California: Days 6-7

Donkey

Day 6

We woke to find donkeys outside the living room windows, so we hand fed them carrots. They accepted the goods without question and gobbled up the snack without leaving an ounce of slobber on my hand. It’s wonderful to be so close to nature. A whole different world from city life.

Today we traveled North 30 minutes on Highway 1 to the town of Mendocino. You may recall the show, Murder She Wrote. Although it was portrayed to take place in Maine, it was filmed in Mendocino. It’s no wonder that the first time we drove through it, I was reminded of a quaint picturesque New England town. Oh, how television can deceive. (BTW, I realize a picture would be nice here and on my next trip I will actually bring a real camera. Most of the pictures on this trip — not all, just the crappy ones — were taken with my crackberry.)

Mendocino is full of cute shops and my favorite was the bookstore. I could have browsed for hours in that store. It was just the right size. Not too big and not too small. I bought three more books: A Poetry Handbook, Stretch: The Unlikely Making of a Yoga Dude and In the Woods. My suitcase is getting heavier by the day. While we walked through town I spotted two flowers I haven’t seen before: Mantilla Poppies and Angel Trumpets. It’s a beautiful town situated right on the coast. After this visit, I have dreams of living there.

Mantilla Poppy (aka fried egg poppy)

For lunch we headed to the Living Light Cafe in Ft. Bragg. Living Light is a raw food cafe and culinary arts school. I love raw food. It’s one of my favorite types of cuisines. I enjoyed a Sunflower burger and Cathy ate the Not-tuna Pate sandwich. We opted to bring dessert home for the next day: Chocolate Cardamon cake. We both have had the chocolate cake before and were looking forward to it again. The spices give you a warm feeling even if the dessert is entirely raw. It’s amazing.

After lunch, we walked around Ft. Bragg and I bought another book at a used bookstore: Sail East Through the Barrier Reef. At this point I’m not allowed to buy anymore books but then we drive back to Mendocino for dinner at Ravens which is the restaurant attached to the The Stanford Inn, where I buy another book from its shop: The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint. Now I absolutely cannot buy anymore books on this trip or for months to come for that matter (minus the three I already ordered from amazon while out here on vacation). But I actually don’t feel so bad about the purchases when my sister mentions she reads about 60 books a year and has about two years worth of books waiting to be read at home. That’s 120 unread books! There must be something wrong with us, buying books by the boatload. Some faulty DNA? Book addicts, perhaps? Fear that books will be no more and soon? It could be worse I suppose.

OK, back to Ravens — an upscale vegan restaurant that didn’t disappoint. We ordered two small plates and one large plate to share including Dos Tacos Biológicos made with green chili, sweet potato, pepitas taco and chipotle mushroom, chipotle tomato sauce taco with Pico de gallo and lime crème fraiche; Sliders created with grilled kamut-zucchini in focaccia, umeboshi plum onion jam and white wine Dijon dressing; Grilled Portabella Flatbread with lemon garlic sauce, baby lettuces, grilled red onion and tomato with rosemary roasted potatoes; and the Pecan Torte topped with house-made maple ice cream for dessert. It was a delicious meal and I will definitely go back on my next visit to the area.

We made it back to the house just before dark. Driving on Highway 1 in the dark is a nerve-wrecking experience — for me. The local drivers race around the curves without a second thought but visitors like me appreciate it more when drivers go the speed limit (or even slower would be nice). In some spots, there is only a few feet between the road and a potential drop-to-your-death to the dark water below. And don’t get me started on the switchbacks. Craziness. Who built these roads!

Day 7

And on the seventh day, “she” rested. I read on the front porch in the morning and watched a gopher dig a hole. I napped in the afternoon after I ate my chocolate cake. This is just what I needed. Ahhhh. And then there was, of course, the heated discussion with my sister about my future career. So then I wrote.

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