Tag Archives: coast

Coastal Therapy

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Rem and I went to Sea Ranch the day after the election. It was just lucky timing, but I’m so glad we had time away from our computers and phones due to severely limited cell coverage and v e r y slow internet. We also didn’t turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper.

Instead of focusing on bad news, I took walks and Rem went on bike rides.

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Crashing surf churned up extra foam which made it look as if someone had used the wrong kind of soap in a dishwasher.

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We sat in front of the fire and watched the flames instead of watching the news.

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I took a good, long walk on most days.

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One afternoon we baked focaccia.

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I spent lots of time crafting too, but I’ll show that in another post.

We also took a long drive one day, going north and then turning inland to follow a road we hadn’t been on before. We ended up in Boonville and visited the Anderson Valley Brewing Company.

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Do what you can to keep your perspective.  Treat yourself and those around you with love and kindness.  Long walks, especially on a beach, were great for me.

Thanks for the visit.

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Our Little Vacation, Part 2

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We drove in and out of fog going up the coast from Cambria. By the time we got to Nepenthe in Big Sur, it was warm and sunny. We ate on the deck at Cafe Kevah. What a beautiful place! I have nice memories from a stop made years ago on a road trip with my friend Lisa.

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If you don’t want to stop for a meal or a snack, the Phoenix Shop is a nice place to stretch your legs on a road trip. Even the restrooms are beautiful – I snapped this picture in the ladies room!

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Next stop, Monterey. We’ve visited here on a previous trip and this time just took a stroll on Old Fisherman’s Wharf.

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Nearby Marina and the English Ales Brewery was where we had dinner that night.

The next morning at The Breakfast Club in Seaside, I was delighted with the beautiful fruit salad I got with my poached egg and chicken sausage. Rem had chicken fried steak with scrambled eggs and an English muffin.

Breakfast at the Breakfast Club

We meandered up Highway 1, stopping at several produce stands, included this one where Stella and her sisters posed for another picture.

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Another stop offered “U-Pick” strawberries (we didn’t) and jam tasting (we did).  Inside was self-serve with an honor system to pay for berries, jam, baked treats and soup. After tasting a few jams, we had our own picnic snack outside.

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Lunch at the Highway 1 Brewing Company was forgettable except for one beer that Rem thought was great, the McKees Chocolate Milk Stout. Their address has them in Pescadero but they’re before the turnoff of Hwy. 1 to the little town. We enjoyed strolling through a few cute shops and I bought some paper ephemera.

Pescadero is a nice destination for a day trip from the Bay Area. We’ve visited other times and enjoyed the artichoke bread for sale in one of the little gourmet grocery shops. Something new for us was Harley Farms Goat Dairy, a short drive from the tiny downtown. We tasted cheese, saw sweet little kids (of the caprine variety), a pretty flower garden and an upstairs dining room in the renovated barn where they hold farm dinners and other special events.

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Our last stop for the day was Barbara’s Fish Trap in Half Moon Bay where we shared this gorgeous platter of goodies: calamari, cod, prawns, scallops and zucchini.

Seafood Dinner

We had plenty of time on our final day to stop and have a Stella reunion.

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Then home relaxed and rested after a nice getaway.

Thanks for stopping by. And remember: spread love, spread joy, spread peace, and spread jam.

 

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Central Coast Vacation

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Here are pictures from our recent road trip. As it included Rem’s birthday, we visited a few breweries so he could sample some beer. We drove south on Highway 101 and our first stop was at El Toro Brewing Company.  Rem tried their Ghost Chili Golden Ale, a hot, spicy beer after enjoying one on our last birthday beer road trip.

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They claim it is the hottest beer in the world. Rem said it was “insane” but I think he was glad to have tried it.

Speaking of insane, with Rem at Big 5 picking up new sneakers since he left his at home, I wandered through the BIGGEST craft store I’ve ever seen: Hobby Lobby.  There were aisles and aisles of different kinds of letters: metal, cardboard, acrylic, paper, etc.

