As I mentioned in my earlier post, I fell in love with Mill Valley. It is a beautiful town just North of the Golden Gate Bridge and the rolling coastal hills of Golden Gate State Park - which is full of trails leading to cliff-top views and black rock beaches.
It was interesting to be at Fernwood in the Fall. Since it's a natural burial site, the grounds change with the seasons. In the spring, the grass was taller, but this visit in the fall, we realized there were many more graves near Briana than we had noticed before. There were even about 4 new graves near Bri since April - those plots are going fast! We need to get ours reserved :)
In the photo below, all the large rocks scattered around are grave markers.
I cry thinking about how beautiful Briana's spot is. She's on a hill facing West so she gets beautiful afternoon sunlight. All around are rolling hills. It's near San Francisco, but much more serene/quiet/peaceful.
From her grave, you can see the road, Tennessee Valley Road, that leads to a trail head for horses, walkers, hikers, and bikers to enjoy the beautiful coastline.
At the beach, the rock formations showed many colors and textures.
Elliott's new trick: bubble goatee.
We stayed at a hotel about 0.25 miles from Fernwood! Here is a photo toward her hill. You can see the tall Eucalyptus trees (left of center, background) that shelter her.
I loved being so close to her spot and I kept thinking about how fun it will be to visit Mill Valley year after year. Even though it feels familiar and perfect for Bri now, it's fun to think how familiar and Bri-like it will feel in 20 years! I felt like I was visiting more than my sister's grave, I was visiting her.
A bike trail from the Golden Gate Bridge passed just outside our hotel and our hotel provided complementary bike rentals...so:
We all rode through Sausalito
past the darling houses (a somewhat Laguna Beach feel, but different...)
and beautiful morning view of San Francisco:
to the Golden Gate Bridge!
Back at the hotel, we lounged and relaxed in the sun
Uncle Thom helped Elliott swim
The downtown shopping area of Mill Valley has a beautiful kitchen store and home decoration store...
We even saw Ian's Pumpkin Patch!
P.S. Did you know there is an Arcade Fire song called "Cold Wind" that was on the show 'Six Feet Under' in 2007? I've heard there was an episode of the show featuring a natural burial at Fernwood. I don't know if this song was on that episode (I've never seen the show and don't even know what it's about, beside death, in some way), but it feels like it was. There's a line that says "If you're going to San Francisco, lay some flowers on the gravestone."
Here it is.