Archive for April, 2010

Roadtrip- April 18

Monday, April 19th, 2010
Mendocino cottage

Mendocino cottage

So, how did I end up eating a Clif Bar for lunch in Mendocino, CA- a foodie paradise? Well, because the tides were right. On the way into town, I stopped off at Catch a Canoe, to see about taking out a kayak for a couple hours. They weren’t too busy, had a kayak for me, and the tide would be right in about half an hour.

So I went into town, looked around, bought a cookbook (!) and headed back to the dock. I can’t tell you how great it felt to be out on the water. Most of my kayaking has been sea kayaking, so paddling down a river (alone, because you can do that in calm water) was a real treat. It was so quiet! I saw a blue heron, about 5 seals and numerous ducks.

Definitely one of the top days of this trip so far. And I think I need to build kayaking into my life again, somehow.

About the shopping… If I were into shopping, Mendocino would be highly dangerous. Lots of cute little shoppes, with things that are chosen with great care to be both unique and tasteful (at least, my kind of taste.) I could easily go wild. But… One thing I’ve learned from the Space Clearing workshop (and Stephanie’s book) is that for me, clear space is more valuable than “stuff.” I tend to get overwhelmed with stuff. I did buy a cookbook. But it’s one that supports my style of eating: healthy, simple and tasty. (Yes, I’ve noticed that I don’t have a kitchen. But I probably will before too long.)

After kayaking, I checked into my motel (less said the better, but it’s clean & cheap) in Ft Bragg. I cleaned up & headed back to Mendocino for dinner. After wandering around, checking out the options (and NOT buying that cute top), I stopped at the Mendocino Cafe.  Really good choice! I had a portobello mushroom cap stuffed w/crabmeat  (local) and topped with cheese. And a local ale. I’m not a beer drinker (gluten-sensitive & don’t like it anyway), but it was just perfect after a few hrs of kayaking.

So I think I’ll stay another day… Check out the sea glass beach, the Botanical Gardens & maybe go back to Mendocino for more un-shopping 😉

Hasta luego!

Road Trip- April 15-17

Sunday, April 18th, 2010
Muir Beach overlook

Here's me- having fun, a little worse for wear

For those inquiring minds… Yes, I have about 5 black t-shirts with me; it’s not the same one all the time. But here I am @ the Muir Beach overlook on a beautiful (windy) Saturday morning.

So… let’s see. April 15 I drove from Morro Bay to Monterey. Made stops in a little town called Harmony (pop under 20) where there’s a terrific glass-blowing operation & gift shop. Wow!

And then on to Cambria, where I explored the East Village. Had breakfast at Linn’s. I couldn’t eat the pie (darn gluten intolerance!) but had the most fantastic veggie omelet. The service was outstanding, and I loved all the art deco touches & esp the mission-style buffet with quarter-sawn oak & stained glass.

Then I did a little exploring. My favorite shoppes were Cinnabar Rock Trail (Lots of goodies there, including some from San Miguel, which made me a little homesick) and Heart’s Ease, a garden/gift shoppe. I must have spent an hour roaming around smelling everything, checking out the gardens, etc. Too bad I’ll miss the Faerie Festival on the 25th, b/c that’s exactly my sort of thing.

Let’s see… then I pushed up the road through Big Sur (lots of road construction, but what a great place to get “stuck”) and into Monterey. There was some sort of BMX racing thing that wkend & it was a total zoo, so I just slept & left early the next am. Very disappointing, but I have a low tolerence for crazy @ this point, and it was that. I did luck into a great little motel: Del Monte Pines. I’d planned to go elsewhere & am really glad I found it instead. It was the lowest price I could imagine, but was absolutely immaculate. And I even had a gas fireplace! Amazing!

So the 16th, I went farther up the coast to Half Moon Bay. I stopped off in Aptos, CA to re-visit Seacliff Beach. And saw the rental where we’d had some family reunions. Lots of good memories there.

Half Moon Bay… Well once again I was tired & cranky. Lots of gift shops, good restaurants & crowds. Some days, I just feel allergic to all that, so I concentrated on getting a good night’s sleep.

