Monday, March 16, 2009

Settling In

We have been here for a few days now and are starting to get settled in and familiar with what town has to offer. The top thing on the list for me that town offers is endless walks looking out at the ocean from the headland cliffs and then all you have to do is turn your head back the other way to gaze at the quaintness of the village itself. The wildflowers are starting to show up here and there. The other day we walked the headlands early in the day and there were none to speak of and by late that afternoon I shot this photo...

I have no idea how many varieties will appear out there as the weeks progress but they really do spruce up an already beautiful scene.

Since we have no cell signal at our camp I have been hunting around for places I can drive to when I need to make a call. On Saturday I discovered that just south of town out on this point I can pull off the road and park and get signal strong enough to make calls. I called my Gram who has not been feeling too well for about a week and talked to her while I watched the waves roll in over the rocks below. I wished so badly that she could see the same view I was seeing instead of being holed up in Illinois with the flu. That is the thing about places like this. You wish you could share them with everyone you care about.... that you could instantly whoosh them away from wherever they are and set them down beside you if even for a few minutes to share the overwhelming feeling the natural world brings you.

While you are standing out there with the wind rushing past you in huge gusts you see and hear the birds crying, you may hear a sea lion who is lounging on the beach below barking, there is the sound of the waves exploding through the sea caves in the rocks, looking out to see you may spy a whale spout and of course right under your feet there are a multitude of treasures for your eyes.

It is just amazing. This place has such an intensity. It is all at once peaceful and fierce... depending on the weather and on the direction you are casting your gaze.

Heading in to town...

Another important factor wherever we live is the local coffee house. In this case Moody's is the first place we have discovered and have been getting our brew from while strolling downtown. It's a small joint but they do have an area out front where people hang out. They also have a room inside for getting on the net. You can bring your laptop or they have a few PC's set up for use as well. The coffee is pretty good although I think their medium roast is a bit on the strong side.

The bookstore on Main Street is going to be a problem for me. They have all the elements I love in a good book seller. The cookbook section is amazing and they have all the extra goodies I can never seem to avoid wanted to splurge on like funky cards, cool notebooks, lots of tables where books are set out by specific interest and whatnot. This past Saturday they had live music set up...

One of the things that is so striking here is that in town you really cannot escape an ocean view. Even in the shot above you see it straight out the window.

We stopped in to most of the art galleries on Saturday (a few of them had openings) and met some locals. There seems to be quite a large and cohesive community of artists here and they really have a passion for Mendocino. There is a plein air group that meets once a week to go out painting together. Billy may join up and give it a try if it looks like he will have the right days free to get out there with them.

Speaking of Billy, he has still been kicking ass in the kitchen. He comes up with stuff to make for dinner that is seriously fancy restaurant quality food. He is killin' me. The other night he made mushroom and asparagus crepes for crying out loud. The crepes were laden with fresh chopped herbs and the mushrooms and asparagus were cooked to perfection...

How 'bout that? Faaaannncy! It was so freakin' good too! Bring it on Billy! Too bad the groceries here cost an arm and a leg. We may end up on the Ramen diet before too long.

It has been raining for a few days now so we have been hanging out at home. Rudy continues to hate on the rain. You have to forcibly drag him out even to take a quick pee. I am hoping it clears up soon so we can get out and start exploring some of the hiking trail options and different beaches that are nearby. We start work at the Ford House tomorrow. We work two days in training along side a few of the people who have been working as docents here for years and then we have six days off before we have to work again! So we should be able to really get out and see some cool sites over the next week or so.

Today I am off to the stinking laundry mat. Ugh. It has to happen. We have reached the point of no return. Thanks to Rudy when you take your socks off at night and crawl into bed you can shuffle your feet around in something that really feels very much like an animals nest at the bottom of the bed. There are rocks, twigs, pine needles and I am sure many things we would rather not know are down there. Sound nice? I guess it is better to tackle it on a rainy day when there is not much else going on.


jani said...

Hey Bethany! Nice to see you!
It looks so amazing there, your photos are great. Kudos & Good Luck to Billy for making that art show, his work is beautiful.
He could always be a chef too!
His food looks so gourmet. :-)
& I can't stand Rudy in that sweater, its beyond funny.
Happy StPaddy's day tomorrow.
take care,

Bethany said...

Hi Jani! So nice to hear from you. I keep telling Billy he is going to be ready for a throw down against Bobby Flay or maybe even an Iron Chef battle. Happy St Patty's to you too!!