for his 30th, i wanted to do something great. so we packed some things and headed south.
Food and Drink #1:the Groves
the first night, we went to Myers Flatt, a small blip of a town along the Avenue of the Giants about 45 minutes south. we had heard about this great restaurant, the Groves. it was a fine dining restaurant that focused on locally-grown, organic food and was attached to the Riverbend Cellars vineyard. the menu changes often, the chef studied in sacramento.
we ate like crazy…delicata squash goat cheese ravioli with beet vinagrette-balsamic reduction, corn chowder with cilantro oil and applewood bacon, woodfire pizza with duck, cherries, goat cheese, a wood oven roasted pork chop with walnut, sage, quinoa, brussel sprout leaves and mustard sauce. for dessert, the most amazing balsamic peaches with russian cream and candied almonds. we had four different wines. why i don’t have any pictures of this amazing meal is a question i will ask myself for years to come.
the next morning we continues south toward Fort Bragg in the coast. but, like any good tourist, we had to see a drive-thru tree. yeahhhh, redwood exploitation.
we headed to the coast and found this beautiful view. at this turn-out, we chatted with a cyclist that had been riding since portland. we took a picture of him with this backdrop.
Food and Drink #2: Northcoast Brewing Company
when we arrived in Fort Bragg, we stopped at the brewery for fish and chips, turkey sun-dried tomato pesto sammie, fries, salads, beers. since we were refueled, it was time to look for a place to stay. we ended up at the Grey Whale bed and breakfast. we loved this place. it was a converted hospital. the innkeeper let us look in every unoccupied room. his wife made us breakfast the next morning.
once we got the room, we got on our bikes and rode around town. we ate ginger and pumpkin ice cream and went to a wine tasting room,Pacific Star, where the guy pouring was really interesting and knew a ton about wine, of course. us, and another couple, stayed until he closed. he recommended an italian restaurant with live music for dinner. but before that…we went to see ‘W’.
i really liked the movie, it really disturbed me. not because it reminded me of all of the terrible things this man and his administration has done to this country, but because i felt an overwhelming sense of sorry for him. i think that oliver stone did GW a great service. you just cannot despise the ignorant, you feel sorry for the ignorant. the actors were incredible. the film stayed with me for days after.
Food and Drink #3 V’Canto
after the movie, we road over to the italian place. by this point we were pretty sleepy. the meal was good, the server friendly, the band was easy listening, the wall color pleasant. the artwork on the walls was terrible. i mean terrible to the point that you could not look down at your plate, at isaiah when he was talking, at the server when she asked if the food was good-because you were mesmerized by this terrible, terrible art. again, why i have no picture of this, is beyond me.
the next morning we drove south down the coast for a bit before heading inland. we stopped at this lighthouse. the coast was beautiful, foggy and sleepy.
isaiah on a bluff.
me, too close to the bluff. see the sign, get back you fool! (at least the kid will have a carrot to eat when he gets to the bottom)
Food and Drink #4: the Anderson Valley vineyards and brewery
we turned inland to take the long way home through the anderson valley. the anderson valley was, to me, in the peak of beauty. the heat of summer was over but it was still warm. the vines were yellowing and it was an amazing contrast with the blue sky.
we really didn’t want to do wine tasting; we wanted to sit outside at the vineyards and watch birds swoop into the vines for rodents. we did and met this silly dog, emma.
we got too may samplers ’cause our eyes were bigger than our judgement, so we rode our bikes around Booneville. the little town was so cute. in a shop, i found this decorative paper that i had been looking for ever since my favorite funky store closed in eureka.
we almost stayed another night in the cute town, but decided that we should head back. and good thing, or we would have missed this wave of clouds coming over the forested hills.
it was a good birthday.