The mountains, canyons, deserts, and woods is where I have spent most of my free time during my adult life.
I’ve seen desert sunsets, climbed up high peaks, and walked trails through deep woods.
But it is the ocean that defined my formative years.
Growing up in Rhode Island, it was the coast where our free time as a family was spent.
My mom, my aunts, and the many cousins would spend time at the shore during summer days. An inexpensive outing for our large family. Sometimes a stop by Allie’s doughnuts would be made on the way down to the beach. And after a day at the beach, we may have even had some clam cakes and chowder at the fishing village called Galilee.
Having been in Colorado since 1999, any forays to the shore have been brief.
It is not part of my life anymore.
But the memories run deep.
Which is why, I think, I enjoyed the chance to spend a couple of days in San Francisco. When Justin and his family generously agreed to host me for a few days, I gladly took them up on their generous offer.
I had never been to San Franciso. And I was long due for a visit to the ocean.
I found a city that is rather walkable.
Where a person can meander, explore, and find pockets of interesting things to see and do.
The main tourist areas are of course well-known for a reason. But I would often turn a corner and find something to see that was not expected. And where few people seemed to congregate.
Curiously, I was reminded of Rome. Another city that was a joy to walk. Both cities are really a collection of neighborhoods with their distinct characters that make up a vibrant whole.
Perhaps my favorite time during my Bay Area exploration was simply sitting at a local beach, reading my book, sipping my coffee, and enjoying the view to the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Just being and taking it all in.
I am not one for much urban exploration. But I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Bay Area. I will need to return.