Every since we got married last December, we've been thinking about taking a honeymoon/family trip to Hawaii. Justin has never been and I was only there for a few days years ago. After doing some price checking, I realized a trip to Hawaii is just out of our reach right now. So instead of spending thousands of dollars and taking a week long vacation in a tropical paradise, we opted to do a 3 hour drive north of San Francisco and spend a long weekend on the Mendocino Coast. I don't know where I got the idea that it's a place that I've wanted to visit for a while now. I bring it up on such a regular basis that it's turned into a running joke between us. So we finally bit the bullet and made the trip happened. We ended up spending over 600 dollars for the trip, with a biggest portion of the budget spent on lodging and then food. I was hoping to spend under $500 but I didn't know about the tourist premium one has to pay in a place like Mendocino.
It's not the easiest to take a trip with a toddler but I guess I have to adjust my expectations when I travel as a parent. Trying to keep a nap schedule and making sure the kid has enough room to run around and burn off excess energy definitely puts some restraints on what we can do and when we can do it. I am still trying to figure out a good rhythm when it comes to going on trips with the little man.
The drive to Fort Bragg took us through Anderson Valley and a quaint little town called Boonville. We stretched out our legs there, got some snacks and checked out the general store. It's quite a sophisticated little town in what seemed like the middle of nowhere.
We stayed at the Beachcomber Inn which is pretty much right on the beach. Our patio opened out onto the road leading to the beach below it. I will never get sick of watching the sunset over the pacific ocean for as long as I live. I wish we spent more time on the beach but for such a short trip we didn't have a lot of down time to just lay out in the sun.
|We stayed in one of the suites in the building pictured. Fantastic location on the beach.|
One thing I didn't expect was how expensive everything was. We took the Skunk Train, which is an old fashion steam train that goes through the redwoods. But the train ride was shortened due to a collapsed section in the tunnel along the route. The train ride was enjoyable nonetheless. There was music entertainment and lots of steam which was pretty much all that's needed to keep the little one engaged.
We had dinner at North Coast brewery. Justin ordered the beer sampler and I unfortunately only had couple of sips of his because I was 3 months pregnant. The food was not bad but the best part was the beer samplers!
We did lots of sightseeing around town. Went to the Mendocino Botanical garden to see all the beautiful plants in bloom. Saw a set of whale bones along the way and checked out tide pools at a nearby beach.
Someday when I win the lottery I would definitely buy a vacation home in this part of California for mini family get aways to relax and unwind. But for now I will have to settle for driving along highway 1 to take in the breathtaking views.