Looking back over nearly 5 years with kids so far, I think it's safe to say that Sumie and I still travel quite a bit, but it's always as a family. Christopher, in his first year of life alone, logged more airline miles than I did in my first twenty. Traveling with young kids can be a lot of fun, but it's never quite a vacation, so this was a real treat for the two of us.
Our trip began with a quick drive up 101 and then crossing over to Bodega Bay. From there, we drove up the remaining 100 or so miles to Mendocino along Highway 1. We marveled at the scenery and completely different pace of the small towns through which we passed. This is perhaps the only place in the world in which it takes 15 minutes to toast a pizza bagel. And when it finally arrives on the counter, it's a pesto bagel.
We arrived at our bed and breakfast, The Agate Cove Inn, in the late afternoon. The setting had looked fantastic on the website, but was even better in person. Quiet, serene, with just enough ocean roar to calm the senses.
Despite the somewhat humbling arrival, we were quite pleased with our room. Gas fireplace, a soaking tub big enough for a moderate-sized high school swim team, and a supple leather couch with an amazing view out the front windows.
Coq au Vin is by no means fancy. It's a favorite of the locals and the decor and comaraderie matches the laid-back atmosphere of the north coast. The food, however, is first rate. We started with mussels and an order of French onion soup. Sumie pronounced this soup the best she has ever tasted. I heartily agreed (and nearly ordered a second cup).
Our last stop in town was Cafe Beaujolais, a California-French restaurant (heavy emphasis on the California). Sumie and I split crab cakes, and then she tucked into her fettuccine.
After 30 hours away, we returned home to two very excited kids. They had been amazing for grandma and we couldn't have been prouder of them. That night, Mimi snuggled into her favorite spot on Mama's lap for a story.