We finally took our long overdue second anniversary trip up to Mendocino last weekend. Since I had Friday off, we decided to leave a day early and visit an old friend up in Napa. We hit the road around 10am and arrived in Napa around one. Headed to St. Helena for lunch, a great place called La Condesa. I had the “El Cubico” – Tobacco infused Cazadores Reposado, Vanilla infused Brandy, grilled pineapple juice, Mezcal essence with a saffron infused volcanic salt rim. Boom. Flight of Guac and a couple other items off the menu and we were ready to start the trip back to Napa.
Stopped to visit another old friend, Dan Blach, at Hopper Creek Winery. We’ve had so many fun times here over the years, it was nice to be back and Tommy got to experience his first trip to Hopper Creek.
The next morning we headed North to Mendocino, a gorgeous drive on a really hot day. Stopped at the Santa Rosa Farmer’s market to pick up some fruit, change a diaper and get mommy a ginger/lemon/kale concoction that was deelish. Headed out highway 101 to 128 west, passing a ton of wineries and cute little pit stops including Lemon’s Philo Market, your home for everything pickled (YUM!!!). A little on the pricey side but super worth it. Picked up a jar of pickled asparagus for the next bloody mary bar and and a can of caramel sea salt peanuts.
Finally arrived in Mendocino. Cutest town ever, checked into the Mendocino Inn and Garden Suites. Dermot had reserved us a garden suite with a fireplace, such a cute hotel. It was a gorgeous day, we dumped our things in the room and headed out for a stroll. Tommy was on fire (as usual) and mom and dad were craving lunch a great bloody mary. Luckily, we met a cute couple who directed us to Flow restaurant, great view and home of the monster bloody. We shared a crab chowder, enjoyed the view and our little family 🙂
Headed back to the room for a nap then out to MacCallum House Inn – home of the best Fried Chicken ever. This is a nice four star restaurant and we were planning on having a romantic dinner until Thomas had a level 10 epic melt down. Luckily, he simmered and we were able to keep our reservation in the dining room and celebrate our anniversary in style. They make a great old fashioned and if you don’t find the fried chicken on the menu just ask, they will still make it. At $24 it’s a little pricey, but worth it. The atmosphere is so great and the chicken is to die for – boneless, served with mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, and sweet chili cornbread.
Headed back to the hotel room on a cold foggy evening, lit a fire in the fireplace and snuggled up in bed, just the three of us. Perfect, perfect night.
The next morning Tommy woke up early so mom let dad sleep in a little (he was up most of the night letting mom sleep while Tommy was fussing in his unfamiliar surroundings). We got dressed and headed out at about 6:45am. The fog was thick – pea soup, the town was so cute and we headed to Moody’s Organic Coffee Bar. What a cute place. Picked up some coffee and AMAZING huckleberry pastries and headed back to the room.
Packed up the car and headed out to walk around the town one more time. We passed the Village Toy Store and since mom is such a giant sucker, Tommy brought home a few souvenirs from the coast, a crab and an otter. Stopped at Tote Fete bakery to grab a bite – mango/chicken quesadilla and “the best” deviled eggs. We got them just to see if they were the “best.” Tote Fete, meet Dutch Goose, Dutch Goose, meet Tote Fete. Tote Fete, go home, you’re drunk.
On to glass beach. This was awesome. I’m glad we went, it was awesome to see, but not really as fabulous as I expected. Still, Tommy loved it. We picked some blackberries and he clung close to daddy because it was a little chilly.
I wanted to stop for seafood in Fort Bragg, but nothing really stood out. Suddenly it hit me, we would be passing Santa Rosa on the way home. Santa Rosa =Russian River Brewery. Russian River Brewery = Pliney the Elder. Pliney the Elder= The best double IPA of ALL TIME. Mommy like. So little did we know that everyone had the same idea. The line was out the door and halfway around the block. Well worth the wait. We put our name in and was told the wait was 35 minutes. We hung out in the bar and 15 minutes later we had a table and we were told that they had the best pizza. Solution. Large pizza = Lunch now, dinner later. DONE and DONE. Pliney the Elder is my favorite double IPA and is sold at about 6 different places on the peninsula. When a case comes in, it lasts about 10 minutes. 4 or 5 Peninsula bars can stock it and the kegs last about 2 hours. Each person can take home 6/20 ounce bottles per visit. Since we had Tommy, we were able to escape with a case and a half. $63 a 12/pk. Needless to say, I was super excited to clear out my refrigerator when we got home!