Part I: Mendocino & More

Slightly off topic, but here it goes...

Power Clutch {Essie}
After working 15 of the last 17 days, I took a long weekend and planned a last minute trip up north. I've come to love these spur of the moment trips, where I don't plan things to the minute. Instead, it's more of a fly by the seat of our pants, do what we please type of trip - a time where we pull over on the side of the road just because something catches our eye. Since I started at my new position, I haven't had the time to take a decent vacation. I don't mean to take away from the quick flights to LA or Vegas, but those aren't very relaxing. It was just tempting to get away from the city and relax for a little. In any matter, I was excited right off the bat because I always treat myself to a few coats of nail polish when I have more than 2 days off in a row!

Our first stop wasn't far from San Francisco - Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, CA. We stopped here for a beer and lunch. The Tap Room had a nice relaxed vibe with a large dog-friendly outdoor area. Robert had one of his hard to find favorites "Little Sumpin'" and since I'm a lightweight, I had the Pilsner. Unfortunately, we were quite disappointed with the food - next time lunch first before a visit to the Tap Room. Also, don't forget to stop by the Gift Shop on the way out to pick up some souvenirs, your favorite 6-pack or even a keg.
Lagunitas // Piaci's Pub & Pizzeria

Mendocino Cookie Company & Egghead's
Next we were off to Fort Bragg, where we were planning to stay the night. After checking in and a little rest, we were thoroughly starved when we decided to have dinner at Piaci's Pub & Pizzeria. In this sleepy little town, Piaci's was the place to be, lively and bustling! I had the Nonnie Pizza - Chicken, Prosciutto and Garlic Sauce with the addition of Pine Nuts. Robert managed to polish off a huge Calzone stuffed with Pepperoni, Mushrooms and Olives. Dinner was delicious and before I knew it, something clicked. When I asked what Ice Cream flavors were being offered (from Cowlick's, the local Ice Creamery), the response I got was "Spumoni and Spiced Honey Lavender." Apparently, the food on this trip would prove to be surprising and not the mundane choices I expected from tourist traps or a small town. I of course got the Spiced Honey Lavender - Honey Lavender has been one of my favorites for years, but never with Cinnamon spice to give it another dimension of flavor.

In the morning, we headed out for a hearty breakfast before an hour and a half drive to Leggett, CA, home to one of California's Drive-Thru Redwood Trees. We put our name down on a short list at Egghead's (a Wizard of Oz themed breakfast & brunch joint) and popped across the street to check out the Mendocino Cookie Company. Don't worry, I didn't spoil my breakfast. Soon after the cookies were in my hand, our pager buzzed and we returned to Egghead's. I had "Dorothy's Revenge" (Crab Benedict with Champagne Hollandaise) and Robert had the "Lion's Mighty" (American Breakfast). The food was good, the crab was fresh and the service was friendly. The only negative was that my eggs were a little more done than I would have liked. We even came back the next morning and I tried the Pumpkin Waffle which was also delicious and complemented well with what tasted like a liquor infused cream.

Off to the Redwoods in Part II...

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