Angel Island

Last weekend, SMS and I continued to explore the area.  This time, we headed up to Angel Island on Saturday to check out the hike and city view from the top of Mt. Livermore.  We decided to drive to Tiberon to catch the ferry.  It will be interesting to see if the traffic abates once Summer is over but we definitely made a few rookie-ish mistakes driving-wise.

Golden Gate in the Distance from the Ferry
The traffic was terrible and it took over two hours to get there.  This meant we were really hungry when we stopped for lunch (this shouldn’t be a rookie mistake but it’s still one I make) but we made up for it by stopping at In & Out.  BTW, the grilled cheese at In & Out is not very good but it does have the weirdly magical, addictive fast food taste.  Strange.

Anyway, so what did I learn?  Driving around lunchtime in the city on the weekend.  Ill-advised. Also, a better route from the South might be the I-280 but for now, I’ll be scouting out BART options when I can.
Golden Gate from the top of Mt. Livermore
Once we got to Tiberon, we headed over to the Angel Island ferry.  The tickets are bought as passengers board.  We got to Angel Island and headed to the North Ridge trail.  This trail is the first part of a 4.5 mile loop.  Apart from the initial flights of wooden stairs, the hike isn’t too strenuous but I would advise bringing water since parts of the trail are really exposed.  After hanging out at the top of Mt. Livermore, we headed back down via the Sunset trail which I’m sure is really spectacular at, yes, sunset since it faces West towards the Golden Gate.
San Francisco and Alcatraz
After our hike, we headed towards the Visitor Center.  The Center is not the Immigration Center which is on the East side of the Island.  I really wanted to check it out but we were out of time and we had already walked quite a bit.  Angel Island is colloquially known as the “Ellis Island of the West” so I thought it would be cool to check out.  Maybe we’ll go back but we did get a pretty good overview at the Visitor’s Center so it’s not mandatory.
Bonfire at Ocean Beach- so cool!
We headed to Outer Sunset for dinner.  The area has been on my radar since reading a cute travel series on it.  I still want to go to Outerlands for dinner and I’ve made a reservation for September but since that restaurant requires that type of advance planning, we were going to go to Pisces California Cuisine.  It has several prix fixe menus and good reviews so that sounded like it would hit the spot.  Until…we saw Tazaki Sushi next door.  They had kanji, plastic food and a good-looking menu so we were in!  We ate at the counter and the sushi chef was a Chinese-American older guy who said he didn’t really like fish except for tuna.  The sushi was pretty good and satisfied our craving but man, both price-wise and taste-wise, I’d love to go back to the sushi go-round under Yokosuka-chuo station!
On Sunday, we relaxed for awhile and then headed over to the rock climbing gym.  SMS passed his lead climb test, which made him really happy.  It had been on his to-do list for awhile but since we were always there on weekday evenings, the place was crazy crowded.  It was still pretty crowded on a beautiful Sunday, which was surprising, but we were able to get a route for SMS to show off his mad skills!

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