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21 July 2017

When we wrote about our excursion to the Presidio yesterday, we didn't tell you the whole story. Yes, we wanted to escape the bunker for a while. But there are escapes and then there are escapes.

By which we mean, some escapes are mind-numbing exercises and others are inspirational. A friend of ours, for example, once told us that when she got depressed, she'd buy herself a ferry ticket just to get out on the bay. That always refreshed her.

Which is something you can't say for a few hours spent in front of the TV.

San Francisco has plenty of destinations for your escape. And even if you've Alrady Been There (like to the Presidio), it behooves you to return. How else would we have learned about the Share Chairs.

Or, for that matter, the gorgeous Visitor Center.

We stopped by there on the pretext of looking into a National Parks Pass because the fee is going up astronomically next month. We can tell you our experience with Ranger John, who sold us a lifetime pass, was not just cordial but convivial. If, that is, you leave out the part we realized later. That the man had not requested ID to confirm we were 62 or older.

Everybody says we look 45. And the truth lies somewhere in between, more or less.

We wandered around looking for ideas.

But what a great country. It gives lifetime passes to the national parks for $10 to anybody who looks 45 or older, no proof needed.

John was efficious and we had our passes before we could even ask for them. "You're set for the rest of your life," he said. "And how often do you hear that?"

But we lingered. The building was just wonderful. It's part educational with a huge map of the presidio in the spacious front room and part store with all sorts of edifying souvenirs on the sparse shelves in the equally large back room.

We wandered around looking for ideas. Now that is an escape.

Our slide show today show's what we found inside the Visitor Center. But we didn't stop there. We got back in the car and drove to the Marina next door to take a walk where we didn't have to pay for parking.

It's a familiar walk. We've taken it many times. Many, many times.

But we can't help looking for something new. Was that boat the Just'-Us with the scales of justice between the two words always berthed with Alcatraz in the background? Just for example.

It's hard to resist walking along the Marina Green on the bay side but you'll be amused on the street side, too. Where did those sculptures come from? Leda and the Swan, the gorilla with a smartphone, the old woman perched on a bench?

When we got back to the car, as refreshed as any tourist, we didn't want it to end. So we drove to Giorgio's, an old pizza joint on Clement St. and a charming waitress took our late lunch order ready to dial 911 if anything happened to us while we waited.

After all, you only look 45 to people who are older than that.

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