Friday, April 24, 2015


last week, my dad and i went to northern california. it was bit spontaneous (i only planned it a little over three weeks ago). i did not realize at the time, but the overall theme of this trip was california military history. we left really early in the morning. one of my favorite things about roadtrips is seeing the sun rise. everytime i leave for norcal, i always watch the sun rise over the grapevine.

...and cows

our first stop was richmond. i wanted to stop at the rosie the riveter / wwii home front national historic park (yes that is the official name). it is right along the waterfront where war ships were built for wwii.

next was the marine mammal center, which is located in marin headlands national park. it is pretty much a hospital for seals (mostly elephant seals and sea lions, but also harbor seals). this year, there have been more seal pups in the center thus far than any other year in the last 40 years. the seals are orphaned and underweight. on a lighter note, seals are adorable.

to learn more, click here.

it's like he is looking right at me -squeal-

we also made a stop at the marin headlands visitor center, which is literally 100 ft. from the hostel. 

as always, i stayed in a hostel. the hi marin headlands hostel is by far my favorite hostel i have ever stayed at. it was almost like camping in a cabin. it kind of reminded me of my time in 6th grade camp. the hostel  is located within marin headlands national park. the park is north of san francisco and consists of multiple old military forts and tons of trails.

the hostel building is from the early 1900s and was originally the infirmary for fort barry. it was also used as an intelligence center during the vietnam war. we stayed in the coed dorm style rooms because all the private rooms were reserved. the room took up almost the entire top floor and had eleven bunks, but we picked a good weekend. at most, there were only 8 other people. this was also a different experience because most of the people in private rooms were families with little kids. i have never stayed in a hostel that allowed children.

it's actually a lot bigger than pictured (there is a building behind it)

for dinner we went to downtown sausalito. i had fish tacos and coffee ice cream.

after dinner, my dad wanted to drive around the national park and see what there was to see. to our surprise there were a ton of old batteries that were easily accessible. it was nice how the nps doesn't block these from the public. they don't really advertise it to the public and all the doors/windows are sealed, but you can climb on them and see beautiful views of the coast. most were built during wwii.

the batteries were probably my favorite thing to see from the trip. they have this beautiful balance of the past vs. the present and nature vs. human creation. most are falling apart (pretty much anything made out of metal) and have plants growing around them. they are in ruins and have graffitti. it is like an urban playground. most of the railing and a lot of the stairs are missing (or are full of tetnis), so you have to improvise. 

battery alexander 

batter mendell (the biggest one we saw)

the spooky hallway

the stairs that take you to the spooky hallway

the lookout

we also went to battery wallace. the stairs were missing, so you had to hold on to the railing and drag yourself up an incline. it was fun.

battery wallace reminds me of the hunger games. soviet-esque.

the beautiful sunset at our hostel.

for the most part, i have really good luck with san francisco and weather. last year, i was there for 4 days in january and everyday was clear, bright, and over 70 degrees. unfortunately on this trip, the first day was the only really clear day. oh well.

now for a song! 'the wheel' by sohn.

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