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The Ferry Ride from San Francisco to Sausalito

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We nearly missed the boat. That just seems to be the way these things go.

We had good intentions, even got to the Ferry Building early. Yet, somehow, there we were, sprinting to the dock just seconds before the boat’s departure. But then we faced a dilemma: the rest of our group wasn’t going to make it in time; what should we do?

“Let’s leave ’em,” I pronounced. (I’m cruel, I know, but they would be able to catch the next boat out and meet us in Sausalito.)

We handed the gate person our tickets and ran up the ramp.  As the boat floated away from the Port of San Francisco, I watched my favorite city by the bay fade into the distance. The warm sun caressed my face, a gentle breeze blew through my hair, and a sort of awe fell over all of us as we looked out over the serene water.

IMG_6175

 

It seemed so romantic, so peaceful…but then we made our way to the insanely windy front deck, and I was fighting with my long locks.

Finally, I just said “to hell with it!” and let my hair do whatever it wanted.

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    This made taking pictures VERY difficult.

    Oh, look, its gonna be a nice picture of the ferry bo--nope, it's my hair.
    Oh, look, its gonna be a nice picture of the ferry bo–nope, it’s my hair.

    The wind was a force to be reckoned with! It slapped, shoved, and shook me about. An employee made his way over to me and my friends and said, “Well, if you’re gonna stand out here, at least make sure you hold onto something tightly! I don’t want you falling overboard.” He then quickly shuffled back inside to safety.

    This declaration of danger made it all the more exhilarating. I walked about without holding onto the handrails, daring the wind to push me overboard. It’s the closest I’ve ever felt to flying.

    I can definitely see why the Sausalito ferry has been named the second most exciting ferry trip in the world.

    When I finally surrendered to my hair, I enjoyed the views, which are spectacular. You can see the Golden Gate (well, if it’s not engulfed in fog–but when is it ever NOT engulfed in fog?)

    San Francisco bay golden gate bridge in the fog
    The Golden Gate Bridge is there in the distance…behind the fog.

    You can see the colorful houses in Sausalito, clinging to the lush, green hillside (also engulfed in fog).

    Sausalito in the fog
    A view of Sausalito as we approached it in the ferry.

    While I flailed about the deck in wonderment, the normal people sat behind me inside the boat, with a window to the view my friends and I were enjoying–sans the wind. I’m pretty sure they thought we were insane. And to think, the ferry is a mundane, routine task for many: it’s a daily commute for workers between San Francisco and Sausalito.

    I was so impressed with the ferry ride, I was quite content if we never disembarked in Sausalito. But we did. And we found out that Sausalito was ten times colder and windier than the city we left behind.

    “I HATE this place,” I grumbled as I walked along the shop-lined streets, pulling my thin jacket closer to my body and clutching a cup full of coffee that had long since lost its warmth. “I’ve NEVER liked it here.”

    Every so often I’d act really interested in something I saw in a shop window, and then duck inside for the sole purpose of seeking shelter from the raging wind.

    But my friends were relentless; they kept pulling me back outside and INSISTING we take pictures in front of the pristine waters and the steep green cliffs of Sausalito, with the view of the bay and the City in the distance. Yes, Sausalito is beautiful. However, I have no pictures because I refused to take my hands out of my pockets and expose them to the frigid wind long enough to use my camera.

    When it came time to board the ferry, I lit up. I couldn’t wait to get on that boat.

    And no, I didn’t FORGET about my group of friends I so cruelly abandoned to a boat-less fate at the beginning of this story. We were reunited at the dock in Sausalito.

    Before we set sail, we decided to take a picture aboard the ferry, with Sausalito in the background. But that darned wind struck again.

    On the ride back to San Francisco, we wisely chose to sit indoors. The sun was beginning to set, casting a golden hue over the city skyline.

    IMG_6153

    Yes, I grumbled about the wind, and I complained about the cold, but I had a great time. It wasn’t until I got home that night that I realized not once during the entire trip did my mind wander to all the worries that have been gnawing at me lately. That’s something.

    Also, it wasn’t until I got home that night that I realized just HOW tangled my hair was. I tried to run a brush through it–and the brush couldn’t move at all. My hair was a matted mess–I practically had dreadlocks. I panicked and asked my friends (and Google) what I should do. I jumped in the shower, lathered my hair with half a bottle of conditioner and–strand by strand–untangled my hair. Thankfully, my hair is mostly intact.

    The moral of this story?

    You need to take this ferry ride. 

    And I need a haircut. 

    Sausalito Ferry Travel Tips

    Website: http://goldengateferry.org/schedules/Sausalito.php

    Location: Ferry departs from the San Francisco Ferry Building.

    Schedule: Check the latest schedules here.

    Cost: one-way ferry fare for the Sausalito ferry is $9.75 for an adult (19-64). BUT if you have a Clipper Card, it’s only $5!

    Other tips: BRING A JACKET. And possibly a hairbrush. Don’t wear a dress. Don’t wear your hair down if you have long hair. If you disregard this advice, and come home to scarily tangled hair, do this: get in the shower and drench your hair with water. Then, pour as much conditioner on it as your hair will allow. Let it soak in for ten minutes, and then carefully untangle your hair in sections, trying not to pull frantically, as that makes the knots worse.