Toddling up the coast

With the conference behind us, a last morning of discussions about what next, we got into our respective cars and made our way to Oakland where our next lodging was arranged, in an old music recording studio, stuck to the side of a mountain in the Oakland Hills above Montclair. It wasn’t a child-friendly place although our host was. When we left he gave us several bottles of beer, the business he was in.

As for the child-appropriateness of the place, he could (and should) have mentioned that there was a deck over a 50+ feet drop with a bannister not up to code – Saffi could easily slide in between the slats and tumble into the depths. Thus we kept the door to the deck locked. Inside there were wires everywhere, requiring us to say no a lot. The sitting room of this AirBNB is essentially the deck, which I enjoyed in the quiet early morning hours with a cup of coffee, watching the mist rise out of the valley, but which was off limits after the kids awoke.

There was a small indoor sitting room off the deck but it was turned into a bedroom for Sita and Jim. As a result, with the deck unusable, there was no safe living space or place to sit for a meal or cereal (the dining room table also being on the deck).  It was essentially an expensive crash pad, which is how we used it: bagels and coffee in the village below, then the whole day in San Francisco (SFMOM, also not that child-friendly) and a walk at Land’s End towards the Golden Gate Bridge which was repeated the next morning when Jim’s mom arrived. We had picked Oakland to be close to Axel’s cousin who had misread our dates and turned up on the east coast at exactly the same time – a big shame.

We visited Bolinas for a long walk on the beach and took our sweet time as one should during vacation, blissfully unware that we nearly missed getting the keys to our next AirBnB at Sea Ranch that night, several hours of meandering coastal road north. Sea Ranch is known by our architect friends. It is an extensive (vacation) development along a 10 mile stretch of the Sonoma County coast south of Mendocino. Here is what Wikipedia says about (The) Sea Ranch.

For us it was the highlight of our stay. In contrast to our Oakland abode it was wide, light, spacious and very child friendly, especially the neighborhood, populated by beaches, trails, seals and sea lions.

We spent a wonderful day and two nights at Sea Ranch, including a soak in the hot tub overlooking the Pacific.

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