Saturdays are wonderful - even when you're semi-hemi-demi retired or unemployed, or whatever you want to call it. What sets it apart is that it's time for Arthur and me and togetherness. So here is the recipe for a particularly delightful Saturday.
Peaches from the farm we subscribe to - small, intensely juicy and sweet-tart.
The New York Times and The San Francisco Chronicle - at a leisurely pace - in the front room with the sun coming in from the front garden.
A slow drive up to Bodega, snaking our way through San Francisco, via Larken, Lombard, the obstacles of Doyle Drive and the magnificence of the Golden Gate Bridge. I keep forgetting how massive it is.
The tops of the bridge are hidden by fog, and as we pass through the tunnel leading into Marin, the skies clear and become blue.
The hills of Marin are golden and dappled with live oak. Even the traffic that begins at San Rafael does little to dampen our spirits as we make our way to Petaluma.
The radio is on, and it is a constant flow of Car Talk, Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, and This American Life.
We pass through fields of golden grasses and cows of every color and stripe. There are purple and white flowers on the side of the road.
In the distance we can see the fog coming off the ocean, our blue skies will give way to grey.
This American Life begins to fade away, and we can't find the repeater station, so Arthur pops in a CD with Michael Feinstein and Cheyenne Jackson's The Power of Two.
Bodega Bay - inns, salt water taffy, crowds of tourists going to a couple of huge restaurants, and the very particular green of cypress trees.
Arthur wonders if lunch first would be best, and I agree. We head for our favorite Bodega Bay Restaurant - The Terrapin Creek Restaurant: http://www.terrapincreekcafe.com/.
Andrew greets us with his usual dazzling smile and seats us next to a window. Arthur has a egg salad sandwich with tapenade and I have the cassoulet.
The object of this trip has been to retrieve a Japanese print that we had restored and reframed, so we make our way to the Ren Brown Collection - http://www.renbrown.com/. Ren greets us with a hug, and later a glass of kefir - sharing some starter with us.
We walk away with our print, the kefir starter, the name of a flower that I want for our back yard (Francoa), and some new coffee mugs.
We drive out to the head of Bodega Bay, and get out and walk. There are small rivulets coming down out of grassy, mossy, reedy "valleys", whose streams disappear into the sand.
A crowd of people are standing at the crest of a hill overlooking the ocean. There are whales! Their plumes explode from the waves and we see their shiny bodies as the pod frolics in the water.
A lone, wind-swept cypress stands sentinel on a near-by hill.
As we drive back, I notice that the valleys we wind around as we make our way back up the coast are filled with cypress, their deep blue-green contrasting with the other trees and grasses.
In Petaluma we look for an ice cream place, soon discovering Lala Creamery - http://www.lalascreamery.com/, where I have a cup of vanilla bean, and Arthur has a Meyer Lemon sherbet.
We walk by an antique shop and Arthur is intrigued, so we go in and meet Pierre Clauzon, who runs Pierre Art and Antiques in Petaluma. There we found everything from a baptismal font from Glasgow, Scotland, a beautiful piece of 20th Century French silver, interesting prints, photos and paintings. Pierre was very charming and we heard stories about the various pieces.
Back on 101, quickly moving from Saturday into The City and streets and people.
It was a wonderful day.