May 28, 2010

Jenner: Jenner Inn & Cottages; hotel review

1 North

Having just had the pleasure of visiting this inn, I'd like to report that I particularly enjoyed the cozy communal lodge and its antique wood-burning stove, library of books and games, bar with a great view, and restaurant--also with a pleasing view. Is it romantic? Well, guests have actually named their children Jenner, Jennifer, and Jenn because they were conceived during stays at the inn. But the inn also offers solitude and is a place for personal renewal. Guests can also sit for a spell on the dining room’s red velvet couch, the very one that Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart sat on together in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.”
The inn's Jenner Bistro serves a locally sourced menu and boasts a chef who is particularly gifted in preparing breads.

More things to do in Jenner.

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image by Jamie Douglas

May 22, 2010

Berkeley: VIK’s Chaat Corner; restaurant review

80 North 

VIK’s Chaat Corner  2390 4th St./Channing Way, (510) 644-4432.

This outrageously popular Indian chaat house has moved to beautiful new quarters with a spacious parking lot. New items join the menu. My favorites have always been the cholle bhature, also known as "the big puffy thing" (see photo), and the samosa cholle (deep-fried potato-stuffed pastries served with spicy garbanzo curry).  More. 

More things to do in Berkeley.

Way more thing to do in Berkeley. 

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

This blog post is a part of  a special blog titled What is the Best Food on the Planet?  18 travel bloggers answered!  Check it out.  

image courtesy of venue

May 19, 2010

Napa: Napa River Adventures (CLOSED); things to do

Wine Country

Napa River Adventures  CLOSED  Boat loads at Kennedy Park dock, (707) 224-9080. Schedule varies. $40/person; age 2-12 $20. Reservations required. No pets.

Take a pleasant 2-hour guided cruise on the Napa River in a charming little electric boat. This marshy area is on a migration route, so you’ll see birds galore. 

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image courtesy of attraction

May 17, 2010

Davis: The Tour de Cluck: A Bicycle Chicken Coop Crawl; things to do

80 North

The Tour de Cluck: A Bicycle Chicken Coop Crawl  May 22; (530) 219-5859;  $15, seniors & age 12+ $10.

Presented by the Davis Farm to School Connection, this tour within the Davis Bicycle Loop offers chicken lovers and the chicken curious an opportunity to visit the community's chicken coops. So get cluckin'!

More things to do in Davis. 

Yolo County Visitors Bureau

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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
depicts chicken coop in a Tarahumara Indian village in Barrancas, in Mexico's Copper Canyon

May 13, 2010

San Francisco: Peter Pan (CLOSED); things to do

San Francisco

While we weren't looking, Peter Pan and his entourage flew into town from London and raised two big tents (one holds 1,350 seats, the other is an open-air restaurant and souvenir shop). It is a rousing production done in the round, and everyone gets a good seat. All the better to see the Mick Jagger-ish Peter and the very edgy Tinker Bell. Audience favorites include the spectacular incarnation of the crocodile, the animal puppets, and the take-you-there, scene-setting scenery projections onto the inside of the tent. I saw it without children in tow and do highly recommended you bring a few yourself--their excitement is a big enhancement. Check the website for information about tours and other special events.

In Ferry Park on the Embarcadero, across from the Ferry Building, SHOW CLOSED.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

May 9, 2010

Berkeley: Gather; restaurant review

80 North

see update, February 13, 2015

Gather  2200 Oxford St./Allston, (510) 809-0400. L M-F, Sat-SunBr, D daily; $$. Reservations advised.

The wide open interior here couldn’t be more welcoming, and, indeed, is the perfect place for diners to gather. The hard wood chair seats can be harsh, but comfortable banquette seating lines the curved outer wall and everyone gets a good view of something-- the room, the open kitchen, and/or the sidewalk activity. Counter seating is also an option, and an outdoor patio is available in warm weather. Sand and honey-hued colors blend with re-used leather and rough-hewn woods and blend with reclaimed wood and other materials that have literally been “gathered” from around the Bay Area. A former water tank from Marin County has been turned into tables, counters and a door; bleachers from a Sonoma high school are now banquettes and tables; and bar lights have been crafted from recycled vodka bottles. Carefully sourced local seasonal farm fare dominates the 50/50 vegetarian-vegan/omnivore menu; gluten-free items are also listed. In addition to fussy items such as a mushroom bruschetta topped with a heavenly leek-cashew sauce, and a tasty vegan “charcuterie” (a sampler of five salads served on a wooden plank), a simple burger and fries is also an option. A full bar focuses on organic spirits and cocktails plus biodynamic wines. Do try the honey-soaked Bee Sting cocktail, but don’t ask for Peet’s coffee—it isn’t all organic, so the coffee served here is Thanksgiving from Fort Bragg.

More things to do in Berkeley.

Way more thing to do in Berkeley. 

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

image courtesy of venue

May 5, 2010

Palo Alto: Hanna House; things to do

101 South

Hanna House  On Stanford campus, (650) 725-8352. Tours on 1st & 3rd Sun at 11, and on 2nd & 4th Thur at 2. $10, parking $5. Reservations required. No children under 12.

Nicknamed Honeycomb House, this 1937 home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is built of glass, brick, and redwood and has no 90-degree wall angles. Everything is composed of honeycomb-shaped hexagons that are repeated throughout in tiles and furnishings. (When Wright was designing this house, he was at a turning point in his career. Later, he went on to use some of the ideas he originated here to make waves with his design of the Guggenheim Museum in New York.) Wright autographed his works with a signed tile in his favorite shade of red. Here you will find that tile mounted on a carport support in the courtyard. An expansive yard includes an enclosed swimming pool, water falling over a staircase-style fountain, and a Japanese-style garden framing a fountain that is being restored. It is interesting to note that the Hanna’s three children all bought Eichler homes.