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A huge selection of cabinet knobs.

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This cool dresser:

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And this cute pillow and poster, not to mention a LOT more stuff. It was staggering to just try and get an idea of all the crafting supplies they carried.

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I’ve since learned that I don’t see eye-to-eye with this company and some of their practices, so it’s just as well there’s not a store near home.

Next stop: Monterey Coast Brewing in Salinas. This is where Rem met up with a cute blonde at the bar.

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Well, to be honest, we brought her with us. This is Stella, my sister Kathleen’s long-haired dachshund. We couldn’t really bring her, so we did the next best thing and brought some cut-out photos of her, and had a great time finding new places for her to visit.

At Paso Robles, which was a toasty 103 degrees, we headed to the cool, foggy coast and our destination for the next three nights: Cambria and the lovely Olallieberry Inn, recommended by friends. The inn had a birthday special for a three-night stay: Stay over your birthday and pay the regular rate for the first two nights, and the rate for the third night is the year you were born, which in Rem’s case meant we paid $19.67.

We arrived just in time for the late afternoon wine and snacks on the deck.  An abundance of flowers in the back garden added to the charm of the inn.

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After dinner out, we fell asleep in our “Room at the Top,” with a chorus of frogs outside for a lullaby.

Rem’s birthday started with decadent French Toast Brûlée, olallieberry yogurt, homemade granola and bran muffins. I left the French toast for him to enjoy and was very happy with the rest of it. It’s a good thing, because on our drive into the hills above Cambria, we stopped at Linn’s Fruit Bin and shared a mini-ollalieberry pie. We didn’t see any olallieberries and the blackberries weren’t ripe but it was still a pretty place to visit.

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Stella enjoyed the scenery.

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We hung out in Harmony.

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It’s a tiny town, really just a few shops, a glass blowing studio and shop, and a small chapel.

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Back to the Inn for our evening snacks than a change of clothes before going out to dinner.  Robin’s Restaurant had been recommended by the same friends that suggested the inn, and we had a special meal, befitting the occasion. Rem chose a curried lamb dish and I had short ribs. Even though it was his birthday, he let me choose dessert and it was not difficult to decide on the Sweet Trio: strawberry sorbet, dark, dense chocolate mousse and excellent creme brûlée. We were both surprised when they brought a chocolate sundae for Rem gratis. A sweet finish for a nice birthday.

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The next day we drove back to Paso Robles for lunch at Firestone Walker Brewing Company in their Taproom Restaurant. It is a huge complex, much bigger than other breweries we’ve visited and they’re expanding.

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We did a little meandering on our way back to Cambria, stopping at a few wineries, but it was pretty hot and I was looking forward to the foggy coast.

This is the ceiling in a winery that looks like a castle; Tooth & Nail.  I was able to get a few of their wine bottle labels to use in collage projects.

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Back in Cambria, a full 44 degrees cooler than Paso Robles, we went to Moonstone Beach, pictured here at the top of the post. This photo is looking south and the other one is looking north.

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After some geocaching and window shopping in town, we had our last evening wine (Rem) and snacks (me) at the Ollalieberry Inn before a low-key dinner out.  Each evening and over breakfast we enjoyed conversation with the owners, staff, and other guests at the inn. I was also delighted to be able to spend some time crafting in the dining room and finished a collage-painting.

The last morning at Cambria had arrived but we still had a few more days of vacation, which I will share in a future post.

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Thanks for sharing our trip and thanks for your visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vacation Album: Eureka to Fort Bragg

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After nearly a boatload of beer on our trip (I don’t like beer), it was now my time for utter indulgence. We saw this shop a few days before and it was closed. I was so happy to realize we’d pass it again on our journey south.

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It was really delightful wandering through Scrappers Edge. My favorite local scrapbooking shop, Scrapbook Territory in Berkeley, recently closed. I didn’t have a shopping list but I was looking for new crafting goodies.

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There was plenty to see.

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Rem went and had a pint at Lost Coast Brewery while I shopped.

