Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Mendocino 50th Continued

Yesterday we loafed in and walked around Mendocino Headlands. 

Remnants from old logging days.

We lunched at Trillium. Fancy eats on the back porch. The weather has been fabulous. I did a bit of shopping before the store I had my eye on closed at 5.

Today we hiked the pygmy forest at Van Damme State Park.

We hiked the flats and almost got down to Fern Canyon. Ran into a few mosquitoes. But they didn't bite too hard. On the way back we stopped to walk from Big River out to the ocean.

 Reminisced about the ocean kayaking trip here in about 2002. Hardly any swells right now. Then it was 9+ foot swells because of a recent storm.

 Fun lunch at Patterson's Pub. 
Tomorrow we will dawdle home taking a route through Ukiah.

Monday, April 18, 2016

To Mendocino to Celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary

Yesterday we took a long ride on Highway 20 to Mendocino. We saw a lot of evidence of the destructive wildfires that hit the Clearlake area last year. Fire scars on both sides of highway 20. You could see where care had been taken to save houses. We ate lunch outside at the Boatman Bar and Restaurant in Nice. The place has 2 separate owners. One owns the bar and one owns the restaurant. They were just hiring and training new wait staff, so that was confusing. But overall everything was fine. Food and beer were very good.

The last part of the highway over the mountains is very winding. Bill says it helped to keep him awake after a weekend of partying and not enough sleep, on his part.
The Sweetwater Inn was our destination, because we like the garden cottage where we had stayed before. The cottage has a full kitchen and a comfortable bed. The hot tub is out in the garden, which is kept private by a high fence. 
We stayed here for about our 35th anniversary and at that time they were discounting the cost of the room by how many years you had been married. No such deal this time for 50 years.

After a relaxing evening snacking on the fruit and cheese basket left for us, we retired not too late and slept in. Warm homemade pastries are delivered in the morning, so no cooking so far for us, except for using the coffee maker.

Off to spend the day at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. The rhododendrons are in full flower and we walked all over the Gardens and explored every trail. Sat on every bench, almost. Glad I wore a hat as the sun was bright.

As we head back we came upon a guided tour. The guide was explaining about how to plant rhododendrons. They like to be planted loosely in bark to give them the well drained acid footing they like. Interesting, since we had thought about a few near the tiny house.

For a late lunch, we drove down into Noyo Harbor and had a delicious lunch at Cap'n Flint's. Scrimshaw beer on tap is a pilsner with a light but tasty flavor.

We drove around Fort Bragg and decided that it is definitely looking a bit ragged from the last time we were here in 1997 for Frank and Robbin's 25th anniversary. Back then Robbin and I did walk in some shops on the main street and bought a few things. This time I drove past and didn't notice a lot that looked interesting. We drove around a lot of the small roads on the way back to Mendocino, just looking at the houses. Some looked like they might be vacation rentals, others looked like they might have many families living in them, the ones with 5 working cars parked around them in midday.

Back to the Sweetwater for a short nap. I plan to look around the shops in Mendocino. I walked around a bit on Sunday. A few stores were open after 5, but not the one on the corner that I wanted to go in. We'll have dinner in again. Enough stuff around for a light meal after a big lunch.