Last full day. Woke up early and went to Gus’s to get a large jasmine tea. Tim had expressed interest in going with me to Sausalito, but he begged off in the morning, citing work and lack of sleep. I saw that the banana bread had come out beautifully, despite his worries. Apparently the dough had overflowed the pans while in the oven – he’d just used more baking soda than normal, thinking it was stale. But it didn’t hurt anything aside from making a bit of a mess. He insisted I try a slice before leaving. It was AMAZING.

It included chopped walnuts, golden raisins, and tiny bits of chocolate, plus this crusty sugary top. SO decadent.

I looked up which pier to get the ferry to Sausalito from. The internet told me it was Pier 41, in between Pier 39 (tourist trap) and Fisherman’s Wharf (other tourist trap). The Muni train would take me to the Embarcadero at the famous Ferry Building, but that was some distance from Pier 41. I figured I’d find a pedicab to take me there, as I’d done before, or walk. Saw this monstrosity at the Embarcadero; this thing must be THE ugliest fountain EVER:

But first I thought I’d take a stroll through the Ferry Building, just to window-shop. I happened to notice a kiosk inside where one could buy ferry tickets, so I waited in line. Asked the guy to confirm that the ferry to Sausalito left from Pier 41, and he whipped out a ferry schedule and handed it to me. “Sausalito ferry is another company. They’re outside.”

So abruptly dismissed, I went outside and found nothing. Tried a different spot. Nothing. Finally asked a random worker and he directed me to the back of the Ferry Building, where they have the farmer’s market on Saturdays. Friendly guides helped clueless tourists like me how to navigate the ticket machines. It was an option to purchase one’s ticket via the Clipper card – NO WAY, those things hate me, I wanted a regular ticket. The next ferry was leaving in about 90 minutes. I asked where the ferry to Sausalito left from, and the lady pointed about 50 yards away. “Right over there.” Geez, good thing I didn’t just go straight to Pier 41! Don’t trust the internet, kids.

Remember me talking about Sinbad’s from my first visit? Well, I saw on subsequent visits that it had been torn down, all the way down to the piers. And this visit, I saw what they’d replaced it with. An empty, unshaded, concrete space with a few benches. Utterly bleak and uninviting. And such prime real estate! Maybe they use it for concerts or something. Ugh. So depressing. Sinbad’s was far better.

I had a bit of time to kill, so I went into Hog Island Oysters and got an Argentine white wine at the bar. This guy sits next to me. It’s clear the waitstaff know him; he works upstairs and is getting a quickie before his shift starts at noon. We get to chatting. He knows parts of San Diego, like Temecula, for instance. I tell him about how it’s so easy to get lost there because everything is one of three shades of stucco: light beige, dark beige, and Tuscan rust. Wayne was charming and gay (I was pretty sure, but it was confirmed when he mentioned doing a Golden Gate Bridge bike ride in drag with his friends). He works at a “private club” upstairs and said no one minded if they showed up with a couple belts in them. He bought me another wine before leaving. Nice guy.

Boarded the ferry. The weather was gorgeous my whole trip. This view:

Our ferry was a large catamaran. You’ve heard the yarn about helicopters don’t really fly, they just beat the air into submission? Well, these catamarans don’t really sail, they just eat the water for breakfast. Here we are going past Alcatraz:

Angel Island. It was like the Ellis Island of the west. Many Asian immigrants were processed through this place, and during WW2 many were sadly detained there.

Then I looked to my right and saw a fog bank rolling past the Golden Gate Bridge and over San Francisco:

Landed in Sausalito. It’s beautiful and charming and expensive.

I popped into a tourist shop and found a couple of things that could perhaps stand in for a flapper for Tim’s bird bell: a Princess Leia sticker and a funny magnet. He ended up preferring the sticker because it was more lightweight, and easy to punch a hole in. The magnet will (I suppose) go on his fridge.

I wandered the waterfront. Lots of art galleries and jewelry stores and expensive boutiques. Got to the point where it seemed the commercial district ended, and headed back.

The white building is The Trident, where I had lunch.
Bronze seal sculpture on the rocks.
Ancient steps leading down to the water.

Found myself at The Trident, a fancy-pants waterfront restaurant. Here’s their ’60’s menu:

The view from my table:

In the distance, an outgoing freighter emerged from the fog and was blowing its horn every 30 seconds. It really added to the atmosphere.

A gorgeous sailboat:

A couple across from me got this ridiculous bloody mary:

In addition to the usual celery and olives, it included three strips of bacon and two giant prawns. A meal in itself.

I ordered a glass of Coppola pinot noir and the deviled eggs appetizer with caviar. They were to die for, and just the right amount of food.

I had a bit more time before catching my ferry back to SF, so I wandered a bit farther down the waterfront in the other direction. Passed on a fancy-looking wine bar in favor of this low-key place with a sign above that just said, “Bar.” Turns out on the receipt, it’s called “No Name Bar.” Ordered a shot of Laphroaigh and got to chatting with the locals. Got a second shot. What the hell, I’m not driving, and it’s my last day. This guy named Mike was fun:

On the way back, I could see that San Francisco was clearing, and the fog had changed direction and was now pouring over the hill into Sausalito.

There were groups of people from Portugal and Germany on board.

We came past Alcatraz closer this time, and slowed down as we sailed past the foggy, eerie scene:

Skies started clearing…

And a gorgeous return:

Back home, Tim & I went to Zam Zam one last time for cocktails. He brought along a bit of MSG to add to his dirty martini. It just tasted a bit saltier.

They actually use that antique cash register for transactions.

But we were able to re-create the profile photo of me sipping my sidecar at Twin Peaks Tavern:

Then we walked with the dogs up to our friend Will’s house to drop off a loaf of banana bread for him. He’d just gotten back from hospital with Covid. We watched another episode of Tales of the City, and because I had to get up super early for my 8:15am flight, I went to bed quite early.

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