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Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

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November 17th, 2008

Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

Out of the City and into the Woods....

So. Couple of days' worth of catchup.

Drove out of SF in the early morning light, and Golden Gate shone like a pearl. And I drove across it. I feel so... grown up.

We drove out on US 101 and hit Sebastopol rather earlier than I thought we would after a few false starts (our rental's GPS unit occasionally has trouble telling its right from its left...) and we had a nice meal in a brand-new restaurant which had literally opened only three days before while waiting for the author event at Copperfield's Books to start. At around half past two, after lunch and some meandering around Sebastopol's main street (which is GREAT, and extremely eclectic) we came back to the bookshop and I did my reading and signed some stock, and then we had dinner with a friend who had come to see me there. Then we crashed at the local Holiday Inn.

This morning, after the hotel's nice breakfast, we lit out on US 101 until we hit Route 128, and then went west on that.

I think I'm in love.

We drove first through rolling hills and vineyards which were turning jewel shades of garnet and ruby and gold, along this twisty hilly road that the GPS was having real trouble with and eventually decided "This road is straight" and flattened out all the curves on the screen [grin]. Then the vineyards turned into hills, and then the hills turned into... woods.

This is what Heaven looks like. The greengold light of the redwood trees, and the cathedral silences of the groves and the trees that go on forever and reach into the sky. There's a reverence here. This is my country, my kind of land, and I just drove and smiled and smiled and drove and transported myself into a state of zen rapture.

And then we hit the sea.

Spectacular coastline around Mendocino - we drove through Mendocino itself and eventually arrived into Fort Bragg, where we checked into a cute little B&B and are now waiting for a restaurant which was recommended to us to open for dinner.

Weather still good.

First encounter with redwoods accomplished. And I know now I was right to love and revere these trees sight unseen.

Am happy.

See you all later.
Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

"That meal deserves a full blog entry"

So said rdeck as we returned to our lodgings from the fabulous restaurant where we had just had dinner.

So let me tell you about the meal.

rdeck had roasted portabello mushrooms in roasted garlic gravy. with a side of mashed potatoes. I had the pork chop, with roasted apples and onions and gouda rosti potatoes.

We both cleaned our plates.

rdeck was left shaking his head an muttering, "I GOTTA figure out how to do mushrooms like that." My porkchop kind of parted at the touch of a knife with no pressure exerted at all - and those potatoes were melt-in-the-mouth heaven.

Then we had the candy cap mushroom creme brulee for dessert.

We ordered one to share. In retrospect that was probably a mistake. We practically FOUGHT over it.
If it had been eaten by forks instead of spoons there might have been a nasty accident to report. As it was all I can tell you that we cleaned out the creme brulee pot. And I mean *cleaned*. This stuff is to die for.

I had a glass of Gewurtztraminer grape wine juice - not wine, JUICE - from this place, which, if you have the chance to get, you should grab with both hands because it was ambrosia. I regretted not ordering a bottle of the stuff and drinking it all down.

Then we walked home, in sea-mist, and the air smelled cool and briny and full of the promise of the sea. Streetlights looked adrift, haloed, casting odd soft shadows with no real substance onto the ground.

This place... is magic.

*Seriously*.

And tomorrow we go on to see the granddaddy redwoods, up in the Avenue of the Giants. It just get better...

Off to read a little in our magnificent brass bed, and then it's sleep-time. TOmorrow, another day awaits.