So yesterday April 17, I got up early & beat the crowds over the Golden Gate Bridge (!) and on to Muir Woods. It was absolutely lovely. Not as quiet as all that, but considering that it was Sat AM, and free entrance day, very nice. I hiked around for a while & then headed on up the coast.

All the little towns had events of some kind going on, so I really didn’t stop @ Bodega Bay, Tomales, etc. Lots of bikes on the road, and crowds. But once I got to Fort Ross, things calmed down. There are calla lilies blooming beside the road! Not to mention the ice plants, lupines, poppies.

And I found a great little place in Gualala, the Surf Motel. I got the last available room (my luck is holding!) with an ocean view and a feather bed. So I just opened the window & fell asleep to the sound of the waves. Oh my! Wish I could stay for a long while. But my budget is making little ouchy sounds, and MENDOCINO is just up the road!

Hasta luego!

TGIF #27

Friday, April 16th, 2010
Seen in Morro Bay, CA

Seen in Morro Bay, CA

Is it Friday already? Where the heck am I? Well, I’m camped out in a little motel in Half Moon Bay, CA. I did get to two beaches today- Aptos, CA (Seacliff) and a little one on the way from there to here.

I’m seeing lots of things that jog old memories… The way drivers will flash their lights to let you know there’s a black & white cop car waiting up ahead. The way we teased Dad about going in circles because we’d passed “Vista Point” several times. The strawberry stands along the road. And the indescribable scent of ocean/eucalyptus.

But I’m still going too fast. You’ll notice in my flickr album. All the beach shots are starting to say “Beach” instead of where. I’ll update the travelogue later.

Here are some links for your Friday:

Hearts 0′ the week. From Cinnabar Rock Road, in Cambria, CA

Way cool! I could be playing music in my car!

You mean… you didn’t read the  EULA?

Ok, these bookstores might be a little better than Bart’s in Ojai.

Coffee

Road trip- Days 8-14

Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Ojai, CA

Ojai, CA

Wow, I have a lot of catching up to do!

Went to Fresno to see my Dad & stepmom & be coddled for a while. Even gypsies need to rest now & then. The orange groves were in their glory. We went up to Shaver Lake to get a taste of the mountain air; there was actually snow up there. California is an amazing place, isn’t it? I wish I could bottle the smell of sun on the pines, with just a little woodsmoke for spice.

Then it was off (on Monday) over the Grapevine. If you’ve not heard of it, imagine a freeway over the mtn passes, with semis laboring up and then making up time on the downhill. I got to Ojai safely, but with a nasty headache.

So I tucked myself into the most wonderful bed in the world (I actually took a picture! I want a bed just like this if I ever settle down!) And woke up the next morning ready to explore Ojai, CA.

So Tuesday, I went rambling around town. OMG! I will definitely be back. There are the trees… lots of big gnarly oaks, palms, you name it. And mountains in the backdrop. And Spanish architecture. Not to mention, lots of good fresh food, thrift shops, galleries, boutiques… Kind of like heaven.

Did I mention that I’ve found my favorite bookstore in the world? (So far, I’m still checking.) Bart’s Books is mostly open air… There is a courtyard full of bookshelves, with tables to sit and read. Inside the house- more books! And the staff is helpful but unobtrusive. Oh yes, I will be coming back to Ojai. And I managed to get out with only one book- a history of Mexico by Mayo.

So Wednesday I took off reluctantly, but ready to head up the coast. What a gorgeous drive. I just kept drinking in the scenery. Just imagine- cows & eucalyptus trees on one side, and the ocean on the other. About mid-afternoon, I ended up in Morro Bay, and decided that was plenty.

So found a hotel & headed down for the Rock. It was really windy (and I mean really!) Saw some paragliders, had fresh oysters for dinner. (And garlic fries- there are benefits to solo travel!) and searched for sea otters from the restaurant window.

That catches us up… I’m heading north again today. Will probably see Cambria, Big Sur & Monterey.

Hasta luego!