It‘s a steamy, hot day in southwest Florida and my thoughts have turned to my recent adventure to cool and blissful Mendocino.
The haunting beauty of that area of the California coast is breathtaking and stays with you long after you leave.
The most amazing quality of Mendocino is the peaceful and stunning quiet of the area. The first few times I was here, I thought that time had forgotten about Mendocino. But during this stay, I realized that the magic of the place is that it has forgotten time. And therein lies its rare, uncomplicated beauty.
You can walk the blustery Headlands State Park (always reminds me of the Cliffs of Dover in England). Pick up colorful bits of this and that in nearby Glass Beach. Find some courage and go cave kayaking in the Pacific. Have a drink in front of the fireplace at the old Mendocino Hotel, a historic landmark, and let time transport you back to the 1850’s when the town was a booming port for logging trade. You can pick up beautiful pieces of driftwood on the beach or as I like to do, sit on a bench and take it all in. That is the pure joy of Mendocino, taking it all in.
Since for me, it is always about the houses, I love to walk the streets and explore the Victorian and saltbox homes. Some have been forgotten and are overgrown with beautiful flowers. The rolling meadows and redwood trees and just the quiet of the village of Mendocino, make me think of the movies shot there, East of Eden with James Dean and Summer of 42.
But mostly I love the fact that what happens in the rest of the world really doesn’t matter here. You can leave some cash in a jar after hours for the artist who leaves a few of her pieces for those who might visit after her studio closes. Or take a break and sit for a while on a mosaic sofa that nature has taken over.
And one night I was taking a walk on the Headlands and stumbled into the playhouse where the Mendocino Theatre Company was presenting Master Class. I asked at the box office and they told me the show started in 10 minutes and since I did not have my purse with me, I could come back and leave my money in the mail box the next day. I did. I think life should always be this way but it only seems to happen in the quaint town that forgot about time.
And there is my favorite bookstore, Gallery Bookshop, where you have a view of the Pacific and peruse all kinds of great books. And it is fun to stop in The Birdhouse(a studio that was converted from a water tower) where artist Monika Maluche makes her beautiful little ceramic birds. You can pick one up for $20.
But my best find in Mendocino this visit was free. My husband, in the early morning hours, found a gorgeous intact, abalone shell that washed on the beach. Perfect to hold jewelry on my dressing table, it brings back all the perfect memories every day.
I'll be back soon. It would be impossible for me to stay away.