Wandering the city

Bridge view from Cragmont Rock Park

The title is maybe a little misleading. When you look at the population (~117,000 in 2021) it sounds big but there are some parts that don’t feel like it at all.

I work at UC Berkeley and parking around campus is painful. The days I do take the car to work (because I need to pick up my son from school or aftercare right after work or because I have a doctor’s appointment or need to do grocery shopping or…) I park in a free parking zone where I can leave the car for the day. That leaves me with a 30 minute walk each way if I don’t want to take the bus what is totally fine with me. I always try to exercise more but most days lately seem not to have enough hours to make it to the gym or to go for a run. This is my little trick to get at least some more steps in. On days when I have some extra minutes, I may take a little detour and explore. Berkeley has some really nice areas especially up in the hills. Leading up to our house getting painted I was wandering around taking pictures of houses I liked, and I still do that sometimes always having the next house project in mind. Berkeley’s hillside is dotted with secret staircases that still surprise me. Just google it and you will see.

Yesterday was a beautiful morning and I decided to visit one of the rock parks to enjoy the view for a moment. I meant to walk to Grotto Rock Park but ended up at Cragmont Rock Park instead. They looked close enough on the map and I guess I did not really pay to close attention. I am so glad I didn’t though. Cragmont is a little higher up, so the way ended up longer than anticipated. It was a new to me park and the views were amazing. The pictures don’t really do them justice but maybe you get the idea? It was such a clear morning. During the day the view hazes over and in the evening we sometimes get the fog so this was perfect. We had the first real rain of the season on Tuesday and Wednesday (hopefully many more to come, we need it) and that means clear skies on the following days. I said for a long time California does not have a real fall, but that is not true. It’s just different. We even turned the heat on the other day and the evening light in the fall is just magic. Do you like fall or do you prefer another season?

I ended up getting to work later than planned but it was so worth it.

16 thoughts on “Wandering the city”

  1. Fall is my favourite time of year. I just love it. But where I live in Eastern Canada, fall can become “winter” VERY quickly/early. So I’ve been especially grateful this year because the nice weather has lasted later than normal. The leaves are mostly all off the trees, but the sunshine is still warm and we haven’t seen any snow yet.

    I love all the secret staircases. Little things like that make me so happy; it’s like a treasure hunt.

    And I’m a huge fan of finding simple ways to fit in exercise. We typically walk the kids to school each morning and I love that I don’t even have to “think” about fitting in a 5 km walk before 9 am. On the days we drive, I’m always disappointed because then I have to find time later in the day to get outside and it’s so nice to have the flush of success and endorphins early in the day…

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  2. I love king a detour when going places and if there is time. There is always something to discover. Specially when you have a camera ready. I feel like you look differently at your surroundings. My favorite season is winter. Fall is nice to get there. But honestly every season has its charm. I wouldn’t want to live in a place with just one season.


    1. When we first moved here it felt a little like there were no seasons but now I can appreciate the subtle differences more. I still get nostalgic thinking about candle light, windy and cold days and a hot tea because it just does not feel quite right here (I am getting back in the habit of making myself a tea when I get home anyway, so there). But I can wear a t-shirt all year for part of the day so I take it 😉


  3. I sort of like all the seasons, to be honest. They all bring something to the table. In summer, it’s easy breezy and I can just leave the house without a thousand layers, I love the freshness of all and the crunching of leaves, I love how much my dog loves cold weather and snow in winter, and I love to see spring and the promise of warmer weather. But fall really is great.

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    1. I think I love spring best of all, just because everything wakes up again and our garden is so colorful and it’s nice to sit out. Summer brings evening fog in the Bay Area a lot of days so spring is much nicer. When I was little I always eagerly waited for the first leaves to show up and was very worried that it would never happen maybe that’s the reason why.


  4. Isn’t it funny? You feel like you don’t have 30 minutes to exercise but then you have no problem fitting in a long walk from your parking space to your work and have accomplished the same thing 😉 Nice way to trick yourself… and having such a glorious fall experience in the process!


    1. I think what I really need is a work out buddy who holds me accountable 😉 It’s okay though for now. I need to get out of the house for workouts because at home I can be sure that there is someone who needs/wants something the second I role out my yoga mat.


  5. Those photos are beautiful! I live in Florida, so we don’t have a traditional fall either. Well, who am I kidding- we don’t have fall at all. It’s still in the upper 80s here and we’re waiting for our first big cooldown- at that point we’ll say it’s “winter” (which means down to the 50s at night if we’re lucky and 60s or 70s during the day.)
    I love this idea of parking far away and having a little adventure on the way to work. Those views were worth being late for!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will never get tired of those views! I have only been in Fort Lauderdale for a a meeting and I enjoyed the beach and the ocean when we got a break. One of these days I want to go back and explore more. It’s such a big country and so many places to see… What do you think is the best time to visit Florida?


  6. These photos are beautiful! I love fall, too, but like Jenny, I live in Florida and we don’t have seasons here. But I do love this time of year because it’s at least not a million degrees outside and the mornings are a bit cooler, which is nice!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, what lovely photos. Thank you for sharing! I lived in the Bay Area (Mountain View) for 3 short months YEARS ago and I loved every minute of it… save for those spent in traffic. I’ve always wanted to go back but it’s never lined up that way. Perhaps in the future… Thank you for sharing the beauty at the end of your unexpected climb!


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