Once again we are spending Thanksgiving around Bay Area not-backpacking. Wait, last year we did a lovely backpacking trip to Pat Spring. For some reason after a trip to Death Valley and Utah I’m out of good backpacking ideas for Thanksgiving. So this time around I set my eyes again on the real Northern California.
I wanted to just find a nice B&B and enjoy the way Northern California coast. I didn’t really have any idea what to do there. The B&B was east to find – just open Google maps on the area you want to go and search for Bed and Breakfast. Eventually I settled on Fensalden Inn. It didn’t look particularly different from the others. I was just a bit inland from the Hwy 1, which I thought would reduce the noise. Rita had some patients on Thursday and Friday, so we could only leave at noon on Friday the 29th. The Fensalden people made this request that we get there at 3PM sharp. I suppose they didn’t want to stay around the place too far in the evening (not sure why since they lived right there as well).
Friday, November 29th
As I’ve said we could only leave at noon. The drive was fine with the usual traffic jam in Santa Rosa. CA-128 was great – winding and beautiful with some fall colors. We made it to Fensalden Inn by 4PM, but I guess it was within the margin of error.
Our room – The Mariner – was lovely. It had great views on the West vista, which included some ocean. There was no stupid TV. But why do you need TV if you have this gorgeous view. Well, it is probably more gorgeous in warmer seasons. Once the owner checked us in he left. The B&B felt creepy deserted. He said there was a large group of guests, but didn’t see anyone. There was this giant dining room (with nice cherry and nuts), but there was no one there. We went to this place called Ledford right across Hwy1 from our Inn. I’m not sure what sort of people live around this area, but the restaurants were mostly $$$ and high-class. Either the people just don’t go there or it was all for high-class tourists. Ledford had live music playing, freshly baked bread and fish. Then just go back to an empty house. At least they had WiFi.
Saturday, November 30th
Home made breakfast was served at 9:30AM. Apparently they had so many guests that the breakfast had to be done in 2 sets. The food was good – fruits with ice cream, some sort of old UK royalty approved toast (the thing was very rich – it had to be soaked in butter overnight. Very good for that coronary. Apparently the inventor of this toast was knighted.), coffee and juice.
After some lingering we went off to see the Mendocino Coast botanical gardens, which was one item to do around Fort Bragg. There were some other activities like fairs or something, but I had to make a choice. Now, I generally don’t enjoy botanical gardens, especially without some guidance, – I find it difficult to explain the reason I’m there. The gardens extended all the way to water. There were supposed to be some amount of mushrooms, but we didn’t see many. There weren’t many rains to sprout good mushrooms. There were lots of Rhododendrons, some strange sculptures, a green house of some begonias, and small vegetable garden. It was a bit slow. Winder, I suppose. It would be nice to have some guidance in the garden.
After the gardening we found good sandwiches at Cirino’s Sandwich Shop. Then went into the Fort Bragg Guest house museum. They were preparing it for Christmas. Officially the museum was closed, but they let us walk around and ask some questions. Apparently, this house was built and owned by the Fort Bragg Redwood Company. Business people traveling could stay there. Nice.
We went to the glass beach after that. There was actually glass there on the beach! Little pieces all over the place. Apparently it is all man-made. The nice citizens of the surrounding cities were dumping their garbage into the nearest cove. The nature cleared most of the stuff (we hope), but left polished glass bits (glass after all is sand).
After some selection we went to Cafe Beaujolais (I don’t even know how to pronounce it). The place was very interesting. It is located in someone’s house. It’s been there for a very long time, so no one is complaining any more. It provides fine French cuisine, though their bread was not as fresh as in Ledford. But other than that the soup and sturgeon were great. I liked this photo of some dude with great looking boletus mushroom on the wall so I took it a photo of it.
Sunday, December 1st
Home made breakfast was again served at 9:30AM. This time it was a bit more lively. There was good souffle, mimosa, and some other stuff. Very nice. Perhaps we will stay in Fensalden Inn next time we will be in Mendocino. Although I like to try new things.
On the way back we stopped at Husch vineyards for some local non-Napa wines. It was actually one of the many wineries on CA-128. It just happened to conveniently align with my driving. Interestingly, this is one more winery that is selling grape juice. I guess they figured out that not many people really understand wine. But the juice is always good. We also stopped at the local apple orchard and headed home.