The City by the Bay ~ Part 1

Our first day in San Anselmo was a relaxing one, opting to tackle the city over the weekend. So, Friday we had a leisurely morning at the house and then we headed out. Paul's dad is a graphic designer and owner of Michael Schwab Studio. One of his current projects is for The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito and he wanted to take us up to check it out. Not only to see the center and the animals they have on site, but also for the drive.  Winding through the Marin Headlands on a sunny day doesn't always happen. Quite often you only see fog or clouds instead. Today, we got lucky.

The center is nicely laid out, featuring life size mammal sculptures that decorate the grounds and the staff is very friendly.  The smell, well, lets just say that you shouldn't plan on eating your lunch there.  You kind of lose your appetite for awhile! There are viewing areas to see the pens where they hold the animals as well as a window where you can peek into the necropsy room. This is where they try to discover how a found animal died. Not for the faint of heart mind you.

Workers cleaning pens. They try to hide behind wood boards and wear sunglasses to prevent the animals from imprinting on humans as providers of food.

Workers cleaning pens. They try to hide behind wood boards and wear sunglasses to prevent the animals from imprinting on humans as providers of food.

After touring the center we took a drive along the headlands and stopped to view the bridge.  Couldn't have asked for a better day to be there.  The sun was warm and the view was amazing.

View of the Golden Gate Bridge

View of the Golden Gate Bridge

Lunch was at  Joe's Taco Lounge & Salsaria in Mill Valley.

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Often frequented by local students, this place is a little hole in the wall worth stopping at. The menu makes it hard to choose but I opted for the two taco plate - one the Vallarta snapper and marinated crab in the other.

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Paul had a chicken torta and Ellie the shrimp burrito with a strawberry licuado.

Horchata and strawberry licuado.

Horchata and strawberry licuado.

Top that off with amazing homemade sauces as well as an assortment of bottled sauces lining the wall and you've got a lunch worth remembering. 

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We left very happy.

After getting back to the house, Michael took us out to his amazing garden to harvest some artichokes for Sunday's dinner.

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I've never grown them myself and I was surprised by how tall they get. I'm always in awe of beautiful gardens.  One day, I'll have my own...but till then, Paul has his.

Ellie helping DanDan harvest artichokes.

Ellie helping DanDan harvest artichokes.

Tomorrow, we head into the city.