We began our New Year 2015 in the most perfect way possible. With a trip to the loveliest cabin in perhaps the whole of Mendocino Forest area in California, 2.5 hours north of San Francisco. Do people make trips just to stay in a cabin? Yes, we did and if you have a look at it, I bet you would too! Don't I just love Airbnb?
|Cabin in the Mendocino Forest|
|To me, this is the door to heaven :)|
|Redwood trees, Kindle and Coffee...There is little else I need in life!!|
|I was obsessed with this view :)|
|Complete with a picnic table outside|
Now, let's talk. Wasn't that lovely? The cabin, the setting and everything about it. Morning was spent sitting on the porch in a dream like setting of real redwood trees and reading beautiful writing by Kate Chopin in her classic 'The Awakening'. I love redwood forests and they are my most favorite landscape after glaciers. I used to think beaches draw me the most into them until I met glaciers in Alaska and camped amidst redwood trees during our Pacific Coastal Highway (PCH) road trip. They say 'Travel is a great teacher'. To me, it taught me more about myself than about anything else.
I could have probably spent the whole day admiring the redwoods from the porch, but we can't miss wine tastings, can we? Oh, I haven't yet told you that Anderson Valley, a beautiful 15 mile stretch of vineyards and wineries, is located in Mendocino county! So, off we went exploring the Anderson Valley and chose Edmeades Winery for our wine tasting for the day. And it was a good choice. They had 7 red wines for tasting (worked well for us as my husband likes red wines) and one of their Zinfandel's had such a unique spicy taste to it that we ended up buying it as a gift for our wine loving friends in Bay Area. (Tip: If you buy a bottle, wine tasting is free :)
|Edmeades Vineyards, Anderson Valley|
|Posing for a pic, aren't they?|
After wine tasting, naturally our minds wandered around food. We drove few miles down the road and were lucky to spot this restaurant in Boonville. I had the best Fish & Chips in Mainland USA here (If you don't agree with me, have some wine in Anderson Valley before).
|The Buckhorn restaurant in Boonville - Best Fish & Chips in Mainland USA|
|Boonville Chocolate Shop in a train car|
Now that the important activity of the day is covered, shouldn't I be telling you about a hidden gem in the area? After Highway 128 becomes Pacific Hwy 1, before hitting the Navarro Ridge Road, there is this spot where you can see the ocean from a bluff. Beaches are great but I think the ocean cliffs are quite dramatic. They have an attraction that is difficult to describe in words. Given that you can see it from the highway, it is not as much of a hidden spot but we were surprised by the lack of crowds. If you like BigSur, you hit a jackpot with this!
After a delightful day in lovely Californian weather, we returned to the cabin to an evening of playing poker accompanied by wine, chocolate and music. If there is a list of perfect days in life, this would be amongst the top for me.
This place is an exquisite combination of Napa Valley and BigSur without the crowds. We know we would go back again. And next time, we will visit the charming little town of Mendocino. So should you.
P.S: The Hwy 128 is winding and those with motion sickness might want to take some pills with them.