Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The McCloud Hotel

If you know me from this blog, you will know that we love interesting hotels. The McCloud Hotel is a gem! We are really happy to be here in the Spring, lucky that the roads are open, no fresh snow, the sun is out, Mt. Shasta glistens from every angle.

When we get to the McCloud Hotel, we almost dance for joy. It is lovely! It is a very old hotel, beautifully renovated with a care to preserve many of the old features. The owners love the place, and it shows. We were lucky to reserve a place in the hotel restaurant for that evening, as it was a Friday and the dining room was packed. The food was exquisite, locally sourced, and we can tell that many of the people dining there are regulars.

See the old suitcases? There are pieces like that everywhere, original pieces. The hotel was at one time a hotel, then a boarding house with separate floors for women and men during the time when it was a major timber resource, with a railroad spur to transport the timber cut from the mountainside. They have renovated the first two floors, you will see our room later, but they say the third floor still has the original small rooms, now used for storage. She said three rooms are used for Christmas decor, and I just wish I could see this hotel at Christmas!

This is the lounge at the back entrance.

 

This is the dining room, although on a weekend night, the dining room actually stretches out into the lobby to accommodate all the people.


This is our bedroom, very spacious, high ceilings, wood trim, huge windows, I am in heaven.

 

 

This is the upstairs sitting room, again, a large assortment of very old, original pieces.

This is the downstairs lobby next to the registration desk, next to the dining room. It is beautiful and comfy.

 

This is the coffee, internet and tv lounge:

We would love to come back here again and again.

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June 3, 2018 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Hotels, Road Trips, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

McCloud and the McCloud Mercantile, and the White Mountain Cafe

As we checked into our beautiful hotel, we asked if there were somewhere we could eat. It was a quarter of 2:00 and breakfast was wearing thin.

“You can eat at the White Mountain Cafe,” our hotelier replied, “but go now! They close at 2:00!”

We hurried down the street, where the waitress graciously welcomed us and told us we had plenty of time to eat, so not to hurry.

 

This is the White Mountain Cafe Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado and Tomato. AdventureMan says it is one of the best BLT’s he has ever had; the bacon was especially tasty.

This is my grilled chicken salad, which also contained some of the fabulous bacon. This led to a long discussion with an equally enthusiastic waitress, and we all three agreed that life is too short to eat bad bacon, and that really really good bacon is one of the sweetest of life’s joys. She told us that anyone who doesn’t like bacon has never tasted really good bacon. As she works so closely with food every single day, I am inclined to give her a lot of credibility.

I also found myself thinking deeply about how difficult it would be for me to be a good Jew or a good Muslim if I could never eat good bacon or an occasional slice of Smithfield ham.

The White Mountain Cafe (walk out the door and you see a huge Mt. Shasta) is connected to the McCloud Mercantile, a winding old-timey store with all kinds of goodies, and a lot of original old store furnishings. McCloud is a historical timber town.

 

June 3, 2018 Posted by | Cultural, Food, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Beulah’s Kitchen for Breakfast

 

There was no breakfast included at the spa, which was fine, we got up and hit the road, knowing we would come across something. As we leave Calistoga, we are in the thick of wine country; it is Spring and the vines are still just waking up, but the world is lush and green and beautiful. We are on a small winding road, through hills and vineyards, inching towards Interstate 5 when we come across Middleton and Beulah’s Kitchen.

Beulah’s Kitchen is the exact kind of place we hope to find when we want to have breakfast. It isn’t a chain, real people are cooking real food, and it is not cookie cutter food, either.

This is AdventureMan’s Biscuits and Gravy – so much food! He did his manly best and finished some of it!

 

I had the breakfast burrito – again, a lot of food, and I was able to eat about half, but I enjoyed every bite. The coffee at Beulah’s Kitchen was exceptionally good.

This food was so filling that we were fine until about 2 in the afternoon, when we finally had lunch.

June 3, 2018 Posted by | Food, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Ft. Bragg; Our Old Friend, Cucina Verona

We have such great memories of Cucina Verona. We had a wonderful meal there the last time we were here, we couldn’t wait to eat here again. Some meals are just memorable; we wanted another meal that memorable, that good.

We started with a broccoli soup which was rich and thick and tasty. We were hungry; I didn’t even think to pull out my camera.

But once the soup was finished, I remembered 🙂

I had Pasta Puttanesca, again, rich, delicious, and full of taste.

 

AdventureMan had Salade Nicoise, or Salad Nicosia, as it appeared on the menu. It was all wonderful, so wonderful that when we couldn’t eat it all, and there was so much left, we had them pack it all up and shared salad and pasta again for dinner that night back in our wonderful hotel room.

 

 

Cannot wait to get back to Cucina Verona!

June 3, 2018 Posted by | Cooking, Food, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Ft. Bragg, California; Where we Dined at Mayan Fusion

AdventureMan had a bug; he had found a place on Yelp called Mayan Fusion, and here we are in California, he wants Mexican-Mayan. So we head to Mayan Fusion, which is full of our demographic (retired, still physically active, travelers, etc) and the smells are delicious.

