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7 minutes (or 2 weeks) in Heaven (Part 1)

I may or may not have had an epiphany in that I really, REALLY love the west coast.

Now, I knew this before, but after spending two weeks total bouncing from San Francisco (CA), to Bodega Bay (CA), into Napa (CA), over to Sonoma (CA), into Healdsburg, multiple dinners in Sebastapol (CA), then up to Seattle (WA…oh right, you know that one)… I kinda am, well, lost back here in the Land of Cleve. As good as we do here (by food), it’s a real rough return (by everything else).

I am about to make a very bold claim: the west coast lives and eats better than anyone else in the United States.

Whoa, whoa. Hear me out before you call me a complete asshole.

I shall regale you with an epic to rival The Oddyssey [sic] that was the last two weeks of my life/vacation.

Yea, ’twere the final fortnight of the Tober of Oct.

The prior two months, little had I eaten and much had I trained to impress the natives of the Left Coast, for others returning from their adventures would exclaim how they, “wish they all could be California girls.” Perhaps, if the gods smiled upon me, I should meet one too.

Weeks it felt like sailing in Iron Eagle (with an hour layover in O’Hare).

Finally I arrived in Francisco’s San. A quaint village with proper transportation, and no shortage of drink and merriment, where I suddenly understood the parable of the ladies, for one took me in said, “I too have similar origins in the East, where the ice ages. Here we have no such troubles. Come, leave your worries at my door.” Clearly, I had no choice, and was enchanted by her, and the 60-degree temperature (free room and board didn’t hurt either). It looked a might foggy, and dangerous, but I had no where else to go.

Francisco's San

Francisco's San

That evening we all celebrated with copious amounts of ale and wine.

Where the Wild Vines Are

Where the Wild Vines Are

The fine lass set me up with more than adequate accommodations, but alas, I had a BART to catch in the morning, and could not stay.

I moved on through the port of SFO to meet with my travel companions who took a different ship out, as I found alternate transportation to accommodate my later plans to head farther north. We joyously met up and celebrated our fortunes to unite in such a beautiful place.

It's an extravaganza!

It's an extravaganza (identities masked to protect the innocent)!

We then settled in to a local pub for a home-cooked meal. One of local ingredients, local flair, and local charity.

Duck Confit with spinach crêpe, foie gras "meatballs"

Duck Confit with spinach crêpe, foie gras "meatballs"

Served was a local delicacy, one of which I only understood as poisonous. What they had done, in fact, was weave the dastardly stinging nettle into an incredible pasta, both verdant and firm, whilst liberating it from its malevolence.

Nettle Pasta with Celery Root Purée

Nettle Pasta with Celery Root Purée

We rested easy that eve.

But a few hours later I found myself in the Bay of Bodega: a place famed for it’s agressive waterfowl. I ran not into these accursed avians, and found it nothing but an extremely pleasant place to relax.

I assume that must be the flag of Scotland

I assume that must be the flag of Scotland

Fortunes soon turned, and we were encased in a Witch’s Brew of fog and evil. Yet the beauty of the surroundings was still not lost. It seemed almost inviting, but was sure to remind you to check your step twice.

A brew most foul?

A brew most foul?

Not to be dissuaded, we set out for another local pub, for it would surely cure our trepidation of the fog.

Cod and chips!

Cod and chips! And ale! Joy!

Indeed, the locals came through again, with ale, fish, chips and a myriad of jesters playing jaunty tunes from the other side of the room. Yet again, we were taken aback and thankful in that those who journeyed before would be so generous to those who relive the journey now.

Alas, I must rest now dear readers, but soon shall we resume, for not yet have we battled boar, casks of wine, nor seas of reckless abandon.

Stay tuned for part two!


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2 comments to 7 minutes (or 2 weeks) in Heaven (Part 1)

  • Amon-Rukh

    It seems to me that a pub is a fine cure for many things, especially when the pub is also filled with such fine things as we see here!

    Sounds like a pretty sweet trip!

  • princesszyrtec

    I think the stinging nettle pasta looked pretty amazing, as did the rocky fog-filled shoreline.

    Let’s hear Part Deux, pronto, because when you tease with casks of wine and boar, my head immediately is filled with images of you and your family (whose visages I have to make up in my head since I’ve never laid eyes on them) sitting at a large, oaken sideboard at the local medieval-themed castle/restaurant, wearing complimentary parti-color bibs and paper jester hats, hoisting tankards to the traveling cask-bearer (who by day attends cattle calls for a walk-on role in Breaking Bad) in one hand, whilst grasping a grisly hunk of boar leg in the other. Also, in this scenario, everyone has a beard, including the maidens.

    So…is it my version, or reality, that you’ll leave our many, many, many readers with?

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