19 July 2008

San Francisco - Sausalito - Petaluma

6:30 a.m. flight to Denver went without a hitch. We had a 4-hour layover scheduled for Denver but checked in to fly standby and only had about an hour. We ended up arriving SFO around 10 a.m. It was like getting a bonus day!

We picked up the rental car, drove through San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge and into the picturesque town of Sausalito. We found a restaurant (Anchorage 5) that was tucked back in a marina area...one of the joys of getting "lost"...that had fabulous food. Al had a crab melt and I had a sauteed prawn dish that had mushrooms and garlic with sides of black beans, spanish rice and guacamole. Yum!

We got directions to the downtown area and found a place to park in a public lot. Then we walked up and down the street that fronts the bay. It was crowded with boutiques, shops, and restaurants. After traveling in economy class, it was great to stretch our legs on a lovely day.

During the walk, we passed a visitor center so we stopped and picked up some literature and brochures. I added it to the stash of stuff I picked up in the airport. We didn't plan a whole lot of activities prior to the trip. We intended to play it mostly by ear and now we were armed with the info to do it.

We hit the road again and headed north to Petaluma...our home away from home for the next week and a half. We found the Metro Hotel on the main drag through town and checked in. The woman running the place (Marta, a young woman from France, here on a business management internship from her university in Warsaw, Poland) walked us over to our space ... not actually in the main hotel... across the street and a couple doors down.

Our "cottage" is a 2 bedroom Craftsman style house with a rose garden and arbor flanking the sidewalk up front, a fireplace and furnished living room and dining room, full kitchen, and a bathroom with a claw-foot bathtub. Our jaws dropped. We were expecting a one room cabin sort of thing.

It turns out that the person who booked our reservation (a previous intern) messed up the booking and put us in this place but quoted us the price of the one room cabin thing. Sweet!

The AC didn't work (actually, it would be more correct to say there was no AC) and the house was a bit hot and stuffy, which concerned us, but since there were no other rooms available in town, we decided we'd stay there the night and re-evaluate in the morning. (As it turned out, once we opened the windows, it was less stuffy and it got so cool at night that it was lovely sleeping weather and we decided we didn't need AC after all.)

We drove around the historic downtown area, looking for a grocery store. We found one and bought some milk, cereal, fruit, chapstick (which I'd forgotten to pack...or did, but couldn't find) and a couple bottles of $2 wine (entirely drinkable).

We returned "home" and put away the groceries then set out on foot to find some supper. We stopped at SEA (a Thai restaurant) that was just a couple doors up the street from the main hotel and ate way, way too much Thai food. At that, we still took enough home for a whole other meal. Once we stowed the food, we walked the few blocks to downtown, just to see what was there, then turned in for the night.