Day trip to Bass Lake and Bolinas + girl time in the Mission + falling in love with California again

Growing up in upstate New York, fall was always my favorite season. I loved the crisp morning air and rituals like apple picking and raking leaves. Yet since moving to SF, I quickly learned that it oddly gets more summery than ever starting in October, aka SFโ€™s “delayed summer”. While I miss the traditional fall, Iโ€™ve come to appreciate our extended summer on the west coast and you bet I took full advantage of it last weekend by spending lots of time outdoors. ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday: Exploring on a sunny day + lunch with Carmina

Saturday started off with a morning run, doing some errands, and then getting right back outside to enjoy the sun. Joe and I took a walk to Alamo Square Park as we enjoyed the peace and fresh air in the park.

Alamo Square Park

Afterwards, I headed down to the Mission to meet Carmina for lunch at Prubechu, SF’s first and only Chamorro/Guam restaurant that I discovered through Rene. Despite being on crowded Mission St, the restaurant is surprisingly chill and open as they converted a parking lot into a fun outdoor space.

Carmina was in town visiting as she’s been living in Central Valley during COVID, and we hadn’t seen each other in weeks. I was so glad we met up as it was much needed girl time to catch up on work, life, and more (we are best friends from work). Carmina also surprised me by announcing she’s moving back to SF this January which made my day! I can’t wait to spend more time together next year. โค

lunch in the mIssion

After some quality time with Carmina, I headed back home and found Joe playing bartender and experimenting with a strawberry cocktail. My watermelon vodka has been SUCH a hit with friends these last few months that Joe and I have been inspired to try new recipes with fresh fruit and herbs from our garden. After some trial and error, we landed on a delicious, fruity & fizzy strawberry cocktail! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The rest of the evening was spent chilling on the couch watching movies – just what I needed after a day in the sun.

lazy on the couch

Sunday: Day trip to Bass Lake and Bolinas for lunch

The next day started on the early side. Rachel picked me up first thing and we ventured off on a day trip up north. We headed up to the Point Reyes area for a hike and exploring the small towns across the bridge. Even though I’ve lived here for 3 years now, I haven’t spent much time in Point Reyes since it always felt a bit far. This day trip completely changed my view of that area as it’s SO gorgeous and pretty isolated from SF city folks. Plus Rachel’s new-to-SF energy is so infectious and the whole day turned out to be a super fun adventure.

We drove 1.5 hours from SF to reach the park – the drive went by super fast as we blasted music, let the wind blow through our hair, and chatted our hearts out as we wove through the scenic mountain roads. Towards the end of the drive, it was SUPER remote and we were literally on dirt roads with no other cars in sight.

Finally we made it to the Palomarin Trailhead and started our hike. We chose a 6-mile roundtrip hike with coastal views mixed with dry woodsy sections. Point Reyes is known for the gorgeous coast and we got plenty of it.

Point Reyes hike

The trail’s main attraction led us to Bass Lake. I didn’t have high expectations but when we got there, I was completely blown away. The lake was pretty big and there was literally NO ONE around. We had it all to ourselves! The hike was so remote that we had to go off-trial to get down to the lake. We found a section to relax and enjoy the views all to ourselves.

Bass Lake

Our time at the lake was so peaceful and unique. I feel like it’s hard to find beautiful spots in the Bay that aren’t over-crowded with people. We came to the conclusion that most everyone in SF drives a 1-hour radius for day trips, but if you just go 20-30 minutes further, you can find SO many beautiful and remote spots. This trip really changed my view of what we can do in the Bay!

After resting at the lake, we headed back the way we came. It flew by as Rachel and I had no shortage of things to talk about. We ended the hike and were starving, so we drove a short 15 minutes to Bolinas, a small hippie beach town attracting local surfers. I’ve been to Bolinas once before to surf and loved it since the beach is so much less crowded than the nearby Stinson Beach – plus the surrounding mountains paint a gorgeous and unique backdrop to the beach.

Rachel and I grabbed fried oyster sandwiches (amazing) and some beers, and we sat on the beach devouring our well-deserved meal. I remember our lunch so fondly as the sun was so warm and we chatted away about our dreams and excitement for the next year. It’s really refreshing to hang out with Rachel as we just really get along and we relate to each other on a lot of things, such as her reasons for moving to SF recently – it reminds me of when I moved here from NYC 3 years ago, and exploring together has made me fall in love with California all over again. โค

lunch on the beach

The whole day felt like quintessential California and reminded me why I moved here in the first place and how lucky I am to be here. I’m starting the week feeling oh-so refreshed and can’t help but feel grateful every time I think about all the fun from last weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you have a wonderful week!!

4 thoughts on “Day trip to Bass Lake and Bolinas + girl time in the Mission + falling in love with California again

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