June 6, 2019

Independence: Eastern California Museum; things to do


High Sierra: Highway 395


Eastern California Museum  155 N. Grant St., (760) 878-0364.  W-Sun 10-4.  By donation.

outdoors wagon display of Eastern California Museum in Independence, California
outdoors wagon display of Eastern California Museum in Independence, California


Founded in 1928, this historic museum displays a large collection of more than 400 Paiute, Shoshone, and finely-made Panamint tribe baskets.  Most date from the 1880s to the 1930s and were specifically for trade to tourists and settlers. 

indoor display of Native American baskets at Eastern California Museum in Independence, California
indoor display of Native American baskets at Eastern California Museum in Independence, California


Among the area artifacts from mining and pioneer life are several treasures--an 1890s Regina music box (purchased in San Francisco)




and a green dress that once belonged to Amelia Earhart (she never lived here, but her husband had a house in the area). 

Amelia Earhart's green dress displayed at Eastern California Museum in Independence, California
Amelia Earhart's green dress displayed at Eastern California Museum in Independence, California


I particularly like a labeled bird-egg collection. 

bird eggs displayed at Eastern California Museum in Independence, California
bird eggs displayed at Eastern California Museum in Independence, California


The rustic outdoor Little Pine Village--a sort of faux ghost town--displays cabins and farm buildings as well as farming and mining equipment and trains.  Some of the buildings were brought in from other places, and one of the outhouses is a rare three-seater, where you can take a leak and get leaked on through the ceiling at the same time.  A peaceful Native Plant Garden offers a pleasant walk.

Native Plant Garden at Eastern California Museum in Independence, California
Native Plant Garden at Eastern California Museum in Independence, California



More things to do along Highway 395.

More things to do in nearby Yosemite.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


June 3, 2019

Bishop: Stopover in Bishop; hotel review + restaurant review


High Sierra:  Highway 395

Stopover in Bishop

Best Western Bishop Lodge  1025 N. Main St., (800) 576-3543, (760) 873-3543.  Pool; hot tub.  Full breakfast.  Pets ok.

This simple motel feature spacious rooms with slate floors and marble shower walls in the bathrooms, and hot water comes out fast.  The beds are comfortable, and the sheets are cotton--good news in summer when it gets mighty hot around here.

guest room at Best Western Bishop Lodge in Bishop, California
guest room at Best Western Bishop Lodge in Bishop, California


breakfast at Best Western Bishop Lodge in Bishop, California
breakfast at Best Western Bishop Lodge in Bishop, California



These two restaurants are an easy walk from the motel:

Aaron Schat’s Roadhouse  871 N. Main St., (760) 873-0000.

Steaks are the specialty here, but you can also get ribs, sandwiches, and salads.  Big burgers are served on a fresh-baked Schat’s cheese roll, and smaller appetites can be satisfied with a half-size burger.  Ten beers are on tap to quench your thirst.

Aaron Schat's Roadhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

exterior of Aaron Schat’s Roadhouse in Bishop, California
exterior of Aaron Schat’s Roadhouse in Bishop, California



Holy Smoke Texas Style BBQ  772 N. Main St., (760) 872-4BBQ.

Enjoy slow-cooked smoker barbecue in this simple counter-order spot.  The menu includes beef brisket, tri-tip, pulled pork, St. Louis-cut pork ribs, chicken, and sausage.  Meat is unsauced, but sauces are available to add in regular, spicy, and hot.  I can vouch for the tender brisket, and I witnessed several other diners enjoying ribs and tri-tip.  Everyone seems to lick their plate clean.

Holy Smoke Texas Style BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

exterior of Holy Smoke Texas Style BBQ in Bishop, California
exterior of Holy Smoke Texas Style BBQ in Bishop, California


order counter at Holy Smoke Texas Style BBQ in Bishop, California
order counter at Holy Smoke Texas Style BBQ in Bishop, California


interior of Holy Smoke Texas Style BBQ in Bishop, California
interior of Holy Smoke Texas Style BBQ in Bishop, California


More information on Bishop.

More things to do along Highway 395.

