Dates Traveled: 12/27/15 - 12/29/15
Tejinder and I have a tradition of sorts to take an end-of-the-year trip. It is a great time for us to escape the hustle and bustle of the holidays and be 100% present together. So when it came time to plan 2015’s end of the year trip, I knew exactly where I wanted to go: Mendocino.
I first heard of Mendocino in Armistead Maupin’s novel, Tales of the City. The main character, Mary Ann, and her intimate lover, Beauchamp, set off for a romantic weekend spent rocking to the motion of the ocean – if you catch my drift. Anyway, the book was absolutely amazing and I’ll suggest it to anyone new to the city but the point is Maupin put Mendocino on the map for me.
Tejinder is usually the mastermind behind mapping our route so he suggested we drive the 200 miles there via the Pacific Coast Highway and take a more direct road back. The weather was not in our favor the day we took off but that didn’t hinder the breathtaking views! I’ll admit, it was terribly difficult to concentrate on driving when you have a never ending ocean view distracting you the entire time. We stopped alongside the road a handful of times to take pictures and arrived to Mendocino before nightfall.
Pro-tip: Fill up your tank and pack snacks because the road is longer than you think and there are very few gas stations! Tejinder and I were able to find one on our way there and stocked up on Chex Mex, one of my favorite traveling snacks.
We stayed at the Nicholson House Inn, one of many bed and breakfasts located a few blocks away from the water. It was a clean and cozy two story house with the dining hall right next door where they served complimentary breakfast. My favorite part was how quiet it was! The inn was full the days we were there but wouldn’t have known.
After checking in, the owner suggested we head over to Frankie’s for dinner. We were starving and pizza is always a good idea! We ordered a veggie pizza called Virgin Creek with a couple of beers and proceeded to stuff our faces. Miraculously, we had an appetite for dessert and enjoyed some delicious ice cream. They offered classics like Cookies & Cream and Strawberry and more adventurous options like Mushroom and Ginger. Don’t judge it until you tried it, which we did.
We headed a block up to Patterson’s Pub for another beer. Clearly, Patterson’s was the place to be on a Sunday night because it was packed! Now, we were stuffed from Frankie’s but if God ever decided to give me a second stomach, it would have been at that moment because it smelt divine in there. Tejinder and I kept looking at each other debating if we should go for dinner round 2 or not. Regretfully, we decided against it and headed back to our room for the night.
The next morning started early with a warm scone and a walk along the the sea cliffs. It was such a beautiful sight that I don’t think I can convey how stunning the world looked that day. The storm had just passed taking the clouds with it and everything was blue as far as the eye could see.
It felt like the waves were releasing any tension and recharging my batteries each time they crashed against the sea cliff. I have always been drawn to the energy of the ocean. Like the stars, looking at the ocean reminds me how small we are in comparison to the universe.
We walked along Point Mendocino stopping for pictures every three steps. The sound of the waves, the salty air, Tejinder’s hand in mine – I wanted to savor every second for as long as I could.
Mendocino’s down town is tiny so you can walk practically anywhere. It offers an eclectic assortment of shopping from record stores to sock shops to a store dedicated to yarn. I loved exploring each one of them! We grubbed on veggie sandwiches from Goodlife Café & Bakery. This was the second place we ate in Mendocino and it was just as delicious as the first. And they are known for their vegetarian options which was so great to see!
After walking around downtown all day, we headed down to the beach to watch the sunset. There was no one else on the beach and it felt like Tejinder and I were the only people on the earth which, with the busy lives we have, is a rare, precious moment. We walked along the water, reflected on the year, wrote our names in the sand and attempted to take a selfie with the sunset. We emerged from the beach and enjoyed a star lit dinner at the Mendocino Café. After a few glasses of wine, we called it a night.
Our time in Mendocino was spent walking around without a map or schedule to adhere to which was a pleasant break from the norm. Tejinder and I are fortunate to live close enough to hideaways, like Mendocino, where we can escape reality and enjoy quality time together. Mendocino gave us the boost and energy needed to finish off 2015 and start 2016 on the right foot. I love this tradition of ours and am already thinking of where this year’s end-of-the-year trip will take us!