Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sightseeing in West Marin

While English expat Naomi was with us, she expressed an interest in going to the beach so we put the top down in the jalopy and headed out to Stinson on a lovely morning.

The winding road out to West Marin is great on a weekday, fewer cars and far fewer suicidal bicyclists to contend with. Don't get me wrong, I applaud the bike rider who is fit enough to tackle the route to Stinson with its long uphill pulls and fast downhills, but it is worrying to try to pass them with all those curves.

Our first stop in Stinson, as it was lunchtime, was the Parkside Cafe, one of the best places on earth. That is not an exaggeration.

We ate outdoors under an umbrella and the food was simply delicious. By that, I mean simple. And delicious. My salmon filet was lightly pan fried with some crispy (panko, perhaps?) crumbs, served on a bed of rice, and accompanied by some of the brightest, freshest veggies it has been my pleasure to sample at a restaurant. You can tell just from the colors that they were delicious. I have been many times to the Parkside and never been disappointed. The food is always good and the casual, happy atmosphere is what out-of-staters think of when they think of California. They even allow dogs in the outdoor area so I sometimes get to rub some velvety ears as well.

After lunch, we walked off part of it with a nice stroll along the beach. Naomi sampled the water by putting her toes in; I know better! Dogs frisked and frolicked and, amazingly, there were people actually swimming, some without wet suits, yet they didn't seem crazy. Driven happily insane by the beauty of the beach and the day, I guess.

The drive home through Olema was also lovely - by the end, I think Naomi was sold on West Marin sightseeing.

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