Middle of the Way Musings

Hello friends!

Since I do try to keep in touch from time to time, the news of my landing the aforementioned “dream job” shouldn’t come as a surprise. I was off this past week (July 4 is one of three weeks for which the entire organization closes down), exactly one month after being at Summit.

Twas a good pause point, to reflect on all that’s happened over the last month, to catch up on some local explorations, and to check some other tasks off the list that had gone to the wayside. Needless to say, I am ever so grateful to be working with a group of smart people who truly believe in what they do and the mission they’re working toward. Happy to share more in three weeks!

Everyone certainly works hard, that’s for sure – but there’s also a recognition that each employee is there for a reason, and as such we’re also treated like adults. No one tells me when to come in (though usually I’m the first one in at 7 a.m. to beat SF traffic – and can’t take the early out of this bird!), and there’s plenty of freedom to work from home or remotely on days when I feel it’s warranted – a great option when there’s lots of writing or creative work to be done in relative solitude.

My writing rhythms are slowly returning on the weekends, though I’m also still doing some freelancing on the side which takes up precious time! All will balance itself out in time, of that I am sure.

While I didn’t check all of my local tourism boxes this week, I did get to Coit Tower in North Beach, on Telegraph Hill (North Beach is considered the Little Italy district, but much intermingling with residents of next door’s China Town is causing a bit of a metamorphosis and merging of two cultures).

The tower was built in 1933 in honor of the eccentric Lillie Hitchcock Coit. She provided the city with a third of her estate upon her death, and the funds were actually used for Coit Tower. She was a wealthy socialite but not what one would expect – wore pants, smoked cigars, loved to gamble, and served as an impromptu firefighter when there was not a city fire department. Have nothing but respect for that level of raw authenticity!

Anyhoo, the tower is 210 feet high and offers some of the best 360-degree views of the city; hence, my longing to ride the original elevator to the top. There are murals painted inside too that portray city life in the late 19th century – as colorful a place then as it is now if not more so!


I first had to climb a tremendous amount of secret, winding staircases built into the hill, winding through lovely residences – I’m sure they’d rather the tower be built somewhere far away 🙂 The bougainvillea is quite lovely this time of year…


At the top, the views really are something, with nothing but blue sky overhead.


First up – the Golden Gate draped in fog, typical for this time of year in San Francisco and along the coast.


Turn slightly south and we see the TransAmerica Pyramid in the financial district.


Have to love those rooftop living areas, high city living.


To the east and north, the Embarcadero and Bay Bridge.


And Alcatraz of course. Will have to get out there, one of these fine days. I hear they have quite the gardens, planted and originally kept up by the prison guards and their families.


Back at the bottom, one last peek up…


Then down some more stairs…


Past a pair of abandoned dancing shoes…


And back to city traipsing! Love this old dress shop window, and that it’s still here with the original machines and all. My guess is Alma is long gone…


I also made it to the beach yesterday. There are so many beaches/hiking trails up and down the coast, and originally I had picked out Montara, which is about 20 minutes north of Half Moon Bay. Stunning beach, steep climb down, quant town and cottages that almost had a Bonnet-esque flair. But – the fog! This whole CA summer by the coast is new to me. Funny, about 5 minutes north on Highway 1, Pacifica was all sun, so I stopped for a nap and a quick read (The Wind in the Willows – I never read it as a child and found it for a dollar in a used book shop not too long ago).


The sun was warm, the temp outside was 67 degrees, and I was only out for two hours. Somehow, I missed the backs of my legs when applying sunscreen and ended up a lobster. Ouchies galore! I haven’t had quite this bad a sunburn in years. But fresh flowers from the Heart of the City farmer’s market this morning partially made up for my lapse of good judgment yesterday 🙂


Just wanted to pop in and share some of my summer ventures and recognize that we’re halfway through 2017 (yipes and stripes!) Back to work in the morn – and dreaming about my eastward trip in two weeks! Cannot wait to share all the finer things in life – hearty conversations, impromptu dancings to live music, delectable foods, and New England summer-night ambiance – with my favorite people. I can smell that briney coast already 🙂




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