Monday, July 3rd
9am – Sometimes I get a craving to cook a specific item and this week it was shakshuka. I thought it would be the perfect breakfast item to make for a group on vacation, and it’s all in one pan which makes it easy.
10am – Locking myself in the bedroom doing phone calls because it is technically a work day.
12pm – I’m finally ready to get on the road. Today, we’re exploring Mendocino and Fort Bragg which are about an hour north of Point Arena on Highway 1.
1pm – Mendocino is a super cute town with little shops and cafes living in old, restored buildings. It’s bigger than Point Arena in that it’s more than one street long.
1:30pm – We walk through town and reach Patterson’s Pub. I had read a lot about this place in multiple travel blogs and upon entering, I could see why it was interesting. It’s a very small space that looks exactly like an Irish pub on the inside but it’s located inside a house. We waited a few minutes outside on the porch where they had 2 rescued stadium seats from Candlestick Park. It’s cool to see that we were out of the Bay Area but definitely not away from Bay Area sports.
2:30pm – After nomming on fish & chips, nachos, clam chowder, and a blackened cod sandwich, we make our way back to the car to get to Fort Bragg. We had a late start today but luckily the long summer days give us a long of sunlight to play with.
3pm – Over the years, I’ve learned exactly what my mom likes to see on vacation and botanical gardens are always one of them. Despite the name, Mendocino Botanical Garden is located in Fort Bragg. $15 is sort of a steep admission price for a garden but once we get inside we see that it’s quite large. The dahlia garden was my mom’s favorite. You can even walk to the bluff and get an amazing view of the ocean.
The old man at the counter tells Robin to take me to the rose garden to make me feel loved. Too bad Robin thought the man was pointing at the bathroom on the map, not the rose garden.
4pm – If I had one weakness, it would be ice cream. Anytime I read a a blog post or article that mentions an ice cream shop in a town, it goes on my list right away. In Fort Bragg, Cowlick’s Ice Cream is the local “Bi-rite” if you will. We wait in line for a solid 25 minutes before getting a scoop of: Mocha Almond Fudge, Black Raspberry, Cookies & Cream and Mushroom. Yes mushroom! The flavors are strong which I like, even the mushroom one. I’m into it but it doesn’t beat San Francisco ice cream.
5pm – Glass Beach has been on Robin’s bucket list for awhile so I’m glad we’re able to go during this trip. There are plenty of signs directing you to it since it’s such a tourist destination. After getting out of the car and walking to the beach, I don’t really see anything that special. Are all the “glass rocks” gone?
Turns out, the glass is a lot smaller than it looks in photos but once you get up close, you can definitely see plenty of the shards of glass that have been weathered down. It’s actually super beautiful and I collected a bunch in my hat to use as a topper for my house plants. Unfortunately, the rocks only look good when wet. I might have to get a fish and an aquarium in order to utilize these rocks effectively.
7:30pm – Back at the cottage, it’s Robin and my turn to cook after my mom served beef noodle soup the night before. At this point, I feel like a housekeeper couple for my parents doing all the chauffeuring and cooking.
Anyway, we use the cast iron and microwave oven to make lamb chops with roasted asparagus. We felt blind cooking meat without a thermometer but it turned out a perfect medium rare; I was actually really impressed (and surprised). We also used the leftover pasta from night 1 to add a carb to the dish so my dad wouldn’t go hungry later.
I should also mention, this was just the beginning of my family drinking AVBC beer for 5 days straight. Bon appetit!