Every day is leg day
Video by Nick, words by Jay.
Everyday is leg day, even when it's not. Today was the first days since arriving in California that we have not ridden bikes at all. (Monday, when we flew in, we were riding in Somerville) After yesterday, we decided that resting our tired limbs was important, especially now that we are paying more attention to elevation maps. Our continuing journey is taking us to hill country, and we want to be more prepared.
On my Aunt's suggestion, we walked to Lake Merritt, with a stop for sushi lunch, after a strenuous morning of editing video footage . The fuel allowed us to cement our plans through Friday, which is a gigantic accomplishment at this point. This was followed by our descent to the edge of the dirty Lake, which we followed for about five minutes. Off in the distance, I noticed a fenced in garden area. Heading towards it, we discovered a walled retreat with a palmarium, a bonsai preserve, community school garden and other gorgeous, curated sections. I kept dragging Nick in every conceivable direction, finally picking him up and carry g him, piggybacked to look at all the different plants that interested me.
Deciding we couldn't spend all day there, we debated going back for bikes (and sunscreen) and what we should do with the rest of the day. Giving our legs a rest seemed wise, so we hoofed it to the other side of Oakland, oohing and aahing at the various graffiti over to Jack London Square.
We crossed the tracks in a skybridge and descended to a Marina observation deck. Nick was fascinated by a tiny tugboat turning a freighter 180° while I was appreciating some vibrant houseboats on the opposite shore in Alameda and plotting our future home in one. An aside; We discussed riding to Alamaeda to examine the Air Force Base, now a Superfund site, but decided it would be best not to break into the restricted area. It's best know for appearing in Mythbusters as the grounds where their more dangerous or explosive experiments were tested. The opposing shore lost it's interest and we wandered further.
Passing the ferry building, we came to the official Jack London Square. Some explorer had gone to the Alaskan wilderness, discovered one of London's winter habitations, disassembled it and split it into two piles. One was reconstructed in Canada, the other, in front of us. As it was quite short, we were left wondering which way they split it, because the tiny, squat footprint seemed ideal for an Arctic winter. This wasn't the most fascinating thing in the square though.
Nick's attention had already been drawn away by a small playground. I immediately attacked part of the structure, which responded by spinning me in circles. A similar, horizontal fixture shifted as Nick jumped to it's bars and it rocked along it's axis. He proceeded to impress passers-by who shouted encouragement, while I filmed and played upside down.
Running out of ideas for the structure, and thinking with our stomachs, we proceeded to the final attraction, a no-no Light Boat. Previously, its mast would've helped ships navigate into port, but today it was closed even to visitors. Which was just as well, we were hungry.
One of the biggest draws of staying with my aunt and uncle (they called it our bed and breakfast, there were fresh cut flowers in our room!!) was knowing they're excellent cooks. Our rumbling bellies urged us to turn around and head back into the city. Oakland offers an a free bus from the square back to the lake and my miraculously-not-yet-sunburned shoulders were thrilled to get a respite from the sun. With a quick stop for snacks, we walked back the remainder of the way to an AMAZING dinner. Equally enjoyable, my cousin got home for the summer yesterday, and despite attending Brandeis and living 20 minutes away, I hadn't seen her since November. We will stay with her brother in SF in a few days time when we get back from camping. But in the meantime, there's ice cream and I'm exhausted!
Total: 7 mi walked.