Wednesday, September 7, 2016

WWU - Exercising in California

The alternative title for this post was "why didn't I start running when I lived there?!?" but as the infamous tattoo says, "No Ragrets" - so I'll just leave those thoughts and move forward.
This is from the movie We're the Millers, but I'm sure that somewhere, some actual person has this misspelled tattoo on their body.

Anyway.  California!  Specifically northern California, where I grew up, is home to year-round perfect weather.  It's a place where I actually had to use sunscreen because I was outside for long periods of time during the day - unlike Texas, where I'm only dashing out to check the mail or walk from the parking lot into a store during our long hot months.  On my recent visit, I spent a lot of time outdoors and enjoyed every minute of it - here's a recap:
Sunset walk along West Cliff Drive - best time of the day to be out walking.

We walked along West Cliff Drive quite a few times; there's a 4.2 mile out-and-back route that is full of good sights, ranging from the coastal houses I'm always choosing to live in, to the ocean and cliffs, and of course all of the Santa Cruz characters hanging out along the way.  I didn't take as many pictures as in previous years, but I enjoyed the walks (and talks) just as much as ever.  Funny story - Barbara and I went for a walk while her husband Dave was taking care of picking up Theresa from her piano lesson.  We were expecting him to join us, but that didn't happen.  When we returned home, she asked him why, and he said that he drove by but we were talking, so he didn't want to interrupt.  OF COURSE WE WERE TALKING - it's what we do!  After that, he had no issues with joining us - just go with it, Dave.  It's easier that way.
Surfers, the wharf, and the Boardwalk in the background - another perfect day in Santa Cruz! 

Sometimes I run a lot when I'm visiting, but we were pretty busy this trip, so other than my race, I only got in one run.  My childhood buddy Matt came over the hill and accompanied me on my run - he's been into racewalking lately and is really fast, so he slowed down and we covered 4.2 miles, stopping for some photo ops along the way:
On our way out - still a bit overcast in the morning...
Blue skies were appearing as we turned back toward our starting point.

I wish I had run more while I was there, but dang, we were on the go pretty much every day!  And because I'm not familiar enough with the area to know the safe places to run while it's early (and dark), I didn't feel comfortable heading out on my own at 6:00 am, like I could do at home.  It's all good, though - every day was super fun, so no ragrets. 

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Another adventure we had was our trip to Tiburon, which is just north of San Francisco.  We drove there, going through downtown SF, which was interesting - I haven't been to the city in years.  Something that was new to me was the look of this tunnel, as well as the name:
A rainbow entrance, and also, it's named the Robin Williams Tunnel - sweet.

We parked the car and set off for our walk, wandering along, stopping for pictures, and enjoying the gorgeous weather.  It was windy, which is normal for that area, but I wasn't cold.  Here's some shots from our day:
Beginning of our trek - Barbara and Dave leading the way.
LOTS of picture-taking, including trying to get Theresa to pose like a model, which she did - love it!
Side adventure down the steps to see what was at the bottom (nature and some trash, which Theresa picked up and carried to the trash can on the path - what a good kid).
We found a nice market and stopped for a bite to eat, then wandered around Tiburon some more while Dave walked back to get the car...we'd gone over 4 miles one direction, and while the adults could have made the trip back, Theresa was done, so we chilled out at a fountain.
This was a moving sculpture and we were all slightly transfixed as we watched the individual sails slowly form one big sail.
Once Dave picked us up, we made the short drive to the little church where they got married - ahh, memories!  That was a great trip; feels like it was just yesterday, but in fact was back in the 20th century!

On our way back, Dave drove up the Marin Headlands, where I got a different view of the Golden Gate bridge than I've ever had in my life - it was windy and cold and absolutely amazing - a great end to an active day:
If you click on this picture, you can see Alcatraz island on the left side.
Barbara and I, August 2016.

22 comments:

  1. Aww I love this post! I have only been to Disneyland which is in Anaheim so I would love to explore California more! I love that the tunnel is named for Robin Williams!

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    1. Northern California is quite different from So Cal - you should plan a trip there (and of course run a race while you're at it, LOL).

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  2. I've always wanted to visit that part of CA and have, in fact, asked for a trip to either Italy or Cali wine country for my 60th birthday. This post makes me want to go even more!

    P.S. Theresa could BE a model, she is just a beauty!

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    1. Ooh, either trip would be fabulous but of course I hope you get to California soon!!

      You are right about Theresa. :)

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  3. Sounds like you had a fantastic visit! Love the shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. And how honorable to name the tunnel after Robin Williams. Any plans to retire in Northern California?

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    1. I wish I could retire there, but the housing is priced well beyond my means - the house I grew up in is valued at 1.2 million. I happen to know my parents paid about #22,000 for it back in the mid-sixties...

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  4. What a wonderful, wonderful trip! And so many beautiful places to walk.
    Love it that you visit Barbara every year.

    Theresa has turned into a beautiful young woman.

    And also love it that you do something active with Matt every time you are there.

    And finally a place that we both visited once in our life LOL. Been in San Francisco, walked the golden gate, got kind of the same photo and visited Alcatraz.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. How fun that you've been to SF, too! I've never been to Alcatraz...one of these days. I really have to act like a tourist for a visit and see all the things everyone who visits sees.

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  5. I loved seeing all the pictures from your visit! Theresa is such a lovely young women.
    Some day I want to be able to visit California too!

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    1. You should plan a trip out to California - but go in the fall - I think it's a little warmer then.

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  6. Wow, I loved this post too! I grew up in the Bay Area, but if you can believe it, I don't think I've ever visited Tiburon, or the Marin Headlands, and if I ever drove over the Golden Gate, I have no memory of it. Time to explore my birthplace :)

    Yes, I think I forgot to mention that when I saw Theresa, I was surprised at how grown-up she was. And beautiful.

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    1. I've only been to Tiburon when Barbara and Dave got married, so I'm right with you on not really exploring where we grew up all that much. I've driven over the GG bridge a lot, but never walked it - I was game, but it was REALLY windy and I'm not sure anyone else was, LOL.

      And yes, Theresa is beautiful. :)

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  7. I have run across SF bridge a few times. It's about 1.5 miles so you can get a 3 mile run. It is difficult due to the winds and crowds weaving in and out. We didn't go to SF this year but usually do. I can't stop eating on Pier 39 and China Town. :-)

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    1. The pedestrian side was crowded and I can imagine it wouldn't be an easy run...but it would be memorable!

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  8. Ah! California is the top of my bucket list to visit - especially Northern California. True story, my cousins daughter got a tattoo on the back of her neck that said "Shinning Star" with stars drawn on either side. She didn't even know that it was misspelled until my brother and I told her it should be spelled "Shining Star!"

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  9. You should google mistake tattoos. They are really hilarious, although I feel bad for the owners of them...

    That sail art looks so much like the Sidney Opera House.

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    1. I've had hours of entertainment googling misspelled tattoos - it's probably wrong to laugh, but I can't help it.

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  10. "No ragrets? Really? Not even a single letter?" Lol! Love that movie!

    Looks like you had a really great time!!

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    1. Btw, I commented on your comment in the comments on my blog. :)

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  11. After visiting California in April to run Big Sur, I have ragrets--why do I live in Illinois? Ugh. I am in love with California. I will be back.

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  12. What a wonderful trip! I am planning to visit US the next summer so No. Cali will be added in my bucket list! Thanks for this post! It will serve as my guide :)

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