Wednesday, April 3, 2013

When you see your neighbors in the darnedest places . . .

Last weekend, Matt and I made our second annual Easter sojourn to the beautiful Mendocino coast. This time, we had a gift certificate for a night at our favorite little inn, the Greenwood Pier Inn in Elk, California. It's right on the coast and has the most stunning view, and the people who run it couldn't be nicer.

On the way up, of course, I insisted that we stop at some of the little family-owned Mendocino wineries (duh). We stopped at the two we visited last year plus one new one. After that, Matt kindly pointed out to me that we couldn't afford any more wine, so we headed up to our inn. ;)

Greenwood Pier Inn--we love it here! 

Let's be honest: I'm not a very relaxed person by nature. I'm anxious by design and am constantly thinking, and if I have to sit still for too long, I feel like I'm going to jump out of my skin. But something takes over when we go up to Mendocino. It didn't happen immediately--for the first hour or so, I was my usual self--but then, thanks to the ocean and the cliffs and the breeze and the superb wine, I was able to take a deep breath and seriously relax. It was amazing.

There's a big deck behind the inn (which includes a hot tub overlooking the ocean!), and when we got there, all I wanted to do was sit quietly and read while looking at the water. 

Also, the wine pictured above is impeccable. It's out of my usual price range but I'm a member of their wine club and it's a rare treat. You can buy it here

Mendocino is just north of Sonoma County. It's much less populated and not touristy, which is so nice. And the coast is really exquisite:

Saturday afternoon, we relaxed on the back deck, walked around a bit, drank some wine, and read our books. It was such a luxury. That night, we had a late dinner at the restaurant connected to the bed and breakfast. We intended to come back and make a fire in the little lodge, but I fell asleep pretty much immediately.

And then the funniest thing happened on Easter Sunday. We were once again on the big deck out back, when a couple approached us and said, "Hey--we're neighbors!" Turns out, they live directly across the street from us in Oakland; our addresses are one number off. CRAZY, right?! They are the nicest people ever and I'm so excited to have new neighbor friends. He works in education and she works for one of my favorite local-ish coffee shops so . . . we're a double date match made in heaven. Isn't it funny that we had to go two hours north to a small bed & breakfast to meet our neighbors?!

This little trip had me thinking, too, about whether or not I could live in a tiny town. Matt says he'd be happy as a clam there. While I think it would be romantic for a while, I'm pretty sure that ultimately, I'd be consumed with cabin fever/wanderlust. Pretty much everything in Elk shuts down around 8 pm. I kept looking at the houses around and thinking: what do these people do at night?? 

Could you live in a teeny tiny town, far from cities, culture, & people?


6 in Love said...

Gorgeous!!! So glad you got to relax, and funny about your neighbors! I absolutely could NEVER live in a small town...I'd go insane. Nice for a weekend...maybe a week, tops.

Katie Hamilton said...

I'm with you - I think I'd go nuts. Too long living in the city, methinks.

Dee Stephens said...

Hysterical about your neighbors! I sometimes think it would be fun to live in a tiny mountain town, but then I'm realistic and realize I would be bonkers.
That's why I just need a vacation home in the mountains.
Small town in doses!

NYLON Girl said...

Man can you imagine me living in a small town getting my drunk ass self in to all sorts of funnies and then having to see my neighbours ... yeh neither can. I'll take big city living thank you please! You guys look happy as clams though! x

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

Everything about this place looks and sounds gorgeous! As I get older, I become more and more of a homebody, so I think I'd do perfect in a small town that shuts down early.

Faiza said...

There are so many perfect things about this post. I love that you're in love with a man who reads, that you made new double dating neighbour friends, that you got to relax and rest and that you indulged.

Personally, I think I would become blissfully unaware living in a small town not to mention that I would miss the diversity that a big city offers. I love rubbing up against all classes and races and faces and remembering my place and responsibilties in this world.

Deals, Steals and Heels said...

the hubs and i have discussed it at length...and we're totally suburbs people. small towns are TOO small, and this girl needs a mall and target and whatnot. and he demands high-speed internet. and big cities don't offer the "neighborhood" vibe we like, with yards and schools and such.

now a vacation home? send me to the sticks!!

Allison said...

I have a really hard time relaxing too - I struggle (even in yoga) with centering myself and just totally clearing out my head.
You and Matt are so cute - I wish you lived closer so we could double date! It looks like you had an amazing trip (and lots of wine, which I couldn't approve of more).
I couldn't live off the grid - I can appreciate that lifestyle for about two days, max, and then I'm longing for the city/suburbs. :)

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

I have the luxury of living in a small town but being only 20 to 30 minutes from the Twin Cities.

I will say that my folks moved to a small town for a few years and went STIR CRAZY.

Heather said...

That sounds like such a fun trip! The pictures are gorgeous!

And it's funny you mention small town living- we're getting ready to move back to my small hometown! Luckily, it's received a few upgrades since I graduated high school, so I think we'll survive!

Jessie said...

I remember you contemplating that exact thing when you were in Oklahoma/Texas for my wedding- small-town living has its perks, and its downfalls, for sure. But anytime I think about living in a larger city, I look at my view of pasture and prairie land and realize I couldn't have it any other way. (Then again, unlike you, I like to be "still" sometimes!) ;)

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

I go back and forth on this. I love small towns but I love big cities. I think I want a small town right next to a big city :) haha Such beautiful views :)!

Christina said...

Those views are awesome! This sounds like my kind of weekend getaway! I don't think I could do small town either. We live in suburb, but Seattle is right there so I never feel disconnected.

Micaela said...

Can we please have a weekend getaway like this together?!

How gorgeous... like a slice of heaven on earth! I love that this is a sweet tradition for you both.

How funny to run into your neighbors :)

I could def. do smaller city (like El Paso/Wichita Falls) but not tiny tiny like Jess' tiny ;)