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Our brief bay stopover

Written by Chaz on 29 September 2011

Heading down the Marin peninsula to San Francisco, we made detours to two sites of great natural beauty, the Muir Woods and the Marin Headlands. The Muir Woods, one of the last untouched redwood groves near San Francisco, were named in honor of John Muir’s contributions in the creation of the national park system. We took a quick walk through the forest, admiring the trees’ majestic beauty.

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We then drove down to the very tip of the peninsula to the Marin Headlands, stopping several times to take in the views across the bay. I think this was my third or fourth visit to the headlands, but they’re just as breathtaking as the first time.

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Unfortunately, due to extensive construction at the headlands, we were thwarted both from taking the scenic coastal drive as well as from walking down to Point Bonita Lighthouse. We did take a nice walk toward the lighthouse, though, and had a light second lunch of the leftovers from our vineyard picnic earlier in the day as we watched seals play in the mouth of the Pacific Ocean.

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We drove south over the Golden Gate Bridge through central San Francisco and picked up Gabi at her apartment in Potrero Hill for a quick jaunt over to Emeryville, where we picked up some furniture at IKEA that Gabi wasn’t able to fit into her own car, which is much more reasonably sized than our Dorothy. I was pleased that we were able to put our minivan to a legitimately productive use.

After dropping off the furniture at Gabi’s, we hopped the BART back under the bay to Oakland to meet some friends from Brown for dinner at Red Sea, an Ethiopian restaurant. I first got into Ethiopian food with my friend Ellen at Abyssinia in Stockholm, and Red Sea didn’t disappoint. We started with meat and vegetable sambusas, delicious little hot pockets with unidentified but delicious spices, and a hummus platter. We moved onto to the house combo, a whole smörgåsbord of meats and vegetables served over injera, the traditional spongy Ethiopian flatbread used instead of silverware.

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We then migrated across the street to the Kingfish, a fantastic dive bar that inspired our friend Ellen (not the same Ellen as above) to dedicate her column in the East Bay Express to it. After leaving, Emmy and I parted ways as I headed back under the bay to Gabi’s apartment but she stayed at our friend Margaret’s apartment in Oakland.

We met again at eight the next morning and headed to breakfast with Gabi at Just For You, a great little place that Gabi and I had visited a couple years ago. Emmy and I both had the Greg’s scramble: eggs, spinach, parmesan, onions and chicken-apple sausage, and we split a beignet, the fried New Orleans treat that Just For You somehow also specializes in.

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After dropping Gabi off and bidding farewell, we pointed Dorothy south toward Highway 1 and Los Angeles. We made a quick stop at Trader Joe’s to restock and were shortly on our way.