Small Willow Grove Surprise

Short and fleeting my stay may be in this wonderful city of San Francisco, I sure had a grand time. Where traveling is concerned, the case of “the more, the merrier” will never appealing to me. It’s always quality over quantity. I find it best to take it slow, wander and get lost in the streets of places that I get to visit. Yes, I take more time in each stop than a regular traveler may do. I have this belief that it is in discovering the little details that make the area most interesting, things one never notice when in a hurried pace. 

Luckily, on this last leg of the US visit, I was in the company of a seasoned traveler, my host Recho B. He already knew where to take me, “We will be having lunch at this place and we will take our time and enjoy the day.” Perfect! It’s my kind of thing. 

The day trip had the components of “everything touristy in San Francisco”- a ride on the famous tram traversing downhill, the Port of San Francisco, our jump-off point to our destination, a scenic ferry ride across the bay, the Golden Gate and Bay bridges at a diffenrent vantage point of view, and the famed Alcatraz.

What got me excited was getting to our destination. The sight of houses on the hill, restaurants on stilts, houseboats along the shoreline, small souvenir shops, quaint inns and hotels that line the two lane street, gave a feeling that I must have stepped out of America. Sausalito exudes European charm. It’s a town devoid of clutter and bustle of a city, quiet and beautiful!

Sausalito, “a small willow grove” in Spanish, is blessed with an unforgettable picture perfect and breathtaking views and prides itself as “a lifestyle more than a destination” . They have bragging rights, alright. I still find it hard to believe that this place exists a stone’s throw away from the metropolitan life of downtown San Francisco.

Via the bay by ferry or the Golden Gate Bridge by car, the Marin County is a short trip. Here, your adventure of choice, on land or sea, can kick off. Biking, hiking or boating, Sausalito will guarantee you a scenic journey.

Lunch was at a famous restaurant by the bay, the Horizons Restaurant. It was too cold to dine al fresco by the deck but we got a good sunny spot by the window that offers the same great view of the bay and the San Francisco skyline.
Enjoying our catching up over the good old days over a hearty meal made us miss our scheduled ferry back home. It was good news. It just meant more time to explore the town. We took a lazy stroll along the Bridgeway, the Princess and Caledonia Streets, window shopped, enjoyed my hot cup of coffee while Recho sipped his red wine at a side-walk café called Piccolo Teatro, people watched, saw an occasional car pass by. An entire relaxing day in Sausalito was just what this tired tourist needed to unwind and rejuvenate after sixty days of criss-crossing state lines.
I mused that given the chance, this is a good place to spend the rest of my lifetime. There is a good quality of life in this small town that tend to be absent in a big city.

The blare of the ferry’s horn woke me from my reverie, signaling that it’s time to head home. As much as I hated to go, I had no choice.

In the places I have visited in San Francisco, I will honestly say that Sausalito proved to be the most surprising destination. It is one place that I look forward to visiting again. This pleasant “small willow grove” is just a so picture-perfect and, except for its size, everything else that matters is big.

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