A Day in the Life of the Yellow Ferry

You wake in the early morning in the master bedroom with the sun streaming through the paddlewheel. The light reflecting off the water creates a shimmering arabesque of dancing prisms over the surrounding walls. Through the paddlewheel you see a pelican cascading into the water, pursuing his silver breakfast.  In the distance, a lone rower on a single scull is slicing through the glassy water. 

It is hard to leave the king size bed and luxurious bedding, but the sun also floods into the bathroom. Reflected in the mirror you can see the rower, now smaller in the distance, leaving an azure trail to Angel Island. The soaps and lotions on the marble counter remind you of the toiletries from your stay at the Cad0gan in London.

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In the spacious kitchen you find the container of French roast coffee and make two steaming cups to be poured from the presse. You heat milk on the gas range and prepare a classic cafe au lait in the large mugs that are among the complete table settings which line the shelves. The breakfast nook provides another sunny enclave where you can read the NY Times on the iPad that has been conveniently provided. Through the large adjacent window you can see a friendly harbor seal twenty feet away with his head poked in the air looking like a curious puppy. 

It is tempting to go seal watching in one of the kayaks, but adventure calls and you decide to follow the owner's directions to the picnic spot on the top of Mount Tam. On the way you pick up two incredible croissants from Cibo in Sausalito, along with some fresh orange juice and a split of champagne. 

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The picnic spot is a 20-minute drive to the western ridge of Mount Tam. Here you feel you are on top of the world with 270 degree views from Pt Reyes to the north, west to the Farallon Islands and south to San Francisco, covered with a few wisps of fog. 

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You languish here for a couple of hours, and then drive down the mountain, stopping in Muir Woods to wander though the majestic redwoods. It is cool and green in the woods, with Muir Creek babbling, frisky water skeeters in the pools, and the massive, ancient trees stretching up impossibly high. 

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By early afternoon you are back at the ferry. You take a short nap on the living room couches where the sliding glass doors open to the deck. In the distance there appears to be a sailboat race out on the Bay. Your harbor seal is still lingering, but now joined by eight friends on the seal float anchored 100 yards away from your vantage point.  

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A 6:00PM the two of you don evening wear in the spacious dressing room and head in for dinner.  Out of hundreds of choices you have chosen Absinthe, because it is only 25 minutes away, it is fabulous and you can walk to the opera house. There you see a performance by the San Francisco Ballet. It is an eclectic program with some Balancine, a Jerome Robbins, a Mark Morris and a Helgi Tomasson. Your wife has to nudge you to stay awake in the Tomasson, but it has been a long day with an excellent chardonnay over dinner, so a little nod is to be expected. 

Fortunately the drive home is quick, and the salty, cool San Francisco air is a pleasant tonic. Back at the Ferry, the lights of Belvedere are leaving stalagmites of reflected colors across the glassy waters of the Bay. Nothing has ever felt so good as the California Kng Bed. Maybe there is something to the 800 count sheets and feather pillows. It is peaceful and quiet. As you drift off, the only sound is a faint gamelan from the halyards and the sailboats anchored to the north. 

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What an amazing day! Tomorrow you may head to the wine country, but it so hard to tear yourself away from the peace and quiet of the Ferry. 

  © Chris Tellis 2012