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More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


May 30, 2019

Santa Rosa: Pupuseria Salvadorena; restaurant review


101 North

Pupuseria Salvadorena  1403 Maple Ave./Brookwood Ave., (707) 544-3141.  B-L-D daily; $.

pupusa at Pupuseria Salvadorena in Santa Rosa, California
pupusa at Pupuseria Salvadorena in Santa Rosa, California

Located in an out-of-the-way strip mall in a residential area, this modest spot is outfitted with plenty of booths and tables.  Since it is a small staff, service ebbs and flows with the arrival of diners.  Most people are here for the exceptional pupusas, but other Salvadorian items are also on the relatively large menu.  It is table service, but a line forms at the counter to pick up take-out and to pay tabs.  Pupusas consist of thick handmade corn flatbreads that are stuffed with choices that include cheese, beans, pork, squash, and spinach.  My favorites are the cheese-beans-pork and the cheese-spinach.  Each costs about $3.  I ordered two plus a side of crema and that was just right for an average appetite.  Curtido (a sort of spicy coleslaw) and two sauces come with each order.  Full meals and an assortment of specials are also available.

interior of Pupuseria Salvadorena in Santa Rosa, California
interior of Pupuseria Salvadorena in Santa Rosa, California

Pupuseria Salvadorena Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


More things to do in Santa Rosa.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

May 28, 2019

Guerneville: Visit the Shops and Art Galleries along Main Street; things to do


101 North

Visit the Shops and Art Galleries along Main Street in Guerneville

Shops and galleries come and go along Guerneville’s three-block Main Street.  It is fun to stroll up one side and down the other, stopping when fancy strikes . . . or maybe for some ice cream or snack.

Blue Door Gallery Studios  16359 Main St., (707) 328-3235.  F-M 12-6pm.  Artist Douglas DeVivo creates paper collages in his one-room studio and gallery, while artist Sam Russell creates acrylic paintings with details painted in oils in the back room in his own studio.  The gallery also displays some very interesting and colorful pottery by artist Jess Stimson.  Workshops are sometimes scheduled.

artist Douglas DeVivo in his Blue Door Gallery Studios in Guerneville, California
artist Douglas DeVivo in his Blue Door Gallery Studios in Guerneville, California


paper collage work of artist Douglas DeVivo in Blue Door Gallery Studios in Guerneville, California
paper collage work of artist Douglas DeVivo in Blue Door Gallery Studios in Guerneville, California


colorful pot by artist Jess Stimson in Blue Door Gallery Studios in Guerneville, California
colorful pot by artist Jess Stimson in Blue Door Gallery Studios in Guerneville, California



Russian River Art Gallery  16357 Main St., (707) 869-9099.  Located just next door, this bright gallery displays the work of many artists.

interior of Russian River Art Gallery in Guerneville, California
interior of Russian River Art Gallery in Guerneville, California



Guerneville 5 & 10  16252 Main St.

interior of Guerneville 5 & 10 in Guerneville, California
interior of Guerneville 5 & 10 in Guerneville, California



Kuhr-Norris Art Gallery  16203 First St. #B, (707) 486-1130.  This tiny space sits in what was once an open-air alley.  Since it was converted to a building, it has, among other things, served as a locksmith shop.  Now it displays the work of two artists--Suzy Kuhr, whose specialty is black-and-white film photography; and Katharine Norris, whose specialty is plein air and studio paintings.  Many of Kuhr’s prints are framed in recycled window frames, and some are additionally displayed just a few doors down in the atmospheric old-time Smart Pizza parlor she owns at 16205 First Street (where the dough is handmade and the pasta hand-stretched).

artists Katharine Norris and Suzy Kuhr in Kuhr-Norris Art Gallery in Guerneville, California
artists Katharine Norris and Suzy Kuhr in Kuhr-Norris Art Gallery in Guerneville, California


work of artist Suzy Kuhr hangs in her Smart Pizza parlor in Guerneville, California
work of artist Suzy Kuhr hangs in her Smart Pizza parlor in Guerneville, California



Sonoma Nesting Co.   16151 Main St., (707) 869-33434.  The eclectic collection here is an intriguing mix of art and antiques.  Many items have been restored, but others are just looking for a new home where they can be loved again.

counter at Sonoma Nesting Co. in Guerneville, California
counter at Sonoma Nesting Co. in Guerneville, California


interior at Sonoma Nesting Co. in Guerneville, California
interior at Sonoma Nesting Co. in Guerneville, California


Introduction to Russian River Region.