 

 

Mayan Fusion Ginger Berry Sangria

Here is where everything starts to get fuzzy for me. One of the specials of the day was this Ginger Berry Sangria. I’ve made Sangria – you know, fruit and a light wine, and this sounds interesting. The first sip had a wallop. I could have stopped drinking then, I probably should have, but oh, I do love ginger, and this “sangria” was delicious and refreshing.

Well, one sip and I lost a lot of my higher thinking functions.

I think this was my husband’s dinner. I can’t remember what it was called.

Or maybe this was my dinner.

 

Or maybe this was my dinner, but I think it might have been my husband’s.

Here was the special dip; it tasted a lot like bean dip made with several different beans; I think we started with this.

“What was in that Sangria?” I asked the elderly waitress as we were waiting for the bill and she was clearing.

“Oh, we start with a big shot of vodka . . . ” she started.

I don’t know when I last had hard alcohol, not at all in the last seven or eight years, rarely for maybe 15 years, since we left Germany.

We went straight back to the hotel and I fell sound asleep.

June 3, 2018 Posted by | Adventure, Aging, Cold Drinks, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

The Ahwahnee Dining Room

American diners have steadily avoided formal dining situations, it is a growing trend. I have to admit, unless I am in France, I’m less enchanted by all the formality than I used to be. I still love beautiful china and gleaming silver, snowy white real linen tablecloths and impeccable service, and at the same time, I really have to be in the mood. It really has to be worth the time, time to make the reservation, time to dress, time to enjoy a leisurely meal.

The Ahwahnee has that kind of dining room.

We ate almost every meal during our stay there. We found we liked the lunch menu better than the dinner menu, as we prefer eating our larger meal mid-day and eating lighter at night.

You have to have reservations, even when it is not high season. If you don’t, you may miss one of life’s great experiences. There is a dress code for the Ahwahnee dining room, both for men and for women. It’s a very mild dress code. They prefer coats for men, skirts for women, no T-shirts, shirts with collars only.

We were shown to what became our favorite table at the Ahwahnee, way at the end of the dining room, in a small alcove with five or six other tables, and a stunning view of the entire dining room, as well as mountains and trees. This is table 123, and a view of the 30+ feet high timbered ceiling which gives the dining room its grandeur.

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My very first meal there, I saw they had a Shrimp Louis on the menu. Shrimp Louis is very west coast; not something I get in Pensacola. This Shrimp Louis was my dream come true; it was served with real Louis dressing, not Thousand Island dressing. I nearly swooned with delight.

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AdventureMan has BBQ pork. He said it was good, but he gets good BBQ in the South 🙂 so he wasn’t swooning.

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The next day, he ordered a Reuben, and said it was good. He hasn’t had a lot of Reubens, and he said this one had a LOT of meat, but it was good meat, and that matters to him. He enjoyed it thoroughly.

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I had the Trout. I adore trout. This was pretty good.

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I didn’t take photos at the dinner meals, and some of our meals we also ate in the Ahwahnee bar, where they had a lighter menu, and we thoroughly enjoyed that, too.

You know me and light fixtures; I really loved all the details that go into making this such a designer’s dream of a hotel:

00AhwahneeLightFixture

April 26, 2015 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Civility, Cooking, Cultural, Eating Out, Quality of Life Issues, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel | , , , | 2 Comments

Sedona to Bakersfield, A Long Day’s Drive

We made a big mistake staying in Sedona as long as we did – we want to stay longer. But we have an incentive, we are on our way to another long stay, Yosemite. I’ve never been to Yosemite – we lived just hours away, in Monterey, CA, and I wanted to see it, but we had lives, obligations, and a young child. Now – we don’t! Time for another dream to come true.

But first, there is a price to be paid. A long journey, much of it across desert.

SedonaBakersfieldMap

As it turns out, it is more interesting than we thought. There are forests, there are trading posts, and wind farms. There is a little town on the Arizona – California border called Needles, where we stop for a very lackluster lunch. There are long rural roads in California full of trucks hastening to get to where they need to be.

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Shortly after we arrive in California, we encounter another Security Stop:

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Driving has been pretty laid back so far, but it changes as we get to California. I know nice people who live here, but the drivers we encountered were all “Me first!”

We totally missed our hotel in Bakersfield, had to stop at the airport and call to get directions. A mere seven minutes away, if you know the right way to go, LOL.

Along the way, we started getting strange extra charges for $3., $7.00 from the hotels. When we got home, AdventureMan checked. It was for these waters.

00VIPWaterThatIsn't

We are Elite status, and in many hotels they provide us water as a benefit. We assumed these were that kind of water, the water has a tag that says ViP water, but if you look really really closely, you will see that it is not VIP but Very (line) Pure water. I think that’s kind of cheesy. Give free water or don’t put water in the rooms. I consider this deceptive.

All in all, not such a bad day, glorious weather, interesting sights, not bad at all until arriving in Bakersfield around rush hour.

April 24, 2015 Posted by | Adventure, Customer Service, Geography / Maps, Hotels, Road Trips, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment