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Driving to Mendocino

Mendocino, California: We were awakened around 7a by a roar from a hot air balloon basically in the courtyard of our hotel. Time to get up!

There was no schedule today, but check out of our hotel by 11 o'clock and driving about 150 miles to the coast to reach our next destination - Mendocino. Neither of us have been to Mendocino before (save driving through a few times), but Dave's cousin and his wife just love Mendocino and vacation here every year. We thought we would check it out for a few days as we continue north to Eugene.

As I stated last night, we have been at the Westin Verasa Napa for the past three nights, paying full price for a room with basically no services. Kinda criminal. Our room was nice though, and large:

And we had a kitchenette... but we only used the fridge.

After checking out, there was one serious bit of business. Since we had only eaten lunch yesterday, we were starving, and since St. Helena was on our route, we stopped for an early lunch at Gott's Roadside. We arrived so early, we were the third party in line for their 11a opening.

Gott's has only outside seating (anyway, always) and it so nicely situated these days. Not only do they have this large area behind the shop, there is an equally large picnic area with gravel (for people with dogs - no dogs allowed on the lawn). There is also a large covered seating area in front of the hamburger joint.

We really like Gott's burgers (they have a big menu with tons of items besides burgers), but they aren't that different from an In-N-Out burger... except In-N-Out is about $3.50 and at Gott's you will pay around $8 for a basic burger. (Neither restaurant serve very good fries, and the Gott beef patty is much larger than In-N-Out)

By the time we finished our sandwiches, quite a line had gathered! You may notice the TAYLOR'S REFRESHER sign in front of the restaurant? This place was Taylor's Refresher FOREVER, but some-sort of family squabble switched out a few things. Food is the same. More locations now though.

We hit the road to Healdsburg, where we parked and took a good stroll around town and looked into a few shops. Healdsburg looks like it hasn't suffered much during the pandemic. Very few shop have closed, lots of people/tourists on the sidewalks. Masks mandatory - vaccinated or not - and everyone was compliant.

Sign of the day? I do not plan to post a sign everyday, of course, but three in a row is good spurt. From a pie shop:

It was a very long haul over a very winding road, with some road construction, along 128 to Highway 1 and Mendocino. We drove past 3 million vineyards (did not stop at even one), and about 20 miles from the coast we entered the beautiful Navarro River Redwoods and marveled at the majesty of the ancient trees. Beautiful!

We arrived to a foggy 61-degree Mendocino, dug-around for sweaters, and checked-into our inn. Maybe it is a bed-and-breakfast? No sure. Not only do we have no housekeeping services here (again, they can't find staff), Mendocino is nearly out of water. We are advised to conserve as much as possible and the stoppers have been removed from bathtubs, encouraging showers - and quick showers to boot. We were given a lovely little cheese plate:

Hmmm... I know someone who whips-up something like this every evening at 5 o'clock. We took a stroll through town and realized the entire town is just a few blocks total, so I think we hit every street. We stopped for fish and chips at the local Irish Pub and called it a night.

Or will, as soon as the San Francisco Giants game is over. We will explore tomorrow.

The beautiful view from downtown Mendocino:

Until my next update, I remain, your foggy correspondent.