Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

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!

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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

Ft. Bragg . . . where??? (California)

Most people, when they think of Fort Bragg, think of a military post in North Carolina. The Fort Bragg we discovered several years ago in California has little in common with the North Carolina Fort Bragg.

Our first time in Fort Bragg, as we left Cucina Verona, an Italian restaurant where we had eaten dinner, we were startled by the loud sound of hoofbeats, and the sudden appearance of two riders, galloping hell-bent down the middle of the road in Ft. Bragg. It was one of those adrenaline moments, when you wonder if you really saw what you just thing you saw, followed by all the things that could go wrong when you mix horses, highways, automobiles and high speed.

This time, one of the first things we saw was this sign:

 

But . . . it doesn’t say anything about riding horses, skateboards, or bicycles down the center of the street!

Ft. Bragg has a very laid back vibe. The town is full of couples who look a lot like us, maybe even a little older, maybe a little more hip and less retired military than we look, but relaxed, comfortable in their own skins. We love the vibe. My very favorite activity in Ft. Bragg is at the north end of the town, where they have a place called Glass Beach. Glass beach is where the old town dump used to be, a long time ago, and all the bottles dumped there broke and were washed by the waves, tumbled by the gravel and sand, and became beach glass. Most of what you find is pretty small these days; Glass Beach has been discovered, but if you venture out the the furthest inlets and rocks, you can find some larger pieces, sometimes even a green piece. I found one tiny little blue piece, the grand prize of all beach glass.

We love the North Cliff Hotel, where every room has the same view, looking out over the water at the inlet to the little bay.

We love the hot tub with a view.

 

We love the view. On the morning we were leaving, we looked out and someone had written a huge message on the sand, “Annie will you marry me?” How cool is that?!

Time is flexible in Ft. Bragg. We get up when we want to, we don’t have to drive to any destination, we can be lazy or we can just meander around, which is what we choose to do.

Love this tunnel of eucalyptus trees entering Ft. Bragg from the north:

This yard had no flower but yellow flowers, and a LOT of yellow flowers!

 

 

Just a short drive south is Mendocino, one of the most beautiful little California towns you could hope to find. We were looking for special gifts for two special people, and found them, polished carved natural bay laurel bowls, at this shop.

 

I read a recent article on how California leads the way for the American soul; it gives me hope for the future of our country. California pioneered gay rights, California champions the rights of immigrant children to education and health benefits, and Californians “welcome the stranger,” as all people of the book are supposed to do.

This was in the window of the main grocery/hardware/sundries store in Mendocino. When a woman saw me taking a photo, she asked me why, and I told her, it made me feel welcome and filled my heart with joy to know that it specifically would also make my Arab / Muslim friends feel welcome. She smiled, sternly, and said that they welcome ALL people, that is what California is all about. I was happily chastened. 🙂

 

I want the United States of America to be a safe place for all people. No wonder I love California!

Well, there is another reason to love Ft. Bragg – they have one of the world’s best ice creameries right on the major through street in Ft. Bragg. 

Cowlicks Ice Cream is never not busy. On our first trip (we went twice in one day!) I had a scoop of ginger ice cream. It was a huge WOW. On the next trip, I had a chocolate which was really chocolaty, but I wished I had another scoop of ginger.

As we sat, eating our ice cream, I overheard a stylish but somewhat-frail looking 80’ish woman tell her daughter that she didn’t want to be bothered being married again, she was just looking to have a little fun without the complications of a relationship. Such is life in Ft. Bragg. 🙂

 

June 3, 2018 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Character, Civility, Community, Counter-terrorism, Cultural, ExPat Life, Faith, Hotels, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Quality of Life Issues, Road Trips, Social Issues, Travel, Values | , , , , | Leave a comment