Muy bonita at Point Bonita

When I tell people about all of the places we’ve explored in our two months as residents of the Bay Area, they are very impressed.

I am too.

When you have free time on Sundays, and when you know there are endless sights and activities just a short drive away, you can’t sit at home!

Today we added Point Bonita Lighthouse to our list of weekend explorations, a stunning place that is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Earlier this week I went to dinner with two lovely local ladies, and one of them recommended Point Bonita to me as a place with a great coastal view.  I hadn’t heard of it before, so I quickly researched it and liked what I saw.

Armed with our usual backpack of picnic supplies (which is always carried by Dave) we headed over the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County and onto a winding road.  We’ve gone on several mountain drives that have looked a little precarious and this was no different.  At one point we were heading down a steep one-way road, with merely a small guard rail separating us from a rocky cliff looking over the ocean.

It was worth it though.  We stopped at a few vistas on the way, and then arrived at the entrance to Point Bonita.

Today’s trip was meant to be.

We had picture-perfect weather, a great hike, and reached the tunnel to the lighthouse exactly at 12:30 p.m., the time the tour guides began letting the public in and over the bridge to visit the actual lighthouse.  We were in the first group to go, making it right before the cut off at 49 people.  We didn’t even have to cut in front of the slow-moving tourists.

Point Bonita Lighthouse is an active lighthouse, which still alerts incoming ships of the approaching land.  And, there are quite a few more interesting and historical facts that one can learn about Point Bonita Lighthouse with just one visit.  At the beginning of our trek, I saw a sign for a “Cell Phone Tour” — a handy little feature allowing guests to call a number, punch in a code for the location, and then enjoy a dramatic narrator giving details on the area.  I put the guide on speakerphone and it was much more entertaining than expected.  It was the narrator that made it so.  He was certainly passionate about his craft, and he seemed to be trying out his professional storytelling skills, using voices and even missiles and bomb sound effects in the background.

While trying to take in the silence of the Pacific Ocean breezes and the beautiful setting, the narration got a little intrusive, so I hung up before we reached the actual lighthouse.

Then another meant to be moment occurred.

Applause erupted, and as we looked out into the ocean, we saw a humpback whale jumping out of the water.  It went on for like ten minutes and was pretty incredible.  Whale watching during certain seasons is a major tourist draw, and we got a free and unexpected show.

After taking in the sights and experiences we traversed off the path for a picnic lunch.

Have you ever seen people sleeping in the grass on a gorgeous day and wished you could do that?  We gave it a fair shot.  In fact, I closed my eyes and almost drifted off … definitely wouldn’t count it as an actual nap though.

On the way home we took a long route and drove through some of the gorgeous high-end residential areas in San Francisco.  I’ve wanted to do a “real estate tour” for a while, so this was a good chance to gawk at the huge Victorian multi-level homes.

I’m really starting to enjoy this active weekend lifestyle.

Although I’m a little behind on my shows on the DVR, I don’t miss Sundays on the couch.

The backpack carrier and the photographer!
Point Bonita
All smiles and we hadn’t even seen the whale yet.
Point Bonita Lighthouse, alive and kicking.
Point Bonita Lighthouse, alive and kicking.
Point Bonita
Stopping to smell the roses.
A great view of our city.
A great view of our city.

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