After a most enjoyable stay at the Simpson Hotel on 48th Avenue (the concierge route planning and breakfast service is particularly good), it was time to take a leisurely return trip to Tomales in preparation for Bets and Bryan’s Friday departure on their second trip.
Today was particularly stunning with clear blue skies and a clear atmosphere. There was a fog bank visible but it was remaining well away from the coast over the Pacific. The Simpson Hotel route plan sent us back through Lincoln Park and the Presidio along the coast to the west of the Golden Gate bridge. This was a new bridge vantage point for me so we stopped for a few more tourist pictures.
While snapping the Golden Gate bridge, one of a series of open-top computer-guided tourist three wheeler vehicles pulled in to our parking area to study a map. We’d seen these GoCars buzzing about the city on our Embarcadero walk. They look like a cross between a very old Morgan three-wheeler and the rightly ill-fated Sinclair C5. In this context, though, of buzzing around the environs of San Francisco, I imagine they are great fun. Since they are open, every now and then one can hear the preprogrammed instructions; “turn right here”. This seems like an excellent use of satellite navigation.
Regrettably, the main activity of the day was destined to be shopping. Corte Madera boasts a shopping mall on either side of the 101 freeway. The main attractions seemed to be a Macy’s and a Nordstrom’s in the eastern mall. Yours truly amused himself wandering around in the sun and drinking a Peet’s double espresso while you know who amused herself with Macy’s and Nordstrom’s. The mall sported a series of whimsical water features which went some way to brightening an otherwise naturally tedious shopping experience.
Eventually, and with the cash reserves still intact, it was time to cross to the western mall on the opposite side of the freeway for part two of our shopping extravaganza. At least here there were some interesting food and kitchen shops to provide a semblance of interesting distraction. There was also an excellent fresh Mexican Grill for lunch.
After a somewhat late but most enjoyable Mexican lunch, joy of joys, there was to be a part three; we returned whence we came to the eastern side of the freeway for a second thrilling visit to Nordstrom’s where a North Face jacket was apparently shouting, “buy me, buy me!” Gap also benefited from a second visit and a purchase of a pair of jeans.
My oh my, how time flies when you’re having fun. So much had flown that, when we finally left to drive back to Tomales, it was just gone 5:00 PM and we drove slap bang into the homeward rush hour commute. The further north one goes on 101, the fewer lanes there are. These wonderful bottle necks result in tail-backs. To be fair, the traffic flow is nowhere near as bad as the M25 in rush hour – it rarely actually comes to a complete stop – but it is still a shock to a retired, rush-hour-avoiding system.