Mendocino Retreat: Day 5, 3/17/2021



Tuesday night was the coldest night since I’ve been here and the cold wasn’t motivating us to get moving. The cottage doesn’t have any insulation and just two little space heaters, one of which is pretty useless. So we traipse the other one up and downstairs each night and morning.

If that’s all we’ve got to complain about I’d say we’re doing pretty good.

screen shot of weather showing 37 but "feels like 33"

But the “feels like 33” part of the weather status certainly felt right to us and we waited until about 10am to head out.

We ended up back at Good Life of course, which was pretty full at this time of the morning. I’m wearing a long sleeve pullover shirt, a hoodie jacket over that, fleece lined windbreaker over that, scarf and (not shown) gloves.

We walked back up Little Lake Road and passed our turn onto Hills Road to just see what else was out there. Some pretty houses but that’s about it. We got back just before Noon. Ash had a bridge game and I took my usual spot on the deck, and Paul joined me.

I’d dozed off and heard we had company – one of the other dogs on the property who is actually very sweet….

…but today thought he could get away with stealing one of Paul’s toys. He dropped it and ran away when I yelled at him.

Paul moved, apparently deciding he needed to be in a better position to guard his territory.

About this time the wind picked up dramatically, even stronger than Monday, and that kept us in the rest of the afternoon. We’d really wanted to go out for dinner since it was my last night here and it seemed to die down enough around 4pm to make that seem reasonable.

We took a chance and just drove to the Little River Inn about 2 miles south and lucked out. We got the last 5pm seating. It was just 4:40 so we walked around a bit.

The Inn is just past Little River and the beach that forms around it. Not to be confused with Big River which is the beach we can see from our deck.

Across the street is the Little River Post Office – 95456 – which also houses a gas station, market, and restaurant. Between this and the Inn that’s about all there is in Little River. Well, except for Heritage House a bit south of here. It’s a lovely place I stayed a couple of times in the 90’s, and is where “Same Time, Next Year” (1978, Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn, a favorite of mine) was filmed. Ash actually tried to get us in there for dinner but they’re only open to guests, which didn’t surprise me. We vowed to come back and stay there sometime.

They had a decent sized outside seating area with a strong tent to keep the winds out. We sat at that table behind that heater just left of center.

We hadn’t eaten much all day and decided on some nibbles in the “additions” section of the menu instead of “starters” and couldn’t believe how much food they brought out first. The bread would have come anyway and that would probably have been enough. That cup in the middle is warm spiced nuts – almonds, pecans, cashews – and a huge plate of garlic fries. We ate that top pile of nuts and about half the fries, then packed the rest to bring home. Which of course we left on the table as we exited.

Ash had the cioppino which was really good and very fresh, and included crab and clams in their shells.

Being St. Patrick’s day and all I decided on the corned beef, with mashed potatoes, cabbage and carrots. I like it a lot but you don’t see it on menus very often – and never seem to think to make it at home – so why not?

But the first thing I’d decided on when I saw the menu was dessert: olallieberry cobbler, still warm, with vanilla bean ice cream. If you’re not familiar with olallieberry, it’s a type of blackberry that grows best along the Northern California coast although is present in Oregon and Washington, too. We bought a big jar of preserves of it the other day in town to take home with us. It’s one of those things I don’t think about until I’m in this part of the state and then of course I reach out for it every chance I get. It has a wonderful tart flavor and a beautiful color.

I decided a second photo was in order to better capture the color.

This was our view when we came out from under the tent.

Ash had another bridge came at 6:45. I prepped the photos for this and then took another micro nap! (That’s oh about 3 for the day I think.) He wasn’t done until about 9pm and we watched Free Fall before going to bed. It’s described as a “German Brokeback Mountain” about two police cadets who fall in love. One of them is played by Max Riemelt, who I really like, something he did before Sense8. I’d seen it before but Ash had not. He enjoyed it despite, like that other movie, no happy ending in sight.

I’m going back to Sacramento today. This has been beautiful and relaxing but I can only do so much of “nothing.” And if I’m going to be doing that much of nothing, I’d rather be at home. Ash will join me in Sacramento tomorrow and then return here Monday morning for another full week. Plus it’s supposed to be raining here all day – and it looks like it will be in Sac, too – and I’d definitely rather be at home for that.

It’ been a great 5 day mix of very relaxing and somewhat productive, accomplishing most of what I wanted to get done. The number one thing was disconnecting, which I clearly have. This is day 7 since my last day at the old job and it already feels like a month or more. I tend to be very future-focused and let go of the past quickly, and transitions like this help move that right along. So mission accomplished on that front. But time to get back to reality.

Thanks so much for coming along. I wasn’t sure how the blog would work with 5 days of not much, but I got some nice feedback which I always appreciate. I think people are beyond ready to travel again, so much so that even a little trip like this feels like a treat. Which is absolutely is.

We are definitely ready to travel again and spent a good deal of this trip talking about the next ones. Which so far include Alaska for Memorial Day weekend and two weeks in Peru in September. Ash has a million ideas about where to go when so we’ll see if those plans change (again), and of course we have to see how my new work schedule facilitates all of that. It’s still weird out there but hopefully things will return to something resembling normal soon; certainly all of the indicators are finally moving the right direction. Let’s all do our part and keep it that way. Stay safe out there and get vaccinated when you can!

8 thoughts on “Mendocino Retreat: Day 5, 3/17/2021”

  1. Anonymous says:

    the Little River Inn resembles a place in Weld, Maine, the Weld Inn, where my parents took us as little kids. It was adjacent to Crystal Lake and near Mount Blue, as my fading memory has it. Great visits. Looks/sounds like U had one, too!

    1. Steve Haas says:

      I did!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great living vicariously through you for now! I remember the Little River Inn the last time my hubby and I went to Mendocino a few years back. Thanks for triggering my memory.

    1. Steve Haas says:

      You’re very welcome! Thanks for coming along πŸ™

  3. We’re glad you all enjoyed your getaway! We are certainly thankful for any travels we get, even if it’s just a day hike! Peru in September sounds amazing! We’re thinking of a backpacking trip through South America, or perhaps a van road trip, and Peru will definitely be on the list! Safe travels and thanks for the share!

    1. Steve Haas says:

      Thanks so much πŸ™ Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. ourcrossings says:

    Believe it or not, but I’ve never even heard of olallieberry cobbler before, and I have to say that it looks and sounds yummy. πŸ™‚

    1. Steve Haas says:

      It absolutely is! If you are ever in the region you will have to try it.

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