Cool places / San Francisco love

Off the Grid

This past weekend George & I went north on the 1 to Point Arena in Mendocino. We met up with our friends, another couple, and had a fabulous weekend of wining, dining, coastal walking, and driving top-down. Oh, did I mention that we had no cell service, wifi, or data? Yep, the minute we hit Hwy 1 we were off the grid.

Ok – so not completely off the grid. We did have a reservation at Wharf Master’s Inn, dinner plans, and a loose itinerary. We drove up the coast around 5 and watched the sun set over the pacific.

Top down at sunset

Top down at sunset

As we neared Point Arena we looked for someplace to eat. We just kept driving until we found a little Mexican restaurant for dinner. It was delicious, but I couldn’t help but wonder what great seafood restaurant was just around the corner. Of course a quick glance at my Yelp app would have helped, but I would soon learn to live without any apps (for 2 days – well 1.5).

We arrived at the Inn around 10pm. It had been a long day of work, leaving late, and windy roads. It was a gorgeous and fun trip, but we definitely needed some R & R. We grabbed our complimentary bottle of wine, and checked out our in room jacuzzi tub.



The next morning we grabbed two paper maps and plotted out where we’d go. These maps were incomplete, definitely no google maps – but it was part of the adventure! One map was specifically for wine tasting, but didn’t have all the wineries or roads, and the other was a better map with no wineries but more roads. We chose a road and headed east to Anderson Valley. Once we turned south on 128, we still didn’t have any service and decided to follow a random truck into Toulouse Winery. What luck! Their sign said it all “Too tense? Toulouse.”

My friends' impression of the tense duck... love it!

My friends’ impression of the tense duck… love it!

This winery was a perfect start to our relaxing, fun, and carefree weekend. The modest yet beautiful winery looking over the Anderson Valley was filled with dogs, friendly people, and a welcoming staff. For $5 we tasted 11 wines (including a freebie), delicious crackers and enjoyed the beautiful day.


All gone – and delicious

Holding an empty glass - how fitting!

Holding an empty glass – how fitting!

The wine was starting to get to me!

Getting silly after some tastings!

Photo Shoot!

Photo Shoot!

The friendly staff recommended a restaurant down the street with the best fish tacos and delicious, authentic flan. We hit Baxter tasting room across the street and learned that it had only opened weeks ago.

Baxter tasting room

Baxter tasting room

We purchased a delicious rose and headed on our way. The wine had taken it’s toll, so even though we stopped at the Madrones to do some shopping (unfortunately for me, fortunately for my wallet – the store was closed) we decided not to do any more wine tastings. Instead we just took some photos.

We found a way to get us all in the photo!

We found a way to get us all in the photo!

Chillin in a parking lot

On our way out-of-town we hit a chocolate shop that was inside a train car! One delicious local chocolate later and we headed back to the coast.
I fell asleep in the car (luckily, because the combination of wine and twisty roads may have made me sick) and woke up at the River Casino in Point Arena. After spending some money on slots and meeting the nice people of the casino it was back to the Inn. George and I relaxed, checked our phones, and realized at some point we had come across some data. We’re creatures of habit and one day was not going to change that, so we did some email skimming. Realizing that there were no work fires (for him) and no concerned emails from parents or friends, we quickly went back to lounging on the bed in each others’ arms listening to the waves crash outside our balcony.
We walked into town for a delicious meal at a local place that served local and organic ingredients. Though I did find this place on Yelp days before and they weren’t very vegetarian friendly, not even chicken or fish. I had a delicious asparagus, frise and poached egg starter. My friend loved her house-made sausage, and the guys devoured their braised pork.
The next day was beautiful and carefree. We checked out, said bye to the random cat, grabbed some delicious bagels and coffee from Coffee Cove and started down the coast in our respective cars.With only walkie talkies (and awesome code names), we would drive until we saw something of interest, alert the other driver and stop to explore. This led us to coastal walks along the bluffs, climbing trees, frolicking in the grass, having a beer on the bluffs, and fresh-picked roadside strawberries.
Just climbing a tree!

Just climbing a tree!

Our coastal walk

Our coastal walk

Ok look – we were only off the grid for 2 days, we had all the modern amenities, plus a place to stay. It wasn’t even camping. Nevertheless, at the end of the weekend, I had everything I needed for an amazing weekend: my man, friends, the California coast, and some wine.

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