Monday, August 10, 2009
A WEEKEND IN MENDOCINO AND ON TO THE NAPA VALLEY
We spent this past weekend in Mendocino where the beautiful Erica was getting married.
Because this week is our annual "family" vacation in the Napa Valley, and we decided to go directly there from Mendocino, we had Louie with us for his very first trip to Mendocino.
We made our usual pit stop in Healdsburg on the way up. Coffee and pastries at the Oakville Grocery was the perfect place for us.
They have a nice outdoor patio and water bowl for the dogs who care to stop by for a drink. Both Jim and I had Morning Buns for the local Costeaux Bakery to go with our drinks. We walked around Healdsburg's central plaza before getting back in the car.
We came upon a moving WWII memorial on the plaza of a young boy with the flag that presumably we presented to him after his father died in battle.
I have loved the town of Healdsburg since I first visited in the 1970's. And, despite considerable gentrification, it still has kept much of it's charm.
We got to Mendocino in time for lunch at the Moosse Café whose garden patio is dog-friendly.
I had the Rock Cod Sandwich
and Jim had the Chicken Sandwich.
All weekend the weather was sunny and warm, a relative rarity for Mendocino in summer but wonderful for we outdoor diners and for Erica's wedding which took place outdoors.
After walking around Mendocino a bit, we headed to the Little River Inn, our home for the night. Since I usually stay with friends in Mendocino and occasionally stay at a bed & breakfast inn, this was my first time at Little River Inn other than for an occasional dinner or Sunday brunch in their restaurant.
Our room, one of their pet rooms, was more like a suite, with a sitting area, fireplace, kitchen, and sleeping area. We looked out our wall of windows directly at the Pacific Ocean...absolutely breathtaking!
I found out when I was checking out that our room is the "James Dean" Room. The room James Dean preferred when he stayed here. I had noticed a photo of Dean in the dining area of our room but had paid it little attention.
Erica and Brandon got married at the Caspar Community Center, a charming old schoolhouse in Caspar, the town to the north of Mendocino. Brandon's grandfather performed the ceremony, which was very special to all.
Sister of the bride and Maid of Honor:
Mother and Father of the bride:
The ceremony was followed by cocktails outdoors, a dinner indoors, and then dancing and celebrating. Jim and I feel honored to be included in this joyous occasion.
I have to share pictures of the wedding cake because there is a cute story behind it. Apparently, Brandon was very agreeable to all that Erica wanted in their wedding. But he had a few, must-haves. One of his must-haves was that there be figures of a bride and groom on the cake. Well, there were, even if they were Day of the Dead bride and groom...40 years from now, this should inspire an interesting conversation about their wedding day!!! As you can gather, they created this wedding out of love and fun with each other.
Sunday morning, Louie got us up bright and early (groan) for his walk. Then Jim and I enjoyed breakfast in the dining room. We both ordered Ole's Favorite Breakfast which includes a short stack of Ole's famous Swedish Hot Cakes, Two Eggs anyway you want them, and bacon or sausage.
We walked around the Little River Inn's grounds...it has its own golf course, tennis courts, and spa, among its amenities.
One of a series of whale sculptures by North Coast sculptor Warren Arnold is on Little River Inn's property.
And we visited with the family of the bride, some of the wedding party, and even the bride, who all were hanging out enjoying the warm morning and the afterglow of the night before.
After reluctantly checking out of the Little River Inn, we went back into Mendocino for a walk along the Headlands,
a bit more shopping, and lunch at the Mendocino Café.
Jim had a bowl of Clam Chowder and a Salad.
And, I continued on my weekend theme of fish sandwiches for lunch.
I stocked up on gifts for myself and for Christmas gifts for some of my bff's at Sallie Mac, a stored filled with French and French-inspired gifts and decorative garden items.
After lunch, we were back on the road on our way to Yountville, our home for this week.
We made one stop at Navarro Vineyards in Philo in the Anderson Valley, where dogs are welcome everywhere...Louie had plenty of canine company but I did not let him share my tastings of Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, and Edelzwicker . The Edelzwicker, a blend of Gerwurtztraminer, Pinot Gris, and Riesling, was my favorite. With temperatures close to 100 degrees, I only wanted to taste chilled wines.
We got the the Vintage Inn, our usual place in Yountville, just in time for afternoon tea with pastries and tea sandwiches.
Dinner was casual fare at Pacific Blues Café on their outdoor deck with Louie.
I had a Cobb Salad
and Jim had Mahi Mahi that was topped with a delicious housemade avocado salsa.
End of weekend...we were tired but happy with a great start to a week away.