Friday, as you may know, Wine Guy and I went to Berkeley. While there, we dropped in for a quick chat with Irene, and thus begins our adventure.
If I remember correctly, Irene said, "When are we going to do something again?"
I looked up at Wine Guy, in a rather girlfriend-y way, and he said, "Sunday?"
I said, "Sure, Sunday."
Irene said, "Hiking in Tilden?"
And it was agreed that our next meeting would involve hiking of some sort.
Now, the last time I was in Tilden Park, I saw this:
So, I knew that we'd be in for an exciting time. That's right, take a closer look. It is, in fact, a six inch long slug. YECCCHHHH.
Sunday arrived, and so did Wine Guy, and we went on our way in his little sports car to fetch Irene from her lovely apartment.
We arrived about forty-five minutes ahead of schedule, and Irene was just returning from a workout (a workout just before a hike...I don't know if that says more about her dedication to exercise or about the way we hike).
After Irene had a chance to have a bit of a snack, we three piled into Wine Guy's car and were on our way.
We parked in a lot with few other cars.
Wine Guy: Why are we parking here? Why is no one else parking here?
Me: We're fine. They're just dumb and don't know where to park.
Wine Guy: Have you ever been towed?
Me: Yes, but it wasn't my fault.
Wine Guy: This doesn't bode well.
After a pit stop in a dark, dank bathroom, we were on our way! We hiked up the Wildcat Gorge trail (or something like that...I'm unclear on why something would be called a "gorge"), noted the "Horses take other trail" sign and promptly encountered two women on horses (well, one of them was so small, it might have been a pony...the horse, not the woman).
We toughed it out through a muddy trail, and Wine Guy barely concealed his disappointment that although the signs warn of the dangers of interacting with the trout, there were, in fact, no trout with which to interfere.
Eventually, we stopped for a snack. And, of course, picture taking ensued.
(please note that I am truly beginning to hate my camera in all of its blurry glory. I love Nikon, but I also know how to take a decent picture, and this, my friends, is not a decent picture, and I blame the camera - a coolpix L2)
After the pictures, we continued our walk and eventually found ourselves at a man-made lake. We discussed the cleanliness of the water and watched a dog named Marley lose all interest in the giant stick thrown by her owner and, instead, retrieve a tackle box from the murky lake.
We decided NOT to take the same way back, just for the sake of variety, and walked along a blackberry bush lined path that bordered the road.
Pondering the eucalyptus trees, Wine Guy said, "Does anyone know where we are?"
Irene and I, in typical Irene & Sarah fashion, agreed that while we didn't know where were were, we were confident we were heading in the right direction.
We soon found ourselves in the parking lot next to a carousel decorated with Christmas tree lights. And I remembered the map in my pocket.
"You could have mentioned that earlier," said Wine Guy.
"I told you at Irene's place that I had a map."
We found the carousel, which did, in fact, belong in the park, and saw that we were heading the right direction.
Two more map checks by me, a Eucalyptus leaf down Wine Guy's sweatshirt and more-advice than you could handle handed to Irene, and we had arrived safely at the untowed car.
See, Irene and I know what we're doing.
Our hunger and mild exhaustion was quickly cured by the yummy Indian food from House of Curry (excellent idea, Irene).
But, "What's next?" passed through Wine Guy's lips.
Irene and I looked at each other. I think we knew that the real adventure had just begun.
"North Beach." I said. "Tiramisu."
After realizing that it was only 6 p.m., not the 8:30 we thought it was, we once again piled into the sports car. This time we headed for the city. Did I mention this was the first time Wine Guy had driven in the city?
Irene and I guided Wine Guy to North Beach. Upon arrival, after thirty minutes circling the block for parking, he said, "The next time YOU want to do something spontaneous, I'm going to get directions."
I looked at him with pity, "This is what happens when Irene and Sarah navigate. We know what we're doing."
He just looked at me, not understanding that, "Hey, turn there, no, oops, should have been the last one, oh, there it is, head towards Coit Tower," is a perfectly reasonable set of directions, right Irene?
Of course, the place I wanted to get the tiramisu from was closed for the evening...but we eventually found an open cafe, ordered our rich desserts and relaxed on a cold San Francisco night.
Irene and I, of course, had a fabulous time, because we always do, but it was nice to hear Wine Guy say, as he sipped his espresso, "This was worth the trip to San Francisco."
Sunday night, Wine Guy asked me for Irene's number. They are apparently planning my birthday party. Irene tells me not to worry, to trust her. So, I will. I love her and trust her. See that, Irene? In print, online, I trust you. Besides, whatever happens, it will be an adventure.