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This is what I ended up purchasing:

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Some reusable cardboard stencils, several ink sprays, a set of embossing powders in different colors and textures, including teal mica fragments and another jar of gold mica fragments, a pair of washi tapes, one with gold lace and the other with silver chevron design, a circular rubber stamp that has month and days to use in art journaling (and maybe on special occasion or birthday cards) and some Gelly Roll pens by Sakura.

I’ll do another post about playing with my new goodies, but it was a very satisfying shopping expedition!

We got on the road and continued southbound. I pointed out we’d be passing Ferndale, and that there was a good chance the pie shop, that had been closed on Sunday, would be open.

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Rem needed no convincing.

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Next stop: Vista Point.

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And we had saved this stop for our drive south.

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The corny but fun Confusion Hill was a good place to stretch our legs.

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We got a vacation photo of ALL our critters.

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Then a long drive and a transition from the Redwood Highway, to the Shoreline Highway; the start of Highway 1.  After quite a bit of twisting and turning, we got out to the coast and made it to Ft. Bragg, home of North Coast Brewing Company, the final stop of the Brewery Tour.

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Even after all the beer he’d tried, Rem still looked pleased when his flight of thirteen beers arrived at our table. This brought his grand total of beers tasted on this trip to (at least) 80!

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We’ve visited here before and he enjoyed two of his favorite stouts: Old No. 38 and Old Rasputin.

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Although the tour was nearly over, we still had a few more days of vacation to enjoy. We would leave Ft. Bragg the next morning and drive to Sea Ranch to spend 5 days with no more motels or long drives. My mom and Molly were joining us on Friday and Kathleen on Sunday and we will head home on Monday.

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Thanks for coming along!

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Vacation Album: (More Beer, More Trees)

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Pretty little Victorian town: Ferndale. We found many shops closed on a Sunday, but still enjoyed walking around.

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Every town should have clean, centrally located restrooms like these.

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The cemetery is on a hillside overlooking town.

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Onwards to Eureka and more closed shops in Old Town.  We went into a  Los Bagels shop and they had this great piece: Frieda with Glitter by Michelle Graham de Martinez. (Thought of you, Vic).

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More Victorians, including the Carson Mansion (hi, Carson!).

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Across the street, the “Pink Lady” was built for William Carson’s son as a wedding gift.

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Dinner and of course more beer at the Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka.

Rem’s birthday started grey and turned rainy. After the dry weather in Marin, it was nice to see so much green everywhere and Rem didn’t mind the wet weather on his special day.

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We drove north into Redwood National Park and took a little walk in the woods.

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Heading south again, we took a quick detour when we spotted elk in a campground.

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We found Luke’s Joint, a little lunch place in the Arcata Plaza, because the next brewery, Redwood Curtain Brewing Company, doesn’t sell any food beyond potato chips.

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After careful research (and don’t be fooled by the photos, he tried more than four beers here), he decided the Pine & Pineapple Pale Ale and Irish Dry Stout were his favorites.

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The brow a LOT of different beers here and were happy to give Rem small samples so he could try more varieties.

We didn’t want to miss one of McKinleyville’s top things-to-see:

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It is located, rather unexpectedly, behind a Safeway store.  Once, years ago, I took a stroll through what was supposed to be a totem pole park and somehow missed seeing the totem poles!  It was in Alaska and I guess we (hi, Lis), took a wrong turn.  So it was nice to see the World’s Largest Totem Pole, even if it was in a Safeway parking lot.

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Birthday dinner was at the Six Rivers Brewery, which along with Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka, is female-owned.

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We shared a very good “Sweet Heat” pizza: habañero hot pepper jelly, caramelized onions, bacon, mozzarella and goat cheese and a sprinkling of green onions.  Rem gave high ratings to the Raspberry Lambic-Style Ale and the Anniversary Blarney Stout.

A brownie-sundae finished the evening and Rem’s birthday month was off to a great start!

Thanks for your visit.

