New Jersey Family: Back to Reality

I’m parked at the taxi stand in Sausalito as tourists rush off the San Francisco Ferry. The New Jersey family approaches. Dad, Mom and the two kids want to go to the Marine Mammal Center. They’re so excited, especially the kids. For the past year, they’ve contributed to the Adopt-a-Seal  Program and more directly to the rehabilitation of Astro, the steller sea lion. Astro was brought to the Center as a pup with injuries from a shark. The vet staff brought him back to life, tagged him with GPS and returned him to the Pacific. After a few years he was back with Toxic Algae Poisoning, a tragically too common issue that seals are inflicted with. I take them on the short trip through the old Polaris missile tunnel to the Center just up from Rodeo Beach. I provide some of my tourism info. They are keen to know. I drop them off at the Center’s new building. The Center's funding campaign seems to be working. They request a return trip in an hour and a half. I drive them back around the Marin Headlands and use their camera to snap the photo for their next Christmas card, Golden Gate Bridge below and city beyond. Mother and young son are talking. “Would you like to live here’, she says. ‘No’, he says. ‘I want to go back reality.’ The young ones always need to go home.

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