Monday, October 14, 2013

California Adventure-Presidio

"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure.  There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open."
-Jawaharal Nehru
There are many, many times that I catch myself longing to be somewhere else.  To be out in the world, exploring a new place.  There are also many times that I need to remind myself to sit still.  To be grounded and to enjoy what is at my own doorstep.  

A few weeks ago, R, Moz and I took our own little local adventure.  We were house-sitting for a friend in a different neighborhood and decided to explore a "new" place in the city.  The Presidio is a small gem within the city limits.  It is at the northern tip of San Francisco and is actually part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area {in other words, a national park}.  It was originally built as a Spanish fort in 1776 and was a critical part of the US military until 1995.  The winding roads are filled with historical landmarks, eucalyptus-lined hiking trails and feeling of another era.  

The entrance of the Presidio was only a few blocks from where we were staying, so we took advantage of the sunny afternoon and headed out.  The first stop was the Palace of Fine Arts, one of the few remaining structures from the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition.  We wandered through the various paths next to the lagoons, admiring the swans and the intricate details of the building.  I have a serious fascination with world's fairs after reading this book, so it was an exciting bit of history to explore.

Next stop was the Yoda statue at Lucas films within the park and then onto the famous Lyon street steps and an overlook of the city.  At the top, we made our way into the park and onto Andy Goldsworthy's "Wood Line" and Lover's Lane.  Following Goldsworthy's art installation under the shade of the eucalyptus trees was a brief reprieve from the sun and a gentle reminder of nature within the city.   We finished our afternoon by visiting the San Francisco National Cemetery, 1 of the 2 cemeteries within the city limits and finally making our way back through the military grounds.  

It may not be a complete cure to the wanderlust the sometimes plagues me, but a small sense of adventure and exploration is often times mere steps from our front doors.  

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