Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mendocino With My Love

We just got home from the most beautiful and restful 3 days and nights at the Antioch Ranch in Mendocino. Since Don and I are going to be celebrating our 21st wedding anniversary on Friday, and Don's 40-something birthday tomorrow, we decided to go on a little weekend vacation, just the two of us. My parents called it our "Mendocino Love-in". Yep! It was that!

Thursday was crazy! I took India to the high school to get her senior year (YES!!!) schedule (which was wrong, 4th year in a row, but now fixed), then headed over to the fair for a few hours. I checked out my entries and counted ribbons, but more on this subject tomorrow. Then I came back home to do a bit more editing of the pattern, plus did some laundry, packed the cooler and then packed my suitcase. Oh..and I had to make a "Kissy Heart" for Ahnalin.

Anyone else make "kissy Hearts" for their children when they go away? All you do is cut a heart out of paper, put bright red lipstick on, and then put a BIG RED KISS on the heart cutout. Then make another heart cut out and put red lipstick on your little one and have them kiss their heart. You get to take the kissy heart your little one kissed with you and they get to keep the kissy heart you kissed. Then any time either of you need a kiss, you just kiss your kissy heart.

Don had a teacher meeting and then two guitar lessons to teach Thursday afternoon, but then we were finally able to load the van and head out.
We drove Highway 20 over to Fort Bragg and then down to Mendo, finally getting there about 11:30pm, unloaded, and passed out in the bed. Oh wait... knowing that I never fall asleep easily, no matter how exhausted I am, because my brain never, ever stops thinking, Don made me take a sleep aid. So..... I actually slept for 8 solid hours!!! NO WAY!!! Yep I did! So, in the morning, we made tea and toast and read for a while in our cottage that had NO TV AND NO INTERNET!!!! Yep! I was forced to rest the whole time! It was perfect in every way!

The Antioch Ranch has 5 cottages, each with 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, living room and full kitchen, so we could cook in. This was a blessing because it saved us a lot of money. Our cottage, the "Americana" was all decorated in a red, white, and blue theme, reminiscent of our first home. It was so sweet and cozy. We hope to go back next year and take the kids.....Did I just say that? But really, they would love it too.

After breakfast, we drove up to Fort Bragg and bummed around the old town area a bit until we found a fabric store. I went inside, and spent some of my fair prize money (more on this tomorrow) on fabric. I found a lovely burnt orange cotton dotted swiss with embroidered eyelet on either edge. This gorgeous stuff is more than 60" wide! I also bought some Michael Miller print and some older Alexander Henry Japanese fabric.

When I came outside, I was treated to this sight! Cute hubby pulled out one of the folding chairs from the van and settled in for the long haul. He knows me well and came prepared. That is true love for sure.

Then we drove down Elm Street to Glass Beach. Glass Beach is this cool place that used to be the Mendocino County dump. After several years, when they realized the harm being done to the beach and animals, they closed the dump. But all the years of the tides going in and out had an amazing effect on the beach. Instead of just sand, the beach is covered in tiny bits of all colors of sea glass. I tried to get a good picture but you just have to believe me. The beach truly sparkles in the sun like glass.

After the beach, on a tip from our innkeepers Pat and Jerry Westfall, we headed to d'Aurelias Pizza for an early dinner. I was over the moon for my eggplant parmigiana and Don swooned all the way through his lasagna. Delish!

After dinner, we drove over to the movie theater and saw "Julie and Julia". We loved this movie! It was one of those rare stories, well actually two stories, that championed committed marriage. In each couple, the husband truly loved his wife and encouraged her to pursue her dreams. And while each character was flawed and very human, they exhibited such tender attention to the other that we hoped we saw ourselves in them. Go see this movie. You will enjoy it.

After the movie, we drove back to our cottage and tucked ourselves into bed to read for a while. And yes, I slept again! Another eight hours of uninterrupted sleep! Oh Man! I could get used to this. Of course, I must interject that the sleep may be owed to the fact that I was not on the computer..... oh right.

