For a rapid-fire, three-day introduction to the Bay Area, you could do what my sister Katy and I did the first half of this week:
- Breakfast at the Main Street Grill in Half Moon Bay, followed by some stops at the ocean along the coast.
- Visit Muir Wood National Monument
- Lunch and ice cream at Ghirardelli Square. Some seats at Lori’s Diner have a window view of the bay.
- Visit the Golden Gate Bridge and walk out to the first pylon.
- Visit Golden Gate Park, including the Shakespeare Garden, Japanese Tea Garden, and Strybing Arboretum.
- Stop off for a short walk on Ocean Beach.
- Visit the Winchester Mystery House.
- And stop in to visit my employer. (Admittedly, you’ll get more out of this stop if you’re a friend of mine than if you’re a random visitor. You can still buy some swag at the company store, though.)
Katy and I have had a tempestuous – is that the right word? Sure, why not – relationship. We didn’t really get along at all in our teenaged years, and we have rather different memories of what it was like growing up in our home town, though to be fair on that count our experiences were quite different for two people who went through the same school system and grew up in the same town with the same parents. So all things considered we didn’t really have a lot of motivation to become friends as adults. I think what changed is that we just grew up (eventually), and my nephew Ivan I think motivated Katy to reconnect, as she drove up with him to visit the last two times I went back to visit my parents. So although I can’t speak for her, on my end I was perfectly comfortable having her stay for a few days before attending the conference she’s at for the second half of this week.
Maybe I pack a little too much into visits from family and friends, but we had a lot of fun, and ate a lot of good food besides. We had great weather – she came out just ahead of the heat wave that’s scorching us today – and had some nice quiet evenings with Debbi and the cats. And as with my Mom, Blackjack was charmed by Katy and visited him every night to snooze with her.
To my amusement, when I introduced her to my cow-orkers on a tour through work, three of them asked whether he had any insight into where my punning nature comes from. She doesn’t really know, though; I think I’m just a prodigy.
So it was fun, and she might even come back! And, for those of you who know both of us, here’s the evidence: