Mike Nelson the Great and I returned a few weeks ago from a delightful seven days on the left coast, more specifically, northern California. The plan had been to flit across the sea to England and spend our last-hurrah-before-baby trip touring London, Oxford, Bath, and Edinburgh, but the day before we were supposed to leave, we woke up to the news that a little volcano was pouring ash into the skies above western Europe. So that ended that. We regrouped, though, and headed in the opposite direction a few days later, to San Francisco and surrounding areas. Here’s what I learned.

  1. So what if your church is across the street from a psychic’s shop? Where else would you suggest they put it?
  2. The average median income for a family in Sausalito, California is $123,000. Median. That means the middle.
  3. My husband has a wicked good eye for photography.
  4. Sometimes you don’t know that your hotel is on the edge of the seedy side of town until a local tells you. Just walk in the opposite direction. Problem solved.
  5. The inspiration for the default desktop on Windows computers comes, very clearly, from the landscape surrounding Silicon Valley.
  6. Some of God’s handiwork can literally take your breath away.
  7. Seriously. Breathless.
  8. You can’t be afraid of bed and breakfasts.
  9. I need to grow this shrub at my house. Fifteen points to the first person to identify it.
  10. Alcatraz Island is a creepy place even in the daytime. You’d have to be half out of your mind to go at night. But we did anyway.