Wednesday, August 4, 2010

summer of '10


Allan kept pitching Mendocino. I kept pitching a short drive to a fabulous hotel. For a sleep-deprived new Mom a hotel robe, slippers and the crisp layer of fine sheets is a holiday like no other. Allan got this one. The morning after he finished the Vineman we drove north on the 1, leaving the present behind.

Now I wish I would have given into Allan's whim to stop at every point of interest for a photo even though, if we were to, we'd still be somewhere in rural California rather than home. This region north of Sonoma hosts the family station wagon, inner tubes in cold lakes kind of destinations. Everything is dated. I don't believe you can manufacture a curvy sign that says "Welcome to Vacation Land," which resulted in a good laugh early on in the trip.

On a rest stop, which was marked by a few essential buildings curbing the highway, I stepped from the car, my legs gummy from the ride, and heard a buzzing sound from above. The light was sepia in tone. The weather cool, like the first time you wear a sweater after the summer. Everyone's aim was toward the sky, where an electric airplane looped in the air. This toy generated a lot of excitement, notably from Allan. He was a little kid on holiday. In fact, this trip mirrored his boyhood summer vacations.

We went into the towns only market and found many travelers like ourselves shopping alongside locals. There was a salad bar with organic produce, aisles of provisions and behind the counter an espresso machine that fulfilled Allan's latte fix. Peaches were also a must. I will always connect this trip to the taste of a fresh peach. Allan was the one who brought the peach to my attention, as it was his most memorable food consumed during the Vineman race. A sliced, sweet peach. He could not stop talking about those peaches, and I became a disciple to the fruit as well.

I asked the man working the counter if he lived nearby, what did he do to entertain himself, did he have satellite radio, how many miles to the nearest Verizon tower. He harped on the joys of such a simple life. And for just a moment I thought of myself in such an existence.

When we arrived to Mendocino it exceeded my expectations. Allan referenced it to its film pedigree (Summer of '42 and The Russians Are Coming were filmed here). Though this was more than a great film location, it brought me back to my life on the East Coast, where I was reminded of trips to Nantucket and the kind of person who doesn't participate in the world's rush to the newest thing as the past is so much more rewarding. There is a reason why people revisit places like Nantucket, Paris, wine country. They prefer the experience you find at the local coffee shop rather than a routine jaunt to a Starbucks.

We stayed at the MacCallum House. Right when we drove to the property I knew we were headed for a day that we would refer to for a lifetime. Even the cooler weather and soft hush of this lazy town preserved this place as one that would never let us forget.

5 comments:

Linda said...

This sounds like such an enjoyable trip! I really enjoyed looking at the the McCallum House site~ it must have been a very special place to stay!

Olivia~ said...

Oh my it sounds as if you had a delightful time. My husband and I are taking a little weekend trip on Saturday and we are planning to stop along the way at various flea markets and such. I have never been to California but this area sounds really quaint. (Aren't husbands funny with their youthfullness, LOVE it).
Hugs,
Olivia

Michele's Treasures, Teacups, and Tumbling Rose Cottage said...

What a pretty place...so quaint! Living in the Midwest now, I miss the quaint inns and smell of the salt air of the sea. Thanks for the pleasant reminder! ; )
~Michele

Sue said...

I love Mendocino, although its been awhile since I've been up there. What a great place to stay. Hope you are enjoying your down time.

Take care, Sue

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