Archive for the ‘Artsy Little Towns- ALTs’ Category

TGIF #28

Friday, April 23rd, 2010
Wait 'til PETA finds out!

Wait 'til PETA finds out!

Well, I’ve got to pack up & leave Gold Beach, OR. I have to say, this has been one of my favorite stops. Just lovely beaches, driftwood… And my hotel has hot tubs overlooking the beach. Mmmmm…

So here’s for your Friday fun:

Roadtrip- April 19-21

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
Sunset @ Gold Beach, OR

Sunset @ Gold Beach, OR

April 19– Spent another day in Mendocino/Ft Bragg.  I went to see the Sea Glass Beach in Ft Bragg. It is absolutely amazing. The sea hits what used to be Ft Bragg’s town dump, and all the broken glass is churned until it covers the cove. Here’s an idea of what it looks like. I do collect sea glass, but it’s verboten to collect here, so I stuck my hands in my pockets & left it for others to enjoy.

Then went to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden. Because it was a weekday, I had it almost to myself. I wandered all over. Checked out the organic vegetable garden, the benches overlooking the ocean and the Cliff House, which is great for stormy days. It’s about 1/2 a mile each way from the entrance to the ocean cliff.

Finally, I went back to Mendocino. And stumbled on the cutest shop- Perfume Mendo! (aka Gallery of the Senses). It’s run by a couple. He makes furniture grade stereo speakers; she has the widest range of perfumes I’ve ever seen. (and yes, I’ve been to Nordstrom). They even have their own blends. I tried about a hundred, but came out with the first one suggested- Mendocino Midnight. Smells like campfire, musk, something floral and maybe a hint of… cannabis?

April 20– Mostly spent driving to Arcata. I took the slowest, most scenic route. That means I saw a LOT of ocean & a LOT of redwoods. I also stopped in Loleta, CA to taste and buy cheese.  And of course, drove through Ferndale to see the beautiful Victorians. And btw, a lot of beautiful Jersey cows. If you’re a fan of Humboldt ice cream, this is where it comes from!

I mainly spent the night in Arcata & then pushed on. My hotel’s internet connection was down, which put me in a cranky mood. But yes, I should have spent more time in Eureka & Arcata.

April 21– I drove and drove and drove. Mostly scenic byways. Saw an elk herd, lots of redwoods, lots of beaches. I’ll never tire of that. At one point, when I was really drooping, I passed a sign that read: San Francisco 230 miles. OMG! That was last Saturday. I’m really moving slowly now, but this coast is one of my favorite places, and it’s been a long time.

I finally made it into Oregon. And drove for a while, thinking to get up to Bandon. But… I was passing thru Gold Beach, and decided to eat. And then I decided to stay. I found a really cute place, and got a room that overlooks the whole beach! With a balcony! So I’m staying 2 nights 😉

Lots of new photos!

Hasta luego!

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!