toes on top the picnic table..:) It was a tight back in to get Myrtle parked but as always Mike did it with no problem, the front desk often has to park trailers and RV’s for many folks, he gave Mike the thumbs up, our neighbor couldn’t back his in he said. Rule one, learn to drive your rig, some parks won’t park it for you!
We spent another half day driving to Berkeley over the Oakland Bay Bridge to visit a place Mike had always wanted to eat at..Chez Panisse. He has had their cookbook for over twenty years and their roast chicken is one of his staples, rubbed with ground fennel, it makes my mouth water just thinking of it. We managed to get a reservation for lunch and off we went..the Mecca for farm to table lovers. So, either we have been spoiled by Baja’s amazing food scene, Manzanilla and Laja to name two mouth watering restaurants, or Chez Panisse was having a bad day. Don’t get me wrong, it was good..it just wasn’t memorable at all. We were both disappointed but know now how spoiled we are in Ensenada, but we had been warned, but had to try anyway:)
In Half Moon Bay we discovered some wonderful eateries. After driving for what seemed to be all day, not, just busy driving and so much traffic, Mike did not feel like cooking as well. In the downtown in a small mall, we discovered China House, and right next door Shiki Japanese..both do take out as well..Mike had a few days off of cooking:) and wow..take out..we are such kids some days..8 years in the Sierra with no take out, or the ability to order a pizza over the phone make us giggle with delight at being able to do these simple things city people take for granted:)
We enjoyed our stay here but the time had come to move further South, we have a date in Ensenada so it was time to move on. What we have learned in the last few months of being on the road is we will need to slow down..spend weeks at a time in a place and not a few days, but this is the trial run..to learn and explore about life on the road, and every day we are here makes us realize that this is what we want to do..for now..there are no rules as to how long or where we will be going other than following the climate..looking for the”Goldilocks” zone;)…where it is “just right”.