A Weekend in Sausalito

GGBSHORE-FTLiving in downtown Sausalito would be pretty cool if it weren’t for the close quarters that people have to share. In the summer, there are even more people. In some ways, it reminds me of Newport Beach, kind of laid back without all of those pesky beaches. The residents and tourists seem fairly well behaved and low key, kind of like being in the company of adults in Davis without the college kids around. But some of them, well, they make you want to stick a sharp object into their bicycle tires.

My friend, Myrl, another real estate agent in Sacramento, is the person who gave us the DOCTOR'S ROOMidea of spending a weekend in Sausalito. Myrl knows all of the cool, fun places to go. She makes me feel like I should not plan to go anywhere outside of Sacramento without calling her first and asking her where we should go. She also told us about Fort Point, which is a historic Civil War fort, built in 1861, and nestled underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, on the San Francisco side. The photo to the right is the room for the Fort Point doctor.

FT PT STAIRS UPAfter climbing a stairway and then a circular stairs to the top floor, you can enjoy a spectacular view. It’s very windy. With the wind comes a chill. Now, usually it’s pretty chilly in the Bay area, and everybody knows you should bring a jacket, which I had packed but it was in my room back in Sausalito. The weather in Sausalito this weekend has been incredible. Sure, it was 128 in Death Valley and probably 109 in Sacramento, but it was a pleasant 79 degrees in Sausalito, which for Sausalito is very hot for the end of June. It was not hot, however, at Fort Point. It was cold.

UNDER BRIDGEIt was so cold that I ducked into the onsite travel store and slid an Alcatraz jacket off its hanger. Size small. It fit me perfectly. How lucky is that? Roasty toasty. Another couple was in the store. The woman was clutching something in her hands, maybe a cannon replica, could be a deck of playing cards, it was hard to make out. They both headed toward the checkout counter when I did. The Fort Point clerk, dressed in full uniform, was there but had now disappeared. My husband wondered outloud if perhaps he had gone to perform the cannon demonstration. But then he showed up, wearing his official Civil War hat and gear for that post.

FtPT CANNONWho was here first? He asked. We looked at each other. I thought I was first, since I was standing there wearing the jacket, all zipped up, credit card whipped out and in hand. He thought so, too, and motioned me forward. I asked him to cut the price tag off the zipper up by my neck. He might not have heard what I said because he fumbled with the scanner and after realizing the scanner was attached by a cord too short to reach across the counter and up my neck, I asked a second time if he would cut the price tag off me. I was comfortable, too comfortable to remove the jacket.

SAUSALITO HARBOR2The clerk reached under the counter, found a hole puncher and very carefully managed to hole-punch the plastic thingie holding the price tag and released it. He did a good job. I smiled at him and made small talk, “I imagine you sell a lot of these jackets here at Fort Point.” It was then that the couple in line behind us decided to speak up. The tall guy in the t-shirt, cutoffs and tennis shoes, skinny as a rail, snorted to his companion, “It is soooo HOT here, I can’t stand it.”You asshole. I wanted to punch him in the face. I do not go around wanting to punch people in the face. Not only is bad for a manicure, but I imagine it would bruise my knuckles.

His companion didn’t miss a beat. “I can’t stand this heat, either.” Maybe I should stand on top of her feet? Or elbow her in the gut on my way out the door? Oh, sorry, I could say, didn’t see you. It was at least 55 degrees or colder at Fort Point. Great for wine, but not great for a tourist from Sacramento wearing a sleeveless shirt.

We were treated to plenty of other conversations during our stay. See, in Sacramento, you go out to dinner and most people speak in hushed tones, regardless of how many martinis they’ve thrown back. We have confidential business dealings that others don’t need to hear. If we have personal information, we generally keep that to ourselves, behind closed doors. But not in Sausalito, apparently.

HARBOR BIKE GUYOne guy, leaning up against a parking meter on his bike while yakking on his cell told everybody within earshot that he had to drop off a stool sample on Monday. Another couple dining at Copita talked over one another very loudly, so we got to hear all about how they were the ONLY couple in Mill Valley who had NOT taken their children to Hawaii, oh, the horrors. When one of their dining partners mentioned the article put out by AP about a first-hand experience by a reporter in Death Valley on that 128-degree day, the guy who forgot to bring oven mitts to wear when his steering wheel got too hot to touch, this same woman who was so cruel to her children felt it was necessary to one-up-her friend to say she read that very same article in the New Yorker. Which, of course, she hadn’t, because the AP article was written yesterday.

We thought about going to Stinson Beach, since neither of us had been there. But the line for the exit, backed up all the way down 101 said otherwise. Instead, we hopped a ferry to San Francisco, hiked over to our favorite dim sum restaurant, rode the ferry back to Sausalito and took the leisurely route back to Sacramento. Back home, where I don’t have to open my hotel room window and lean out to yell, “Do you realize we can hear every word that you are saying?”

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