Mendocino anniversary 

The end of summer is fast approaching, and I’m antsy to take a trip.  Good thing-I’m going to DC for the weekend on Friday!  Thinking of travel, it’s been a month + since our anniversary trip, so with travel on the brain, thought I would relive the weekend with some photos and travel notes.

The weekend was a total surprise.  I knew we were going somewhere, and driving distance, but David kept everything else a secret.  After David picked me up from work, and as we snaked our way up north, I started checking off places-it’s not Point Reyes, not  Marin, not Sonoma. My heart dropped for a moment  when it seemed as though we were passing the Mendocino exit-I was REALLY hoping it was Mendocino.  David was just faking me out.  We were Mendocino bound!

It’s a curvy drive up 128, and we stopped for a snack at a general store in Navarro.  I splurged on a fancy snack to kick off our very decadent culinary weekend:

As we passed inns and B&Bs, my excitement grew.  Where were we staying? What did David find? I’m definitely the travel planner in our relationship, and was beyond curious about our accommodations.

When David drove up to the Stanford Inn, I was giddy.  Actually, this is kind of embarrassing to admit-I was pretty emotional.  If the way to a man’s heart is through food, the way to my heart is through travel.  Seeing the beautiful place that David found for the weekend  made my heart melt.

The resort is stunning.  All the rooms have porches with spectacular views, the grounds and gardens are lush and green, and there is total sense of peace and tranquility.

This is the view from our room–you can see a sliver of the ocean!

The room was warm and cozy, with a gorgeous wood burning fire place.  Most of our fellow guests were 50+ and when we walked into the room, calming classical music was playing in the background.  What is it about classical music that just melts stress away?

Just before the Mendocino Headlands is a little downtown village, speckled with old Victorian houses converted into inns, stores and restaurants.  David made reservations at Trillium, and we settled into a table in their lush garden by the water. The dinner was incredible and I’m still thinking of the giant, fresh grilled prawns.  My favorite discovery, though,was the Navarro chardonnay.  Buttery and delicious!

The next morning, I woke up in time for warm yoga at the Stanford studio. The instructor made peppermint marshmallow tea, which sounds like an odd combination, but it was so soothing.  The studio  had beautiful floor to ceiling windows, overlooking the garden and grounds.

The resort included breakfast, and despite my reservations about all vegan meal, it was delicious.  In retrospect, the sound of vegan Benedict sounds awful, but the chef knew what he was doing and it was great.

After breakfast, we rented bikes and biked along Big River.  There’s not much more to say–these pictures kind of speak for themselves.  Safety first and absolutely gorgeous nature. 

The resort has beautiful gardens and the restaurant grows most if it’s own vegetables and herbs.  Of course the food is delicious, it’s expertly tended to and incredibly fresh.

Indoor pools, when done with this kind of attention to detail, are so calming. We killed some time in the pool before heading to the restaurant for afternoon tea.

Later Saturday night, we drove back to the village for dinner at Cafe Beaujolais. We sat at a table next to the window and enjoyed more Navarro wine-this time the Pinot noir.  How sweet is the little yellow house with the picket fence? David really knocked it out of the park with the hotel and dinner reservations.

After another surprisingly delicious vegan breakfast, we started the journey home.  We stopped by the water again to walk a bit and take in the views.

Winding back down 128, we (had to) stop at the actual Navarro winery. I’m kicking myself for only picking up three bottles, but thankfully my parents took a recent trip and came back with another :) 

It was an awesome trip.  Although only a few hours from our apartment, and a quick getaway, we kept saying that it’s one of our all time favorite vacations.  It was SO fun to be surprised, toast to a year, and explore a new place.

Remembering this made me super excited for more travel-can’t wait to fly to DC tomorrow!

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