Saturday morning, we drove into Mendocino where we dined on Eggs Benedict at the Bayview Cafe. YUM! Our table on the deck had the most gorgeous view of the Headlands. This little birdie thought we were commenting on his beauty instead of the ocean.

As we descended the stairs from the cafe, we were greeted with this little, er, BIG GOOSE honking "Good Morning" to us. I love geese. There were 5 big geese enjoying a breakfast of cooking scraps from the restaurant. I did not get very close though, as geese bite really hard!
We traipsed in and out of galleries, bookstores, candy shops, and boutiques before hitting upon the Mendocino Chocolate Company.

I chose this little beauty, though it was consumed mere seconds after this picture was taken. This chocolate and orange concoction is the "Angela" truffle, named after Angela Landsbury, who spent a great deal of time in Mendocino while filming the series "Murder She Wrote". That truffle was so yummy!

There were blackberry and raspberry bushes everywhere, just growing wild.

We walked around town, looking at houses and dreaming of what it would be like to live there. Someday.....oh please....I want to live near the ocean. The air is so fresh and clean and you don't feel crowded as much as you do inland. OH....please!!

My favorite scent is fresh lavender. And like the berries, it grew all over the area and smelled soft and lovely.

From the sublime, to the ridiculous. We drove back up to Fort Bragg and visited the Tattoo museum. While posing behind this stand, I heard my name. A friend from Grass Valley was just 3 feet away giggling at me! Hi Kimala!

I look good, right?

This is a rotten picture, but it kind of shows the fabrics I found. The pink/white swirls and the dark rose art print came from Fabric Indulgence I wish I had gotten a better picture of the art print.

We dinked around in several used bookstores and bought a few books to take back to the cottage for another session of quiet, restful reading. But before driving back to the cottage, we drove down to the harbor to Captain Flints for chowder and shrimp stuffed artichokes. If you remember the old Goldie Hawn movie "Overboard" , this was the kitchy restaurant in a few of the scenes. The food was good and pretty reasonable as well.
And then it was back to the cottage to dive into our "new" books. And dum da dum dum! Another night of restful sleep!!! That made for 3 nights in a row with over 8 hours of sleep each night! Holy Cow!
This morning, as one of the very rare Sunday mornings when we are not at church bright and early for rehearsal, Don and I both slept in. We had a leisurely time of prayer and worship, discussing the Bible together over tea and toast, and, um....Pop Tarts. Then we packed the van and cleaned up the cottage before heading home via Highway 101.

Reading this, one just might think I had learned my lesson that I need to go to bed at a decent time (as in, before 2:00AM) if I want to actually get good rest. Well, it is only 12:42 AM now, so I have a good chance of getting a few hours if I go to bed soon.
Ok, almost done.

Any little getaway must either start or finish with a meal at the world famous In-N-Out Burger and oh yum! When we lived all over the country, before we moved back home to California, I missed In-N-Out so much! The burgers are the best!

Yes, I am one rested, happy girl!

Don and I are so grateful to our parents for blessing us with the money for this getaway, and to the Westfalls for blessing us at the Antioch Ranch. Thank you so much!

So, what did I, we, learn from this trip?
Well, we learned that we need to get good sleep more than just occasionally if we want to feel good.
We learned that we REALLY want to live near the ocean, even though we already pretty much knew it.
We learned how much fun the Antioch Ranch was, even without TV or internet access.

And most of all, we learned that we are still wild-eyed-crazy about each other after almost 21 years of marriage. We are so grateful to God for giving us each other.


Dawn said...

Sounds wonderful!!! I so wish DH and I could get away for a few days. Sadly, with no family close by there is no one to watch the kiddos for us. I would so love to be able to sleep in, cuddle with DH uninterrupted and carry on a normal conversation without hearing someone saying "M...O....M!" I'm so glad you two had a chance to get away. I'm totally envious!

April said...

I love this post! Looks like you had fun! By the way, O+S just posted their FREE Popover dress on their blog! :)