Monday, December 17, 2007
Fun in West Marin. Getting up to a cloudy sky, as someone born and raised in the Seattle area, I thought great! time for a trip to the coast! Locals everywhere love weather that discourages crowds of tourists, yet isn't so bad as to keep one indoors. I thought my young friends Toran & Aurelia might enjoy an outing as well, so quick as a wink, I was on the phone to their parents. All worked out well, so Dad & I were out the door in just a few minutes to pick them up. After a meandering ride, we ended up at Point Reyes, and had breakfast at the Pine Cone Diner. The friendly staff greeted us warmly, and we were soon seated at a bright yellow table. One of the most efficient waitstaff was a cute child who earnestly took our drink order. I think the people in this town must be very friendly with each other, as the menu states a caution "WE REQUEST YOU DO NOT SWITCH TABLES AFTER ORDERING." It is also a cash or check only kind of place.
Dad ordered a Ham and Munster Cheese Omelet which he said was worth coming back for.
When I saw that local oysters are used in the Hangtown Fry Omelet, my mind was made up. It was worth coming back for too. The breaded oysters were tender and fresh and neatly wrapped up with bacon pieces and cheese in a fluffy egg wrapper. The hash browns were great as well - nice and crispy on the outside and potatoes taste in a well-cooked inside.
Toran & Aurelia decided to share a regular 3-pancake order of Honey Whole Wheat Pancakes. The skin was a bit tough on these so they were not as impressed, however they enjoyed most of these nonetheless. The Pine Cone Diner was a hit all-in-all, and I would definitely recommend it if you are in the neighborhood. It also supports local farming and artisan foods.
At this point I diverge from food, to tell kid tales and talk about our other adventures in West Marin. And skip to the next paragraph if you have a queasy stomach as I'm about to report a cute but not appetizing kidism... As we were eating our most enjoyable breakfast, being in the country, a fly flew in the door with a customer and lighted on the rim of my Dad's hot chocolate. Toran asked if we knew that that wasn't just the fly's tongue that was touching the rim, but that the fly deposited a little fly vomit each time it touched the surface. ooohh. That was an image I could do without, however, I didn't have the heart to ask him what he thought honey was...
Being well fortified and energized by such a great breakfast, we decided to try the Earthquake Trail that the 'tall lady' (how the children described the waitress) recommended the kids would like near the Bear Valley Visitors Center at Point Reyes. So off we went, and the kids enjoyed it several times in fact as Dad was finding it slow going, and the high energy Toran & Aurelia would run back and forth along each stretch of the trail.
Toran thought the tree that had been cut into a bench must be thousands of years old, and he and his sister started counting the rings, and found it to be too many to complete!
They found a perfect climbing tree towards the end which was a natural photo op.
Aurelia is in the horse loving stage of her growing up, so we had to stop to visit the Morgan Horse Ranch. There were examples of a Blacksmith's shop and labels on everything for self-guided information on horses in Marin, and American horses in general.
And we had to greet Lance, the Morgan horse identified from the photos on the wall of the barn.
Then we took off on the next leg, up near the Lighthouse. We passed a lot of ranches with single letters as their name with cows enjoying the sunbeams breaking through here and there and chewing their cud. We also noticed vultures sitting in rows on posts at one point. A whole bunch of quail ran across the road while I braked quickly when we were least expecting it as well!
There were plenty of pretty seascapes with breaking waves.
And it seemed that there were nearly as many deer as cows enjoying the fields.
There were all kinds of warning signs about not walking on the hazardous cliffs along this road to the Chimney Rock trailhead.
Obviously someone forgot to inform the cows about this, or they simply don't care.
We traveled on to Drake's Beach, but didn't see the elephant seals we heard like to sit there. But we did see a hang-glider with red canopy land there after we followed his long glide down from the cliffs as we drove to the beach.
About this time, the kids got hungry and I thought we'd try Drake's Beach Cafe, but noticed it was closed. A call to its phone after arriving home found that it is closed between November 26-December 28th so no wonder. We'll have to try it another time, and I'll let you know where we ate lunch after all in tomorrow's post.