March 14 Flew Pensacola to Los Angeles; rented car and drove to Santa Barbara. Stayed at Holiday Inn Santa Barbara-Goleta. Dinner at Andrea’s Seafood. Bottle of local white zinfandel. Buck ate baked sea bass; me shrimp bisque and a combination shrimp and cravb Louis salad.
March 15, 16 & 17 Sequoia National Park — incredible. Stayed in the park motel; ate at park cafeteria (only option, but a good one). Dinners included pork chops, brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes, fried chicken, green peas and onions. They had good hot apple cider on tap. Hiked in snow to Moro Rock. Climbed the rock over ice-covered steps. Burst into dazzling sun at the top. Enjoyed picnic and each other.
March 18 Stayed one night at the Highlands Inn in Carmel. Dinner at The Butcher Block: bbq combo of baby back ribs, beef ribs and chicken; baby back ribs good — not the rest.
March 19-20 The Holiday Inn in Monterey. Incredible “gardening department” — exotic flowers, bird feeders, wonderful lodging on the Pacific Ocean. Dinner 3-19 at The Whaling Station, very good. Artichoke vinaigrette appetizer; Buck had vegetable beef soup, me chicken curry soup; then grilled gill shark, accompanied by carrots, zucchini and mustard greens, creme caramel and chardonnay. Lunch on 20th at Fisherman’s Wharf, the Red Snapper restaurant. We both ate clam chowder. I had half a dungeness crab, Buck ate cioppino and we shared a bottle of chardonnay. While in Monterey, we visited their marvelous acquarium.
March 21-22 On to the Wine Country. We stayed at the Napa Holiday Inn. On 3-21 took a winery tour and tasting at Inglenook. Dinner at Preti’s: carrot soup (me), salad (Buck) filet mignon, string beans and cauliflower. On 3-22, winery tour and tasting at Robert Monday, followed by a memorable evening at Mustards Grill in Yountville. Bottle of Mondavi Fume Blanc 1983; butter and bibb lettuce salad with spiced pecans and viniagrette; chicken hoisin with Indian rice (Buck); baby back ribs with lyonaise potatoes (me), condiments and side dish to share were tomato chutney, grilled eggplant and red onions. Dessert was creme caramel with creme faiche, almonds and raspberries (ummmm). Coffee for me and Jasmine tea for Buck. 2010 note: I just ordered Cindy Pawlcyn’s “Mustards Grill” cookbook. Should be great fun to cook my way up and down Memory Lane.
March 23-25 From the Wine Country, to Jot’s Resort in Gold Beach, Oregon. Dinner on the 23rd at Jot’s Ron’n Reel Club. Relish tray, salad, prawns (Buck) and baked shellfish (me). Since Jot’s is a condo-style resort, right on the Rogue River where it meets the Pacific Ocean, we had a well-equipped kitchen and were able to prepare our own dinner on the 24th. It was singularly delightful. In Room 416, we enjoyed a leaf lettuce salad, steamed fresh asparagus and carrots and broiled steaks. On the 25th, we dined “en suite” again, this time with vegetable/lentil soup, sauteed chicken with onions, fresh mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes in white wine, with a bottle of Robert Mondavi Fume Blance. While at Jot’s, we took a jet boat ride on the Rogue River, and enjoyed lunch at a marvelous, rustic place where we ate outdoors. A tiny buck deer slipped in from the woods and nibbled a roll from my hand.
March 26-27 From Jot’s, we moved on to The Inn at Otter Crest in Otter Rock, Oregon, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. At dinner time, we took the “hill-a-vator” down to the inn’s great restaurant. They set before us a small, perfect relish tray with garlic bread and an herb butter spread on the side. We both ordered clam chowder. Buck’s main course was veal a la marsala; mine was an amazing salmon en papilliote with herbs. They were served with rice pilaf, and fresh sauteed veggies including carrots, onions, zucchini and black olives, plus an oval loaf of fresh-baked bread and burnt cream flan for dessert. Coffee for me and Tia Maria for Buck polished off the evening.
Breakfast at the inn is worth noting, too. Many of their serving and accent dishes are handmade pottery, produced by one of their waiters, Jacob Accurso. I especially liked the cereal bowls and small raisin dishes. The meal itself was Irish-style oatmeal — the biggest bowl either of us had ever seen — with raisins and served with a cinnamon bun. Great coffee for me and decaf herb tea for Buck.
Lunch on the 27th was at The Chowder Bowl in Depoe Bay, self-described as “The World’s Smallest Harbour.”
March 28-29 We drove to the Holiday Inn Boeing Field Seattle. Dinner on the 28th was at Elliotts on the waterfront; 3-29 breakfast and dinner at Snowqualmie Lodge.
March 30 Returned to Pensacola. What a honeymoon — well worth the year’s wait. This trip was a dream come true.