Because I had an errand to do in the city, cousin Jan and I decided to make it a fun day in San Francisco. The weather was perfect for an expedition to the Presidio, an ex-Army post right at the base of the Golden Gate bridge.
Our idea was to find the Andy Goldsworthy sculpture that he made at the Presidio a couple of years ago. He's my favorite sculptor, an amazingly creative man who makes work from nature that is beautiful and inherently impermanent. It's at the top of a hill so we figured we'd walk up there, admire the sculpture, then go find some lunch.
We walked up and up, stopping for breath, chatting with people walking their dogs in loose packs along the way, or stepping aside to let impressively fit joggers pass us by. We gloried in the sunshine and the peace, with a feeling of being away from civilization, even though we could hear cars and machinery fairly nearby. Little birds flitted around, darting ahead of us by a few feet, then seemingly waiting for us to catch up before flying off again.
When we arrived at the spire, which is a marvelous sight, pure Goldsworthy, we found a group of about ten four and five-year olds enjoying a picnic lunch at the base of the sculpture, herded loosely by two young women who kept them from almost certain self destruction while encouraging exploration.
Seeing a road and a driveway nearby (we could have driven up to the sculpture if we wanted to miss all the fun), we investigated and discovered that the Presidio golf course has a clubhouse nearby, where we decided to have lunch. Our table overlooked the course, a pretty view on a lovely day. I chose a fish empanada and, when it came, it was actually shaped like a fish. Inside was a nice mixture of salmon, vegetables and cream sauce, quite tasty. I love the extra effort the chef took to make the puff pastry crust into a hint of the delights inside and the grilled asparagus were the perfect accompaniment.
If you are in the neighborhood, or just looking for a pleasant outing, you might enjoy walking the trails in the Presidio before sitting down to a sumptuous lunch with a grand companion like Jan. If you are far away and can't make it, treat yourself to some of Andy Goldsworthy's work - it's almost like being in nature just to see photos of his work and there is a beautiful, prize-winning documentary called "Rivers and Tides" in which he explains in his own words and shows in the film what his work is about.