Take a Walk! Land’s End Hike

I’m so excited because my sister is here!  Hooray!  After finishing a tough clinical rotation, she came up to visit me, her coolest (ok, only) sister and SMS!

SMS and I went to pick her up at the San Jose Airport, which was a ghost town.  We headed home and relaxed, ready for a fun adventure the next day.  I just found an awesome San Francisco blog, 7×7 and I was inspired by their Ocean Beach to Presidio hike article. So Sunday morning, off we went!

The Bakery Walk added another mile, I think

We followed the article pretty much to a T, but I mapped out the hike on Google maps before going. I’m glad I did b/c the article describes landmarks more than distances and it’s nice to know that I wasn’t adding extra to an already slightly lengthy hike (until we got to the Presidio, ooops!).

General Store Patio with hilarious (to me) painted cat rock

First, we went to Outerlands for a delicious brunch.  This did not happen b/c the wait was 1 hour, 45 minutes.  Nope, nope, nope!  We had places to be and we were hungry.  First, we went to Trouble coffee shop and had delicious coffees, a slice of the deliciously buttery, thick-slabbed cinnamon toast and a slice of coffee cake.  We looked around the General Store, which was a really cute shop but Sunday was a window-shopping only kind of day.  The store also has a gorgeous courtyard in the back with the most beautiful succulents and drought-resistant plants.  I could have hung out there for awhile but again, there were places to go!  Like…

The Bakery!  We went to Devil’s Teeth Bakery, where there was quite a line.  The breakfast sandwiches sounded great but there was a 45-50 minute wait so we went for the baked goods.  I ordered a kale and cheese scone (good, but that savory scone I had in Sacramento was so good, all others have paled in comparison), a cinnamon bun (eaten the next day but still good), a peanut butter cookie and a doughnut muffin.  We also got some beignets which were ok, but I’d pass in the future.  I know, I know, this list makes us (me) sound like a bunch of pigglie wigglies.  In my defense, most of the pastries served as mid-trail snacks.  *oinkles*

The happiest dog in the world!

So, SMS wasn’t sure if we were ever going to start hiking and that’s when we were off!  We walked down to Ocean Beach and headed for the Cliff House.  Along the way, we saw a lot of people and the world’s happiest dog.  It was a cute Pomeranian with long hair being blown straight back in the wind. It was a little camera-shy so he kept tottering away which was even funnier to see.

CW from top left: From a distance; near the entrance; inside looking at the projection dish; a schematic

After reaching the Cliff House, we went behind to the Camera Obscura.  It’s based on the world’s oldest camera, described by da Vinci but apparently around in even earlier writings.  There’s a open aperture that rotates 360 and the light that comes through projects on a surface inside a dark room. The picture is everted but otherwise a faithful reproduction.  The $3 admission granted us access to the room which featured the image and several holograms (?).  It felt slightly old-school and carnival-like and we were glad we stopped.

After the Camera, we went inside the Cliff House to use the bathroom and then we were off to the Sutro Baths, a former indoor pool center now in ruins.  It looked like it would have been a spectacular place to swim.  The ruins were cool and we headed to the Sutros Bath Upper Trail which led to the Land’s End trail.  We missed the turnoff for the Eagle Point Labarynth, but apparently it was recently vandalized so we didn’t miss too much.  The viewpoints were pretty amazing though with great views of the Golden Gate Bridge.   Although the day had started out with some high clouds, it cleared up at the start of our hike and we had fantastic weather the whole day.

Views along the hike.  On the right, the Sand Ladder with a nudist just off-camera to the right.  You’re welcome?

After the Land’s End trail ended, we were in the Sea Cliff neighborhood itself which is super-swanky with amazing house.  We turned onto 25th Ave to access Baker’s Beach and we walked down to the Sand Ladder.  This was where I was glad I had checked the map prior to setting off because the ladder was pretty far down the beach where there were several nudists sunning and it would have been awkward to keep walking back and forth (“What are you looking at?!?!”).

Sights along the way.

We walked along some more trails past a few old gun batteries before heading into the Presidio.   The Presidio was cool but there’s a lot of construction so beware, if you walk by the water, you’re not going to reach the main lawn without back-tracking or walking to the Palace of Fine Arts.  We did walk by a pet cemetery though so that was pretty cool!

