Christmas, San Rafael

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Christmas, Friday, 25 December 2015

We are getting away for a few days. But not being the type to spend all day in the car, we only came to Marin, specifically San Rafael. We haven’t been north of the Golden Gate for years.

No point in getting there early, so we turned off at Tennessee Valley road to explore the Golden Gate national recreation area. Chilly day, but sunny and clear. We wore jackets until we had gained a couple hundred feet of elevation and warmed up.

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Views of the north bay area in pretty much all directions. Very nice!

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Not so nice, San Quentin federal prison. (They call it a penitentiary, but I have my doubts about the penitence of its occupants.)

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Not crowded, but there were others on the trail, mostly hikers but a few mountain bikies as well.

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Mt Tamalpais over there.

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The trail down into Muir Beach is called Green Gulch. We thought about driving over there later, but it turned out that left turns are not permitted from Tennessee Valley road onto Highway 1, and it wasn’t worth the trouble to find a place to turn around after having turned right.

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Great texture on the ocean.

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And this is probably the clearest view I have ever had of the Farallons. Very clear day.

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Downtown San Francisco visible through a gap in the hills.

Beautiful day, beautiful hike.

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We had parked near the stables, where a couple of women were training a couple of horses. I’d say the horses were having a terrific time.

The hotelier phoned to see what time we would arrive, so the staff could knock off early. Because we couldn’t easily drive over to Muir Beach, we just went on to San Rafael. Staying at the Panama Hotel, a funky, strange place. Our room is called Honeymoon, but the room two doors down is called Bordello. Bathtub-shower in the corner of our room.

Of course, we went out to explore the town. By and large, the restaurants that are open today are Asian of one kind or another. We stopped in a pub, but it was crowded and loud, not our kind of thing. Walked and wandered, came upon some wonderful shell sculptures at a store called Namaste.

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The upper-crust Thai restaurants closed at 3 and didn’t re-open until 5, and we were hungry. Eventually found a durchgehendes Thai restaurant, hole in the wall, pretty good, pretty inexpensive. Stopped at a 7-11 on the way back to the hotel for a Lagunitas Imperial stout, which we enjoyed in our room.

Nice day!

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