Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tour de NorCal

Home, back home
Where the memories all have gathered up and
Slowly turned to gold
And I carry them along with me wherever
I may go
("Home," Tim McGraw)

My happy place is at a particular bend in the road near the top of Sonora Pass, pictured above.  Luckily, after many years away and probably many more until my return, I was able to go to my happy place for the first time with my girls.

We spent a day in Tuolumne County, joined by my sister and two of my brother's blondies.  First stop: Cover's Apple Ranch, the place famous for Mile High Apple Pies.  

Next:  Columbia State Park, a Gold Rush boomtown turned ghost town turned popular tourist attraction turned sorta ghost town again.  Luckily, though the stagecoach rides and horses are no longer running on weekdays, Nelson's Candy Shoppe was open and stocked with dark chocolate honeycomb.

Oh, yeah!  It was in the parking lot we got the call from Tommy -- he's headed to Mexico City for his mission!  In his honor, we had some fantastic California-style Mexican food on the main drag in downtown Sonora.

The next day, we took a drive I know so well, a maze of country roads and valley freeways connecting my hometown to "the city."  We stopped at the farmer's stand on Jack Tone Road; the girls loved gathering a load of funky gourds and running through varied species of pumpkins.

On to San Francisco, which is so familiar to me because my grandpa grew up there nearly a century ago.  We were thrilled to find out the awesome last minute online deal was right at Fisherman's Wharf.  Like, we woke up to these guys barking every morning... 

The Sea Lions on Pier 39 were, without a doubt, Kiddo's highlight.  We were also just steps from sourdough chowder bowls at Boudin.

Call us brave or crazy, but besides a few trolley jaunts, we used the local metro to get around town. Boy did we stick out, toting our two little singing girls and a sparkly clean orange stroller, particularly since our regular route ran straight through Chinatown and the ride to the stadium covered some varied SF territory.  We got pretty good at it.  And, it was fun.

Speaking of transportation, we rented bikes one day to ride from the Wharf across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito.  A fun way to take it all in.  Michael pulled Millie in a trailer, and I had Soph on a tandem.


I gave up on getting a cute, posed shot of the girls and the bridge so I just told them to "jump!"

Then, there was the Utah v. Cal football game at AT&T Park (I insist on calling it Candlestick) right near the bay.  It was a bummer game, but we made the most of it.  That's all.


Our Tour de NorCal covered it all!  We were even in an earthquake (4.2!) at dinner on the seventh story of a Union Square skyrise.  I remembered the drills we did in elementary school in which we climbed under our desks for protection.  We did miss visiting a few old friends, but that just means you'll have to come visit us!  

1 comment:

Larson Love said...

This very trip with you is on my bucket list! Such fun photos!