A Day on the Coast: From Mom’s Camera

Northern California is an amazing place to visit.  It is even better when we are hanging out with my favorite people. Terry and I spent a long weekend visiting Meg and Jake’s favorite places in Sonoma and Marin Counties.

While Jake worked Friday, Meg, Terry and I loaded up Meg’s Jeep Patriot and our cameras and headed for the coast.  Well, I don’t want to overstate this, Terry and Meg have real cameras, I only had my iPhone, but I was anxious to see what kind of photographs I can get out of my newly upgraded iPhone camera.

Our first–unexpected–stop happened when we happened on this great tree by the road. We stopped, turned around and drove back for our first photos of the day.  It isn’t just a great gnarly tree, it is tree that gives new meaning to the concept of having a rocky start in life. Meg’s photo was on our blog yesterday.  Here’s mine.

Minutes later we arrived at Point Reyes Station, a lovely little town near, but not on, the coast.  It’s population is either 340 people or 848 people, depending on which source you believe.  It is such a great old town. I mean, when is the last time you saw an automobile repair shop with an entire row of deer heads on the wall?

There was a community garden and an organic market that surprised me by offering beautifully arranged produce, at least some of which was from–Mexico.

Meg and Terry were looking for tasty beverages while I focused on the wonderful “Born in the USA” look of this little town.  We happened on the Cowgirl Creamery that actually makes cheese right in Point Reyes Station. The cheese and the bread they sold were as visually appealing as they were delicious. We purchased a bag of sample sized cheese for under $15.  The cheeses were a hit at dinner.

With regret, we left this great town and continued on.  Ultimately, we arrived at Bodega Bay, well-known for its beauty, but also as the location for Alfred Hitchcock’s wonderful movie, “The Birds.”  The Tides restaurant is still serving tourists, and the gulls continue to sit on the picnic tables and stare down from the eaves of the buildings.  Not hard to see how a creative mind could see them as menacing. But they are actually delightful and add to the atmosphere.

The views were beautiful.  We were ready to try to find a way to move here just for the privilege of waking up every morning with one of the world’s great scenery.  Unlike many of the places we visit, mile high condos have not yet spoiled the view.  There were actually modest cottages within a block of the water.  Who wouldn’t want to want to be “Sittin’ on the dock of the bay,” if the bay was in Northern California.

We headed to the Bodega Bay marina. Obviously, just around the corner, but it had its own personality.  Commercial fishing is serious business here. Even the boats have just the right amount of rust to be authentic workings boats.

The best of the “fishing” was for crab.  We stopped at the Spud Point Crab Shack crab.  Just about all it sold was crab, crab and crab.  But why not!  It was freshly caught and it was wonderful. We shared a sandwich and were on our way.

The area had fun with its heritage.  Carved wooden sailors graced more than one establishment and gave a festive air to the marina.

Our last stop along the coast was Bodega Head.  It is a beautiful view of the ocean and is considered a major destination for anyone who wants to watch for migrating whales.  We looked, without success.  But we watched the waves as they came in over the rocky beach.

It was a great day on the coast, and we’ve had a great time comparing my iPhone pictures with the pictures from Meg’s camera.  Next, it’s off to the wine country.


A Day on the Coast: From Meg’s Camera

Oh the joys of living in California! While it’s difficult over the holidays to be so far away from family, we are fortunate this holiday weekend to have family come to us. It helps us enjoy a balance of living in a beautiful place and maintaining our strong connection to our loved ones. Plus, it’s a fabulous place to come visit!

It has been a beautiful Easter weekend, with Mom and Terry out to visit from Kansas City. They arrived Thursday evening and we all had a yummy dinner at home. Then we rested up for our weekend adventures.

For our first day of exploring, I took Mom and Terry for a day on the Coast. We first drove from Petaluma out to Point Reyes Station. Of course, there are a million things to see along the way. The first of these many sites was an old tree perched up off the road. We have not yet identified the specific type of tree, so if you are familiar with it, please comment below.

Our next stop along the way to Point Reyes Station was the Nicasio Reservoir. It is quite a beautiful setting, a huge expanse of water in the middle of Western Marin County, with beautiful rocky hills and windy roads all around.

Finally, we reached Point Reyes Station. We parked the Jeep and walked around the little town, which I believe has a population of only a few hundred, but it is surprisingly lively for such a small place. The main street has several cafes, a bakery, bank, general stores, and even an old saloon. It only took us 30 minutes to walk around the entire town, but you could easily spend hours exploring every nook and cranny.

After acquiring a particularly delicious cup of chai from Bovine Bakery, we departed from Point Reyes Station and headed up Hwy 1 toward Bodega Bay. I don’t think I’ve ever driven this stretch of Hwy 1 before, but it is a very windy road! The scenery is beautiful, of course, and the weather was sunny. What a great day for a drive.

Once we reached Bodega Bay, we popped into the Tides and looked out at the bay. Even though we were still full from our delicious breakfast earlier that morning (Mumsy makes amazing onion and mushroom scrambled eggs), we still made the executive decision to get ourselves a crab sandwich. So off to the Spud Point Crab Shack we went, and one long line and 15 minutes later, we had our crab sandwich in hand. It didn’t last long.

Since we were already part way around the bay (the crab shack is near the Bodega Bay marina), we ventured the few more miles up to Bodega Head to look out on the ocean. What a wonderful setting. It was mid-afternoon, the sun was shining, and even with the constant whipping winds, it was positively beautiful. We walked down to the beach and watched the waves breaking on the surrounding rocks, reflecting on our fabulous day.

Our next adventure? Well, touring the wine country, of course!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Easter weekend. We are sure enjoying ourselves out in sunny California.