More things to do in Guerneville.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

image ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


May 24, 2019

Introduction to Russian River Region


101 North

INTRODUCTION TO RUSSIAN RIVER REGION

Once upon a time, in 1809, a party of Russians and Aleuts from the Russian-American Fur Company in Sitka, Alaska, landed at the mouth of what is now the Russian River.  They named it “Slavianka,” or “little beauty.”  In recognition of the Russian influence in the area, it became referred to as the “Russian” River. 

scenic of the Russian River Region of Northern California
scenic of the Russian River Region of Northern California

Originally used as a summer camp by the native Pomo Indians, in the '20s and '30s the area became a summer resort favored by wealthy San Franciscans who traveled here by ferry and train to see the ancient redwood forests.  A little later they flocked here to dance halls where live entertainment included Ozzie Nelson and Bennie Goodman.  Then the area faded in popularity and became a pleasant and uncrowded retreat.  Today, slowly recovering from a state of decay, it is regaining some of its former popularity and is known nationally for its resorts catering to gays.  It is also home to many fine wineries.  The atmosphere is easygoing, and it is acceptable to dine anywhere in casual clothing. 

Guerneville, the hub of the Russian River resort area, is surrounded by many smaller towns.  The area is nestled in towering redwoods and has numerous public beaches, even more privately-owned ones, and also some unofficial nude beaches.  Inquire in town about how to find, or avoid, them.  The town also has a delightful selection of one-of-a-kind shops. 

The area has recovered from the winter floods in 2019 and is ready again to welcome visitors.


Things to do in Guerneville.

Things to do in Forestville.

Things to do in Sebastopol.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

image ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


May 20, 2019

San Francisco: Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant, restaurant review



San Francisco

Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant   374 Bush St./Kearny St., Financial District, GArfield 1-0594 ((415) 421-0594). L-D M-F; $$. Reservations accepted.
    

exterior of Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
exterior of Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California

Established at a different location in 1867, just after the Gold Rush, this old-timer has moved several times, finally settling here in 1946, on the corner of now-trendy Belden Place in the city’s French Quarter. It is said to be the fifth-oldest restaurant in the U.S. The restaurant hasn’t changed much through the years, and some people claim it has the original waiters, many of whom do seem to have the hard-earned skill that makes that possible to believe. Also, they all wear tuxedos, which is unusual nowadays. I am won over by the cozy atmosphere of wood-paneled walls and the bank of private booths with drape-covered openings and buzzers that once summoned the waiter but which no longer work. Back when, this was a favored lunch spot for the area’s movers and shakers and still is. You can practically hear the deals being made. Nowadays, there is also sheltered outdoor seating on popular Belden alley.
waiters in tuxedos at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
waiters in tuxedos at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California


dining room at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
dining room at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California


hallway of booths at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
hallway of booths at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California


peeking into a booth at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
peeking into a booth at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California


table in booth at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
table in booth at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California

Sam’s Grill is known for fresh seafood--Petrale sole, salmon, Dungeness crab, and even sand dabs when they can get them--as well as old-school favorites such as Celery Victor and Green Goddess salad. We warmed up with a Perfect Martini for me (it was pink and had no olives, just a twist of lemon) and a glass of Hess Chardonnay for him. For starters I selected a crispy classic wedge salad with ranch dressing, while my dining partner chose a tasty cup of Sam’s original red clam chowder. My main course was a perfectly prepared Petrale sole pan-fried with lemon butter, and his was a more complicated Coquille Saint Jacques featuring day-boat scallops in a mushroom-brandy cream sauce served in sea shells. We were both delighted. And fortunately we had enough space left to try the spumoni ice cream and house chocolate pudding--which was more like a slab of fudge, and so rich and thick and scrumptious that we did indeed take the leftover portion home. It is interesting to know that everything is made fresh in house, though the crusty French bread is a special bake from Boudin prepared with Sam’s own starter.


