Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mountain Fun

It Wasn’t ALL Hard Work!

Flavors Unlimited

Our first stop after my luggage-less arrival in Santa Rosa (after Target and two grocery stores) was Flavors Unlimited, an ice cream parlor/sandwich shop in touristy Guerneville. It was, I discovered, Ellen’s standard pit stop on the back up the mountain.
The "Unlimited" means you aren't limited to the flavors of ice cream that are already offered. You order your ice cream (or frozen yogurt) mixed to taste from a seemingly endless array of candies, nuts and fresh fruits. We all selected 2-dip waffle cones. Ellen mixed fresh blueberries with cheesecake; Sarah chose toffee with chocolate and M&Ms in vanilla. Mine was pumpkin and peanut butter with walnuts. The idea nearly made the guy throw up, but it turned out to be really good. Honest. 

Trinks Cafe in Gualala, CA
Trinks Café in Gualala was an outing with two purposes: to meet Sarah’s BFF Paula, and to get me online.  My cell phone, a Samsung with AT&T provider, was completely worthless up there.  Sis does have a pretty decent Mac, but her iffy dial-up connection and ISP refused any and all requests to check my email. So by the time I hit Trinks and settled in with a monstrous mocha latte, my inbox and Facebook page were seriously backed up. 
When Paula joined us, we moved out to a patio table and ordered from their trendy breakfast menu. I took the coward’s way out with scrambled eggs and toast. Paul either had the Griddle Combo or eggs with mixed greens, and Sis indulged in some insane breakfast sandwich on an “everything” bagel. She ate it all, too!  
Sizzling Tandoor

The Sizzling Tandoor, an Indian restaurant about which the locals rave, was our stop on the way home from Sarah’s post-op checkup. It was my first time Outsourcing supper, and I didn’t know what to try. Sis took a lamb curry, and I pointed to some sort of chicken thing which turned out to be dry and not as spicy as I’d hoped. On the side, however, were generous pieces of garlic nan (puffy Indian fried bread) served warm and fresh. And there was an incredible creamy chai tea which, were it generally available, would cost coffee one of its biggest fans. 
Duncans Mills

Studio Nouveau at Duncans Mills
Duncans Mills, a rustic roadside collection of antique and specialty shops, restaurants and galleries, was our last outing as we headed for Petaluma. The next day I would catch the 4:30 AM shuttle to the San Francisco airport and home.  We strolled through nearly all the shops finding a scarf at Worldly Goods, a floor puzzle for grandkids at Pig Alley, a very special pair of earrings at Studio Nouveau (later lifted by the TSA), choice packets of exotic tea at Mr. Trombly’s, and finally coffee and pastry at the Gold Coast Coffee & Bakery. Duncans Mills is definitely a place to visit again.
There was a quick stop for gas at Bodega Bay. Very pretty views, but you know what? Not so much a seagull in sight!   

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