Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday in San Francisco

Sunday probably ended up being my favorite day...although every day was wonderful.

We went to sacrament meeting in a ward near Oakland and heard a beautiful testimony meeting.

Then we headed to Muir Woods.  Muir Woods is a national monument purchased by William and Elizabeth Kent and donated to the federal government.  William Kent asked that it be named after conservationist John Muir.  Muir was instrumental in getting Teddy Roosevelt to dedicate the first national parks.  John Muir said to Kent, "This is the best tree-lover's monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world.  You have done me great honor, and I am proud of it."
Statue of John Muir outside the gift shop
 Muir Woods is a forest filled with ancient coast redwoods.  They are remarkable!  So tall, and so beautiful.  We rode in a shuttle up to the forest and it is a beautiful area...with two lakes near the woods.
View from the shuttle of one of the lakes

We took part of the Canopy View Trail up, and then we did a 1 mile loop walk along the Redwood Creek Trail.  It was breathtakingly beautiful and I loved the smell of the trees.  I loved being in one of our Heavenly Father's beautiful creations with my family.  Now if I am being completely honest, it wasn't all peaceful and beautiful.  Our kids don't do as much hiking as they should and Gabby quickly tired.  Both Gabby and Ella wanted to go to the beach.  So there was some whining.  But still, it was so pretty and I am so glad we went.

I thought this had good advice.

After Muir Woods, we started heading toward a beach.  On our way, Alfredo saw a sign for a scenic overlook and decided to follow that road...which led us to an outstanding view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

  There were signs saying that Rodeo Beach was on the same road as this scenic overlook, so we decided to follow the road and see what that beach was like...figuring that if it wasn't good, we would continue on to the beach we'd been planning to go to.  It ended up being wonderful.  It is a small beach, kind of tucked away.  There weren't very many people there.  And best of all, shortly after we arrived, we noticed three dolphins playing in the water.  I spent much of my time there watching the dolphins.  I have never seen dolphins in the wild before.  It was a perfect moment...sitting on the beach next to my husband, watching my children play in the water and watching dolphins as well.  It was windy and a bit chilly, but just wonderful.

The dolphins were far enough away that I couldn't get great photos of them, but I loved watching them.  So did the girls.

There was this beautiful little wetland next to the beach where birds find shelter.

Suzy took a long walk on the beach. 

It was so beautiful...and peaceful...and fun.

Sitting on the beach next to Alfredo, reflecting on our 14 years of marriage, watching our children laugh and play, watching dolphins, feeling the breeze and the salty was a truly perfect moment.

The girls thought it was fun to try to push Alfredo and I into the water.    I should have put my swim suit on because I got pretty wet.

Gabby was so excited...she got a photo right when Alfredo fell into the water, thanks to Michelle.

It was a beautiful day filled with happy and pleasant moments.  I am so thankful for the memories we made, the laughter and fun we shared, and the opportunity to enjoy and reflect on the beauty of this world.  And I am also thankful for 14 years with a great husband and father.