June 22, 2004

S.S. Vallejo

The Vallejo, Sausalito, CA Canon 300D

Only a few days before our lives took an unexpected turn, Matt and I were invited to the most lovely dinner party we'd been to in quite a while. We were told it was on a houseboat in Sausalito, which sounded like fun, but it also sounded crammed and nausea-inducing and I kept wondering how we were going to prepare the stir fry we were shopping for.

When we arrived (see photo above) I was blown away. This was not a regular houseboat. This was The Vallejo and used to be a working ferry boat (about 100 years ago). It is huge and gorgeous both inside and out.

A friendly tabby came to greet me as I walked up the gangplank (good sign) and as I entered I was amazed by the beautiful wood. The floors were caramel (it was the magic hour) and the sun beamed in through the windows. They had art everywhere, a huge kitchen, the biggest wooden dining table I have ever seen and staircases leading to different rooms. It felt very much like a home, but different, like a treehouse or secret portal.

We climed a ladder to the top, where our friend had set up a DJ studio. Ammon played incredible music while we ate guacamole and watched the sun go down.

In the sixties, the Vallejo was a popular hangout among artists and poets because the painter Jean Varda and writer/Zen philosopher Alan Watts lived aboard. At various times you could find Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder (among others) hanging out there.

I could feel the magic of it. It is one of those places that simply inspires you. It made me fall in love with San Francisco again.

Posted on June 22, 2004 10:35 AM

How funny! My husband lived on the Vallejo from 1992-1999. Unfortunately it was before we met--I never attended any of the lovely dinner parties or wild "rave" (now seems such a retro term) parties that he STILL talks about frequently--and he was Ammon's roommate (shipmate?).
(Though I have met that sweet Ammon a few times.)
Funny because you and I have emailed each other a few times (picture of Kite Hill, doves mating for life, Nicasio church--just to jog your memory) and, as always, I see what a small world it is.

Posted by: Samantha at June 24, 2004 08:32 AM

I had a dream recently that I lived on a houseboat. How wonderful if it was one like this.

Posted by: kathryn at June 24, 2004 06:50 AM

Besides your Superhero business, you should start-up a side business called "Andrea's Magical, Mystical Tours" - I think they would be a sellout!

Thanks so much for your wonderful posts!

Posted by: Courtney at June 24, 2004 05:15 AM

Wow - it sounds truly amazing - especially at that specific time of day. You just inspired a new dream for me - to own a houseboat. Sounds so delightful!! :)

Posted by: Jen Abromaitis at June 23, 2004 07:20 AM

When a cat greets you, you know for sure you're in for a special treat! What an awesome experience.

Posted by: Allison at June 23, 2004 05:46 AM

Is there, by chance, some real magic going on in the world? My friends and I all feel it; as if there are stronger energies at work, that we're all becoming more and more in tune with. One of my friends believes that Mother Earth is surging with energy these days, and that very soon, there's going to be an amazing spiritual re-awakening.

That, or maybe a cat greeting you is a good sign (unless you're a mouse). Great post!


Posted by: G-Man at June 22, 2004 08:46 PM

I would love to spend a day with you watching you take pictures...they're always so magical and inspiring. You rock Andrea!

Posted by: Dawne at June 22, 2004 07:51 PM

How amazing!! That photo reminds me of a hotel-boat my dad and I stayed on in Stockholm a few years ago. (I too get ridiculously seasick... and car sick... and plane sick... well you get the idea) but somehow, the magic of that boat put me at ease...

ooh the beauty in this world!!


Posted by: Emily at June 22, 2004 07:08 PM

what a fun & interesting dinner party. that does sound magical. :)

Posted by: rachael at June 22, 2004 06:47 PM

I love hearing about all the wonderful things you find in the world. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: kristina at June 22, 2004 05:58 PM

a tasty bohemian paradise.

Posted by: Kathleen at June 22, 2004 03:00 PM

Wonder if those Beat brothers named the boat after wild Peruvian poet Caesar Vallejo.


Posted by: torvil hungslungsness at June 22, 2004 02:55 PM

wowee, you know such exciting people! the boat looks *absolutely fab*. glad things are looking up :) we've got wonderful weather here. 'The Peace Festival' has just come to leamington spa,england (my home town) so im all loved up with happy hippy goodness and glowing amongst the sunny weather, gorgeously smelling incense & happy atmosphere. hoping to pass some of this onto you soon! xxXxx

Posted by: - h - at June 22, 2004 01:35 PM

Oh, Andrea, your posts often conjure up memories of a previous life for me. In the early 80's, I spent 4 years living on two different houseboats in Sausalito. It's an absolutely divine lifestyle. I loved the gentle rocking. Although once I had to call my job the morning after a storm to say I'd be late...because we were hanging onto our house until the tide went down! :)

Posted by: Marilyn at June 22, 2004 01:28 PM

Sounds so lovely.

Posted by: ani at June 22, 2004 11:56 AM

Wow! You get to go to the coolest places! The Vallejo sounds so interesting, and beautiful. A true magical mystery ship! Just imagine if those walls could talk? :)

Posted by: Julia at June 22, 2004 11:19 AM

sounds divine and magical!

i love the cat walking up to greet you...


Posted by: stef at June 22, 2004 09:30 AM