Never in my wildest dreams did I think that my knee would be up to the adventures we were to embark upon today! I’m a walker. A strong and joyful walker who derives much pleasure from using my large angular feet to get me from Point A to Option B / C or D. I may be a klutz, but ever the cowgirl, I dust myself off, and get back on the figurative horse (my feet in this instance). So the thought of taking a whirlwind jaunt around my beloved San Francisco left me excited and up for the challenge. So much to see and do! Where to start!?? The Embarcadero seemed as fabulous a place as any to launch from. And that we did, with several thoughts in mind of how our day would go. But as with all pipe dreams, the vision may be grander than one first surmises. And alas, the distance that we had hoped to cover by foot looked like an implausible task if we were to return to Oakland before midnight. Upon this realization, we stumbled upon a bicycle rental company called ‘Blazing Saddles‘. At first I was rather intimidated by the thought of peddling with a bum knee. I’ve once before blown out my knee on a cross-country bicycle touring trip (third day in …. arghhhhh!) and I didn’t want to experience the same tortuous pain whilst traipsing around the city. But having an open mind and a sense of adventure, slaDE~ and I test-drove a tandem bike. Much to my surprise, my knee was sufficiently happy if the bike seat was elevated to its max height. And therein began our 2 hour synchronized peddling expedition via the historic and picturesque water-front wharf, back and forth across the monumental Golden Gate Bridge, stopping to take the typical tourist snapshots of historic Alcatraz, squealing streetcars, pooping seagulls and bellowing sea lions. I love being a tourist, as long as I can get my fill of photography in to document the journey along the way. That’s my thing you know! Kinda like the blogging you’re reading at this very moment.
My saddle blazed more than my knee did, in the end (pun intended :)), yet we still had a lot of distance to cover. Tonight would be our introduction to the Integral Yoga Institute environment in the Mission area of the city. And that meant embarking on a streetcar / Muni / BART trek across the city. Both slaDE~ and I are seriously impressed by the efficient transit system of this city …. it’s a commuter’s dream, albeit expensive. Such are the best things in life, or so it seems. I still hadn’t been convinced to partake in the Teachers’ Conference: Heart to Hand: The Use of Touch in Teaching Yoga. But the moment that I stepped in the building, I was mesmerized, and immediately all over the concept of staying for 5 days, on retreat and in a partial work exchange for our accommodation. To call the Institute a mansion might be stretching the truth a little, but, in reality, this 1906 monstrous character-filled edifice was gigantic and spacious and oh so beautiful. The thought of embarking on a journey of growth and learning amongst colleagues, whilst being fed yoga, spiritual connection, meditation and sumptuous organic heavenly meals, had me craving for the weekend to arrive. SOLD!