We walked along Chrissy Field and took some more pictures.  At this point, I realized that we weren’t going to make it to the main lawn since by this point, we were kind of done with walking.  We decided to call Uber from Chrissy Field.  It was our first time using Uber (B thought we were kidding) and it was great.  Our $20 credit meant our long (time-wise, not distance) trip back to our car was pretty cheap.

We decided to eat dinner in the city so we headed to the Mission District after realizing that the Anchor Steam brewery closed at 4, much to the disappointment of SMS who had wanted to add a stop there to our day’s activities.  We went to West of Pecos which was a great Tex-Mex sit-down place with a small front patio with a table open!  Score!  We got drinks and snack while waiting for Brady’s friend Rosa since we weren’t sure if we were going to restaurant hop for dinner.  As it turned out, Rosa had been wanting to eat there for awhile so we had a delicious dinner there.

Twin Peaks Sunset

After dinner and feeling a little stuffed, we decided to race up to Twin Peaks to view the sunset.  It was absolutely beautiful, as well as chilly and windy.  It felt very magical to see all the different parts of the city and the entire bay but we only stayed for a bit before piling into the car to drop Rosa off and then heading home to Mountain View.  It was an incredible day and I was so happy to explore new parts of the city with SMS and my amazing sister!

Week 9 & 10

So, last weekend was the inservice. I’m so glad that’s over! What was weird, though, is that I was so stressed out this past week. It’s like I couldn’t let it go. I’m gradually moving on because there’s nothing I can do and I can’t worry about it until May. I just HATE that test. It means nothing yet so much weight is put on the scores. Hopefully, I did well enough and can just move on. I think I answered enough questions correctly since I talked to other people informally afterwards.

The next day, Mechen and I were going to bike to Carlsbad. Then it got downgraded to Solana Beach. Then I got a text from Brooke at Wine Steals so our epic bike ride was downgraded to two blocks. It was so much fun to go to Wine Steals though! Their deck is huge and beautiful. The day was gorgeous and we had a great flight- 6 generous pours for $10! Wheee! Then we went to Union followed by Blue Ribbon Pizzeria for Brady and I.
Speaking of “Wheee!” Brady and I decided that “‘Wheees’ are better than ‘Auuughss’!” on our car ride to Big Bear. Yes, after this past week which had a few long days, we headed up to Big Bear for a Saturday of skiing. It was such a fun Spring Ski day! We spent the night on Friday and had a great time Saturday. It was definitely nice to divide the drive between two days as well.
The slope conditions were pretty nice, all things considered. No bare patches and the hard granular at the beginning of the day is definitely what I’m used to. It got pretty soft and sticky with the warmer afternoon, but at least it didn’t ice up again later.
We also had a great lunch break with DELICIOUS Bloody Marys. I was surprised but they make a mean Bloody there- Worcestershire, horseradish, olives, clam juice, mini-peppers, vodka and Ocean Spray Bloody Mary mix. They were awesome!

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas

I love Brandon Flowers and I love Las Vegas! Brady and I arrived last night on a 7 o’clock flight from SD. We took a shuttle, aka mini-Strip tour, to the Bellagio which is pretty awesome! We checked in and headed out for dinner because we were hungry!

We headed over to the Cosmopolitan b/c while the Bellagio is beautiful and pretty awesome, it’s a little old with regards to the vibes we were getting from the restaurants. We went to The China Poblano, a restaurant by Jose Andres. I had two delicious margaritas and we split some awesome dim sum and a DELICIOUS queso fundido. Then we walked around, tried to see the fountains (which were off for the night) and met two guys from Sweden that we hung out for a bit before turning in at 2 a.m! Sagoy!
I’m happy we stayed up so late b/c I want to be on Las Vegas time for tonight. We are going to see O, have dinner and then head out to a nightclub- maybe Marquee at the Cosmopolitan?
Today is already off to a great start since we worked out at the hotel gym. I’m so happy that I did b/c I hadn’t run all week so it was nice to keep up my conditioning although I felt a little on the dehydrated/sweating alcohol side of the things. But I got some good intervals in at 8.5/9.5 every 3 minutes for 24 minutes. This week was light on the workouts- I had a SPX/4 mile run double workout on Sunday then nothing until SPX Friday morning.
Now, we’re showering up to head out to buffet land. It’s amazing how Las Vegas feels like a cruise ship- shows, food everywhere and casinos randomly in the middle of things so you have to walk through.