Ok, ok sooo everyone these days sees 30 and they likely think of pop star diva Adele and her new comeback album. Well…I know that’s a pretty big deal however celebrating your 30th wedding anniversary is pretty big deal too!

To celebrate the occasion we popped down to the Bay Area, the place where it all began, to visit old haunts, new places and dear friends. I think we were surrounded and in the water enough that I can make this post into an abbreviated travelogue into a swim blog too.

Our first destination was Carmel and the Big Sur area. I forgot about the stunning beauty of the rugged coastline and scenery. We stayed at the Carmel Highlands Inn in an ocean view room perfect for watching sunsets and staring at the ocean.

Room 522

We drove down a very windy PCH and enjoyed the dramatic coastline to Big Sur. Stretching our legs a couple times we had a couple of easy hikes at the local state parks. Post hike to soothe the soul I took a dip in the hotel pool. While not a lap pool (I circled the perimeter a few times) it did the job. Even better was the hot tub looking at the craggy California coast.

Highlands Inn, Carmel

It was then off to Sausalito for a one nighter in a fabulous hotel sitting right on top of the Bay with amazing views of San Francisco in the distance.

Our view

The next morning I took a plunge at a pool I have been eyeing for quite awhile-Mt. Tam High School Pool in Mill Valley. I enjoyed a nice outdoor morning sunrise swim. With the 30 theme still in mind it was happenstance that this was pool #130.

Mt. Tam High Pool~#130

After a familiar four mile hike from “back in the day” down Tennessee Valley to the beach we were off to Healdsburg and the wine country.

Tennessee Valley trail-Marin County
The Beach

While there wasn’t much water based activity in Sonoma except for some moisture in the air we sure enjoyed our very cool hotel, Hotel Healdsburg, the town square and some wine tasting. We were even there for the lighting of the town Christmas tree and Menorah.

Hotel Healdsburg

Next stop, San Francisco where we have both left our hearts and where are hearts first met (kinda)….awwww!

Favorite bridge

We stayed at the Hotel Drisco an elegant European style hotel in Pacific Heights near the Presidio. Holiday lighting was all around the massive mansions surrounding our hotel.

View from the Lyon Street Steps

We walked, walked and walked all over the City. From Union Square, The Ferry Building and the Embarcadero to Chestnut Street and Fillmore and Sacramento street in the neighborhood of our hotel. We even went to Fort Mason and the Christmas tree stand sponsored by the Guardsmen where we always use to buy our Christmas tree.

Fort Mason

There were three highlights of our time in the City. First was a picnic at Alta Plaza park at the top of the hill with wine and cheese and sweeping views of Twin Peaks to the south.

Alta Plaza Park picnic

Second, was a very special dinner with dear old friends at Alto Vino on Nob Hill. In the early 90’s we all hung out, dare I say as young singles, sailing on the Bay, weekend trips to Stinson and our annual Christmas Holiday stroll critiquing the holiday decorations at some of the City’s finest hotels. We reflected on the old days, talked about the kids and future aspirations. Sadly, we didn’t a pic of this reunion. I guess we were just got caught up in sharing time with each other.

And the final highlight (highlights in no particular order😉) was a dip in the water at Aquatic Park. As you know from prior blogs (San Francisco Cold Water Training Camp-August 2017) Aquatic Park is hallowed ground for open water enthusiasts across the globe. It was a cloudy and I would say chilly day. Per usual, there were still plenty of hearty souls with and without wetsuits braving the 53 degrees water temp.

Aquatic Park-all season open water swimming

I was there all speedo’ed up sooo…I had to take the plunge. It was a very slow wade into the water, a big yelp and some heads up breastroke and eventually I put my head in the water. It took about 5 minutes before I became somewhat comfortable. I stayed in the water about 40 minutes-not too bad. I swam to the opening of park so I could catch the water level view of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate. I also looked up and at the end of pier and there was Shannon.

I decided with the cold water, strong king tides and swimming solo I should play it safe and not swim outside the cove to Fort Mason. I did swim a pretty cool pattern though-kinda looked like an arrow. Maybe it was Cupid’s arrow 💘-awww!

Cupid’s arrow pattern

Well…that is a wrap on a wonderful 30th Anniversary get-away. I was able to get in three swims over the week. One swim for every decade we have been married. Together we had a great time reminiscing on the past, creating new memories and thinking about the future. Here’s to many more…

One day…

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