Adventures in Sausalito, CaliforniaInteresting Towns, OUTDOORS EATING, STAFF, USA MAINLAND — By Judy Clement Wall on October 26, 2011 at 18:45
Story by staff writer Judy Clement Wall. Photos Copyright © Judy Clement Wall.
NOT LONG AGO, I heard Neil Gaiman read a story about adventure. Actually, he read a piece about wanting to write a story about adventure. His wife laughed at his wild ideas about including aliens and pirates and duels and space travel. She reminded him that his idea of adventure consists largely of walking his dog on the wooded trails around their house.
Gaiman admitted that it is true, that he’d grown up with his parents calling every outing an adventure, that his definition and the rest of the world’s might be slightly at odds.
I love that. My two boys have grown up the same way. “Let’s go on an adventure,” has been my constant refrain since they were little. They are taller than I am now, but they still smile when I say that.
Adventure is, at least in part, an attitude, isn’t it?
So this past weekend, after a week that was chaotic and challenging in good but exhausting ways, I said to my husband, “I need an adventure.”
He said, “I thought you were tired.”
“I am,” I said. “That’s why I need to go out and fill my well.”
We ditched everything else that we’d planned to do (work-work, yard work, grocery shopping, etc.) and headed out to Sausalito, a picturesque waterfront community across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.
We had no plan at all; we just grabbed our cameras and took off. Driving there I felt excited, like a kid playing hooky. As adults I think we sometimes forget how easy it is to fill the soul, how nourishing spontaneity can be.
The weather was beautiful: sunshine and blue skies. We wandered about downtown, watched a man balancing rocks [see feature photo]—which sounds less impressive than it was—veered off the beaten track to climb alley staircases, walk along the shore, visit the docks. Late in the afternoon we stopped and had beer and grilled artichokes on a deck overlooking the bay.
The day we had was so much better than the one we had planned, partly because we hadn’t planned it. Not all my adventures go so smoothly, but I rarely regret even the ones that don’t.
And while I have yet to run into a (recognizable) pirate or alien, I believe my (very achievable) definition of adventure leaves the possibilities wide open.
Judy Clement Wall (aka j) is a freelance writer who lives, works and plays in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s in love with the California coast; everything from combing the beaches of San Diego to hiking the coastal trails of Humboldt County. You can read and link to more of her work through her blog, Zebra Sounds.