Monday, May 18, 2009

A Great Weekend in Mendocino

The weekend of April 18th, 2009, Jeff, Ruggles, and I headed up to Mendocino for an adventurous mini-vacation.

I know that this post will not be the same without photos but I hope to add them in during the near future. Below are the highlights. I've included some of the reviews of spots I already wrote for Yelp to hopefully help this post be more useful when you are planning your own little Mendocino vacation! (which I would highly recommend you do as soon as possible!)

Thursday we excitedly headed up North after work. We were so eager to reach the Seafoam Lodge that we only stopped once for a mocha each at Starbucks. Then we were back on the road and in Mendocino by about 9:25 PM.

We checked into the adorable Seafoam Lodge, Ruggles met some doggy friends who were also staying there, we picked out a few movies to borrow from the office and dropped our stuff in our room. Here's what I wrote about Seafoam:

The Seafoam Lodge gets five-stars from me for the best value stay that I've had EVER. Here's the quick run-down...

Doggie heaven + king-sized bed + mini fridge + sliding glass door onto huge lawn where Ruggles could play + hot tub in a gazebo + muffins & oj delivered every morning + a huge (free) selection of movies, dvds, and games to borrow + quiet (other than us...) + conveniently just 3 miles from downtown Mendocino FOR THREE NIGHTS = $287.50 (third night was free!)

The great experience = PRICELESS!

We headed to the local grocery store that is open until 10 PM (luckily!) to pick out a dinner of sushi for me and a sandwich for Jeff. I can almost guarentee that you will take several trips to the Harvest Market during your stay in Mendocino as there are few other grocery options. Here are my thoughts:

Harvest Market at Mendosa's doesn't have much grocery competition in the area. As far as I know, this is THE place to go for groceries in Mendocino. Some of our best finds here included:

- Bob's Red Wine: actually called that with a picture of Bob on the bottle; so good for $4.50 per bottle!
- a variety of yummy asian seaweed crackers
- Blood orange sparkling juice (like very fancy Martinelli's!) on sale for $2.99
- box of avocado sushi

Then, it was back to the Seafoam for an evening of games, playing with Ruggles, wine, and then sleep. I smiled as I fell asleep at the peaceful Seafoam Lodge not too, too far from home...

Friday morning, we were psyched to wake up to our basket of muffins and oj while our co-workers were all hard at work. My first vacation day of the year was definitely fabulous! On the way to Fort Bragg, we discovered a mini golf course and were the only golfers at 11 AM. I also won a cute stuffed bear at the challenging arcade "claw" game.

Then, we headed to Fort Bragg to do some more exploring. Some of the highlights of our Fort Bragg explorations included an amazing lunch at North Coast Brewing Company, great bargain shopping, and a little coffee date. The waffle fries at North Coast Brewing Company were SO yummy!

Three words: Garlic waffle fries!

I think we were really hungry by the time we came to North Coast Brewing for lunch and the food was so satisfying and delicious!

We started with the four-sampler of beers which were yummy and a great value especially for the pricier beers. Our waitress brought out a laminated placemat with all of the beer logos on it and placed our selections on their images so we knew which we were trying. She also brought us a couple extra complimentary samples near the end of our lunch!

The food was a little pricey for bar food but really hit the spot. I enjoyed a veggie burger with the special waffle fries and doused it in the Mendocino Mustard mustard seed beer mustard on our table. I think I used about 1/2 of the $6 bottle we were provided with... Jeff had the southwest burger with avocado, etc on it and really enjoyed it though he wished he'd also upgraded his fries to the garlic-waffle ones. The regular fries were not nearly as good...

For great food and beer in Fort Bragg, check out North Coast Brewing!

P.S. Beer tours of the brewery (located across the street) are only once per week at noon on Saturday...

Then, it was back to our hotel for a hot tub soak with Ruggles spectating and off to dinner at the AMAZING La Petite Rev. We really loved it and, how could you not, with this meal?!

Dinner at La Petite Rive was definitely one of the top meals of my life. I'm so happy that I'd picked out this restaurant through Yelp before I headed up to Mendocino for the weekend. La Petite Rive was about a mile from our not-as-fancy hotel (the Seafoam Lodge). Each night, they do two seating's at 5:30 PM and 8:30 PM. We stopped by the restaurant at about 5:45 PM on Friday night and were lucky enough to get a spot at that night's 8:30 PM seating.

When we arrived for our dinner date, we immediately noticed that this restaurant was absolutely adorable. The ocean views were awesome and there were about 10 little tables. One waitress took all of the orders and the staff functioned as a great team.

First, we chose yummy beers served in great glasses from the drinks menu while many others consumed wine. Then, the waitress assured us that an entree each would be plenty of food. I chose the sole and Jeff chose the duck dish. Everyone's meal started with a little appetizer served alongside a small serving of amazing wine. Next, we enjoyed our fresh bread and delicious salad with ginger dressing followed by yummy, creamy tomato soup. It was a great experience to know that our neighboring tables were enjoying the same delicious dishes at the same time. Everyone seemed so happy devouring the deliciousness...

By the time for the main course (after our little lime sorbet pallet cleanser), we were pretty full. My fish was good but Jeff's duck was out-of-this-world amazing. We both laughed hysterically as I attacked his duck from across the table. I don't think we've ever laughed so hard and loved a meal so much. The price was right too at just about $100 total for the two of us!

We tried to go back again on Saturday night but they were all booked... we'll be there on our next trip though!

I promise that I rarely write this many 5 star reviews but the Mendocino area is really incredible! Back at the Seafoam Lodge, we enjoyed lots more wine and many, many more laughs....

Saturday morning, we threw the ball for Ruggles lots through our sliding glass door, ate our muffins, drank our oj, and headed off to see the beach and lighthouse. When in Mendo, I would definitely recommend scoping out the lighthouse!

The lighthouse is a great sight to see and the views of the ocean surrounding it are amazing. The parking lot is large and about a very nice 1/2 mile walk from the lighthouse. I like that this parking situation encourages everyone to go for a nice walk! There are also educational trivia questions along the trail for educating everyone about gray whales, etc.

If you walk down in front of the lighthouse on the rocks, you can view lots of cute critters in tide pools. Also, we were the only ones touring the lighthouse keeper's house and it was a neat little historic site to see. They have nice bathrooms too which is always good if you bring your kids along!

Then, we headed to downtown Mendocino for some shopping, snacks, and relaxation.

There's half of our amazing trip and I will post the second half and photos soon! To Be Continued...


  1. That's just half?! I'm ready to go up there now!! Sounds like you guys had a great time.

  2. It was fabulous and all of this in one weekend!