Bon Voyage.

My final afternoon in San Francisco was definitely my favorite.  I used to be a frantic vacationer, always feeling like I needed to race around and do as much as possible.  Nowadays, I’ve been trying to concentrate on slowing down a bit – appreciating the experiences for what they are, instead of rushing through them. 

Initially, I had planned to spend my afternoon at Alcatraz.  But in looking at the ticket times, knowing what time I needed to depart for the airport, and considering transportation – I realized that I was going to spend the whole time feeling rushed and worried about getting back in time.  So I ignored the little voice that wanted to race all day, and chose to just appreciate one last beautiful afternoon in the Bay Area.

It started with a waterside breakfast, followed by a goodbye hug with Teri, and a day of exploring with Ashley.  And then there were vegan donuts…

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Oh my donut – these were off the charts.  At the Taste Pavilion on Saturday, I had tried a soup that rocked my world – apparently made from a variety of mushrooms called Candy Cap, that taste like maple syrup when cooked.  The minute I saw the Candy Cap donut, I knew it had to be mine.

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Apparently I was channeling my inner country music singer?  Not sure why my hair was so big…

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The mushroom donut was everything I hoped it would be.  All the earthiness of mushrooms, with maple syrup sweetness.  Mmmmmm.

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After killing a little time around the Ferry Building, it was finally time to board ours!

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We said goodbye to the Port of San Francisco…

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And headed across the water, to the little town of Sausalito.

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There could not have been a more perfect day, or a more beautiful sky to sail under.

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Proof that the pictures and skies are real, and not just an exaggerated memory.  I was really there!

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After 30 minutes at sea, we approached our destination across the Bay.

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Sausalito was everything I heard it would be – quaint, quiet, beautiful, and charming.  The houses made me want to call Casey, tell him to pack the rice cooker and the dogs, and start heading west.

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We walked past a few restaurants and checked out menus that didn’t feel very exciting or special.  We actually found our delicious lunch in the hands of a few strangers sitting on the rock wall by the water.  As we passed, we both gushed, “Did you see those sandwiches?”  So we awkwardly approached and asked the nice group if they could point us in the direction of a few sandwiches of our own.  And boy did we find them.

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Crusty sourdough (the best yet!), loaded with sauteed spinach, onions, peppers, and squash, and stringy Swiss cheese melting through every bite.

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Enjoyed on a stone bench about 5 feet from the water’s edge.

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Absolute perfection.

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And before our ferry headed back, a short walk around the marina to discover a little more about Sausalito.

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In just one short weekend, I learned so much from Ashley about taking better photos.  I felt lucky to see the master at work.

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And even though we kept it slow and I never felt rushed, our time to return came way too soon.

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Back across the Bay…

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And back towards San Francisco!

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But not without a quick trip past Alcatraz.

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I have a major fascination with prisons, but that is a story for another day. 

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I was amazed at the sheer size of this facility, and am definitely adding it to my list of things to do when I return.

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Back at the Ferry Building, our adventures ended.  We grabbed our luggage, commuted to the airport, gave teary goodbyes, and then took hellish red-eye flights back East.

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But the overnight flight was worth it for a fabulous and relaxing day spent enjoying the sunshine in Sausalito.

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Bon voyage, San Francisco!