 

 

 

 

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Annibirthary Getaway: Windsor & Sea Ranch

Rem & Di @ Sea Ranch

Rem and I are home from a lovely little vacation.  In the midst of a terrible drought we went on a very rainy week.  We need the rain and it was nice to see green hills instead of brown.

We celebrated our 15th anniversary and because of the rain, postponed our planned hot-air balloon flight.  We decided to go ahead with our plan to stay overnight in Windsor and enjoyed both lunch and dinner out in Healdsburg.

The rain put a bit of a damper on strolling around and window shopping but after lunch at Bear Republic Brewing Company,

Beer Sampler, Bear Republic

(Rem had one of their beer samplers), we did stop in here:

Diannes Estate Jewelry

Lovely items and they know how to spell Dianne!  Rem got me a sweet little music charm to add to my charm bracelet.

We stayed in the The Italian Country Cottage at Windrose Romantic Cottages in Windsor.

Italian Cottage

Cottage Sign

It was probably bigger than our apartment and with no noisy neighbors and a lovely and yes, romantic setting, it was a great start to the vacation.  In fact, we met our neighbor in the morning, an emu, one of eight on  the adjacent property.

Emu

The cottage included a full kitchen…

Cottage kitchen

A small, cozy living room with gas stove,

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a spacious bedroom,

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and though we didn’t have a bubble bath in the old-fashioned bathtub, we did very much enjoy a soak in the covered outdoor hot tub later.

indoor tub, cottage

We drove the 10 minutes back to Healdsburg in pouring rain for dinner at Baci.  In spite of the storm, the place was packed.  I had a delicious Risotto Frutti di Mare and Rem chose one of the daily specials: Ravioli with Beef Cheeks and Mushrooms, which he said was “very tender with good sauce.”  We shared an order of profiteroles which were yummy but not as good as the ones at Left Bank in Larskpur which come with a small pitcher of hot chocolate sauce.

Back down the freeway with our windshield wipers going like gangbusters to “our” cottage.  As the sign says, it really was the sweet life.

La Dolce Vita

The kitchen is stocked with a fruit and cheese platter for your arrival and waffle mix and a waffle iron, juice, fruit, coffee, cereal, etc. for the following morning.  Rem did the honors for breakfast, our anniversary, both fixing waffles and cleaning up.  After  a final trip to Healdsburg to the Oakville Grocery to pick up lunch to eat en route, we hit the road heading for Sea Ranch.

Sea Ranch was the usual delightful mix of doing very little, eating well and the occasional venture outdoors to see the local flora and fauna. I crafted and read, Rem did ham radio and played games on his iPhone.  We celebrated my birthday in very low-key style, cooking together (Rem did all the clean up, bless him) and I took a walk.

Sea Ranch House with Sheep

Some beautiful Sea Ranch architecture, blooming daffodils and the Sea Ranch sheep.

Sea Ranch Sheep by the sea

Lambs butting heads

Seals and high surf

Seals and high surf.

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Deer

Sheep pen gate

View to the ocean

Wet grass

Birthday Selfie

A birthday selfie.

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We were a little relieved that it was pouring today when we had to pack up and head home.  Sea Ranch has very changeable weather and often offers the most glorious weather the day you depart.

I’ll write more soon about a few of the recipes we tried and share some pictures of the crafting I did.

Thank you for stopping by.

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Long Sea Ranch Weekend

Beach through the Trees

Although we had a few days of really gorgeous weather when we went to Sea Ranch for the long Fourth of July weekend, I kept forgetting my camera when we went on walks.  I only remembered once the weather turned grey.

This mosaic is on a low wall by a gas station in the town of Gualala, just north of Sea Ranch.

Fish Mosaic

Here are some pictures from our weekend… with seals, Molly and Ariel.

Seals at Sea Ranch

Molly & Ariel at driftwood chapel

Shell Beach

Through the Trees

Molly starts a hole

Molly Digging

Whassat?

Silly Doggie

Ariel on the Beach

Ariel on the Rock

Running on the Beach

Thanks for stopping by.

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