Thinking back to my teenage years, I feel so bad for my parents. Picture this: it’s spring break 2005, I’m 14 years old, and my mom wants to take my brother and I on this awesome trip to San Francisco, to see our grandma and all these amazing places she’s plotted out. She’s got a ton planned for the week, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium (YES I’M SERIOUS) and a day trip to Muir Woods.For whatever reason, I’m angsty, brooding, and palpably furious that I’m not in Hawaii with my best girlfriends and no parents, “partying.” I didn’t even watch the Mary Kate & Ashley movies, but perhaps telepathically did, and delusionally assumed that all teenagers and tweens lived a life full of carefree spring breaks with their besties in tropical locales with zero parental supervision. Needless to say, a trip to see grandma was not what I had been hoping for, and anything associated with said trip, regardless of how glorious it was, was on my shit list.
My brother was 12 and had literally no reason to be pissed, but he was on board with me when the time came to go to Muir Woods – we were both ostensibly aggravated that our mother had put us in a car for eight hours so we could look at trees. We made a significant effort to ridicule our mother – and her obviously absurd plans of spending an entire spring break day “looking at trees” – as much as we could on the drive in, using every breath as an opportunity to throw some verbal tween shade.
So my sweet mom decides to take time off work/out of her adult life to show her children what is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the United States, and her sad, ungrateful excuse for offspring are giving her shit for it.
To our chagrin, my brother and I lost a bit of our sass-fest fuel as we entered one of the most stunning and perfect places our eyes had seen – we were, finally, speechless (mom was prob soooo stoked right then).That overwhelming sense of wonder and loss for words came over me yet again when Patrice and I ventured back to Muir Woods for some peace and quiet amongst the strikingly beautiful Northern California redwoods. Eleven years later, and it’s still just as powerful and awe inspiring, with it’s deafening silence and heaven-stretched canopy of green. Also I swear to G there are fairies or tiny enchanted gnomes in this place.As mentioned in last week’s post, I had no intent of actually blogging about this trip. Howevaaaa, since we snapped some pictures, I wanted to share just how incredible Muir Woods is. You may also notice, unfortunately, that I was not wearing makeup – it wasn’t sunny enough that morning to warrant the use of sunglasses, but I made a feeble attempt to hide my face before saying whatev 👐🏼and moving on. Don’t judge me.
Tips for visiting Muir Woods:
- Get there early. The earlier the better. The park opens at 8, shoot for 7:50 to get parking.
- If you get there late, you will regret it. Unless you love crowds, looking for parking for an hour, parking over a mile away from the entrance, screaming children, and other people in your pictures. In that case, definitely arrive at 11 or later.
- There’s a parking lot a little bit away from the main lot, with a tram that’ll take you to the entrance, but I don’t know where that is because we got there early enough to park relatively close. So… google that if you’re interested.
- There aren’t trash cans or recycling receptacles in too many places, so keep that in mind if you have a beverage or food packaging of some sort – you’ll be carrying it for a while.
- There’s a cafe: Muir Woods Trading Co. – they have a ton of locally sourced, organic foods. I got this bomb ass grilled cheese called the Marin Melt, which was on that show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” That plus some organic local soda was about $15. It’s theme park prices for food, with much, much better quality.
- Plan for cool weather in the morning: we both wore a jacket/sweatshirt over a long sleeve with leggings.
- Bring $10 for admission, unless you want the annual pass.
- Go off the beaten path and explore all the trails.
- Enjoy this national monument as many times as you can!
As mentioned: jacket (this Patagonia is getting more use than anything else I own), long sleeve (Nike – love the thumb hole openings), leggings (lululemon, I also wear these weekly, great investment), sneakers (Nike, one of the first “work perks”) – all of these links are the exact items pictured. And yes, sometimes I feel like I’m wearing a quilted trash bag but I love this damn hoody and it’s the greatest thing ever. There are a few left from the retailer I got mine at (it’s not as discounted as it was when I bought it, but it’s still a discount – also no tax, free shipping. Check it out here).
Have a beautiful week! Hope you find some amazing nature to go explore.