Within minutes of crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, heading north on Highway 1, you feel the stress of the city dissolve. This highway makes you …slow….down. Mentally and literally. Part of our slowdown was due to the annual Dip Sea race through Muir Woods area, ending at Stinson Beach. This detoured and delayed us for a couple hours and to be honest, I don’t exactly know where the detour took us, but the forests and curves were breathtaking and a great introduction to Northern California.
Once we finally cleared the race area we made our lunch stop at The Marshall Store on Tomales Bay. At this tiny roadside shack that was packed midday, we ordered a dozen Oysters Rockefeller and a half bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. Unfortunately the wind coming across the bay was fierce and any purchased wine had to be consumed outside on the picnic tables. And so I donned my down jacket and hat and enjoyed the fabulous lunch and wine, wishing for the ceasing of the gusts.
Following lunch we continued northward through rural areas for several hours before arriving in Little River, just south of Mendocino, at The Glendeven Inn. The sign boasts “A Luxury Farmstead”—someone has an English degree! It was a spot on description though. From the moment we pulled into our personally marked parking space to the time we entered our room, East Farmington, perfection continued until we pulled back onto Highway 1 the next morning. Special touches, besides the beautifully appointed room overlooking the Pacific, the gardens, and the llama pasture, included a personalized note with homemade welcome brownies, the wood burning fireplace—prepped and ready to light, the wine and gourmet appetizer reception at the Wine Bar(n), and the piece de resistance, the over the top breakfast delivered in a picnic basket to our door at 9:00 am. We were able to squeeze in one more crackling fire while enjoying the best breakfast accompanied by a carafe of hot chocolate that must’ve had two candy bars melted into it, it was that rich!
We spent a lot of time during our stay wandering the grounds and having tea and cookies in the main house, a place that boasted former guests Bill and Hilary Clinton. We also found the beach pathacross the road that led down to a quiet beach where we strolled in the afternoon and early morning. Sadly after our lovely breakfast we had to pack up and continue northward. We could’ve spent weeks at The Glendeven.
Next stop—Trinidad and the Redwoods!