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Mary Esther, Florida
September 8, 2004
It is day seven of our driving trip through California Wine Country. We are driving through the towering redwood forest headed toward Little River Inn on the Pacific coastline near Mendocino. We stop frequently to savor the fresh pine scent and walk through the forests. At times the forest is so dense that there is little daylight and we have to drive with the headlights on. The road is winding and driving difficult. No wine tasting today, but what an experience. As we approach the coast, the scenery changes around each bend. We leave the dense forest and hug the coastline hundreds of feet above the Pacific Ocean.
Our reservations for the next two days are at the Little River Inn. We arrive late afternoon. Our reservation is for a cozy cabin across the highway from the ocean. We ask about the cottages on the coast side. They are the "honeymoon cottages." The hostess suggests we take a key and look at one to see if we want to upgrade.
As we open the door, we are breathless. Sliding glass doors across the entire back of the cottage frame a dramatic view straight out into the Pacific Ocean. There is a large private deck with a hot tub. There’s a king-sized bed in the combination living/bedroom and the fireplace is stacked with firewood for a cozy evening. We’re sold!
After check-in, we enjoy a bottle of champagne on our deck as we watch the sunset paint a masterpiece across the ocean before heading across the road to the "main house" for dinner. Chef Silver Canul and his team make the most of the bountiful fresh Pacific seafood. A roasted garlic brie and tender flash-fried calamari are just a start, followed by Dungeness crab linguine and topped off by crème caramel. Who cares about the calories when food is this good!
At 5am, Hank wakes me to share another travel moment. There is a full moon and the ocean is lit as bright as day. The bells on the buoys are ringing. The sea lions are barking. Forget sleep, we take coffee out of the deck to savor the moment and watch morning light creep slowly over the water.
We have booked rooms on the Internet many times that did not quite live up to their claims. On this trip, this was not the case. Each of our three accommodations seemed to be better than the last and have found a permanent home on our repeat trip resource list.
Read about the lively history of Little River Inn and Mendocino at www.littleriverinn.com
From journal Raising a Toast to California Wine Country
san francisco, California
May 14, 2003
Most rooms have decks, and some have Jacuzzis or hot tubs. Very cozy and private. Very romantic.
The rates are much cheaper in the winter/off-season, but I think that's actually the best time to go because it's not too cold and there's no fog like most of the northern California coast in summer.
From journal Beautiful Mendocino Coast