classic wedge salad at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
classic wedge salad at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California



Petrale sole at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
Petrale sole at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California



Coquille Saint Jacques at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
Coquille Saint Jacques at Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California





Next door is the relatively new Sam’s Tavern sports bar. You can duck in here to watch a game on one of eight TVs while downing a drink or quick burger.



interior of Sam's Tavern, next door to Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California
interior of Sam's Tavern, next door to Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco, California

Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


Way more things to do in San Francisco.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


May 1, 2019

San Francisco: Cafe X; restaurant review


San Francisco

Cafe X  101 4th St./Mission St., in Metreon.

Step right up to the window and select an espresso drink (beans are from local roasters), then watch the charming robot behind the glass whip it up for you and then place it in an small elevator chute for delivery.  Since it is a robot, no tipping is necessary, but the human who assists with any questions or problems most likely will accept one.  Seating is available.  If you want your coffee ready and waiting--but you don’t! because you’ll want to observe the process!--you can also order via an app.  This is the company’s first location outside of Hong Kong.

Hungry?  A 24-hour instant ramen machine is just down the hall.





Way more things to do in San Francisco.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


April 29, 2019

Stinson Beach: Stinson Beach Books; things to do


1 North

Stinson Beach Books  3455 Shoreline Hwy.

exterior of Stinson Beach Books in Stinson Beach, California
exterior of Stinson Beach Books in Stinson Beach, California

In this cozy little independent bookstore, you’ll find a warren of spaces and--in addition to plenty of intriguing books--the award-winning local Point Reyes Light newspaper.  Local guidebooks and writers are featured on the shelves, and a large kids’ section in the back includes some nice beach toys.  Even farther back is an unexpected mini home shop with colorful table linens.

interior of Stinson Beach Books in Stinson Beach, California
interior of Stinson Beach Books in Stinson Beach, California


beach toys for sale at Stinson Beach Books in Stinson Beach, California
beach toys for sale at Stinson Beach Books in Stinson Beach, California


home items for sale at Stinson Beach Books in Stinson Beach, California
home items for sale at Stinson Beach Books in Stinson Beach, California




More things to do in Stinson Beach.

More things to do along Highway 1 North.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


April 22, 2019

Berkeley: 1951 Coffee; restaurant review


80 North

1951 Coffee  2410 Channing Way/Dana St., 1 blk. from Telegraph Ave.

counter at 1951 Coffee in Berkeley, California
counter at 1951 Coffee in Berkeley, California

Named in reference to the 1951 United Nations guidelines protecting refugees, this non-profit coffeehouse attracts students with communal tables and a quiet, work-friendly atmosphere.  The menu consists of the expected espresso drinks and pastries.  I selected a frothy heart-topped latte and a classic, chewy mochi muffin, while my companion opted for an Americano and an almond croissant.  Additional noteworthy menu items include chai latte, a Kouign-Amann pastry (this scrumptious confection hails from the northwest Brittany region of France, and its name is formed from the Breton language words for “butter” and “cake”), and a pretzel bun filled with cheese.  The refugee baristas take special training classes and are being given the opportunity to earn a living, and both the staff and clientele spout an array of global accents.  The decor features atmospheric black walls, one of which is brightened with graphics and images that explain the refugee resettlement process.  The cafe is sponsored by the adjacent First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, and the cafe owners previously worked with the International Rescue Committee to help resettle refugees.  Coming here gives you the opportunity to enjoy a good cup of coffee while also helping make successful refugee resettlement possible.
          A branch operates in the ASUC Student Union at 2495 Bancroft Way.

pastry selection at 1951 Coffee in Berkeley, California
pastry selection at 1951 Coffee in Berkeley, California


interior at 1951 Coffee in Berkeley, California
interior at 1951 Coffee in Berkeley, California



More things to do in Berkeley.

Way more thing to do in Berkeley.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


April 18, 2019

Santa Rosa: Snoopy's Home Ice/ Redwood Empire Ice Arena; things to do


101 North

Snoopy's Home Ice/Redwood Empire Ice Arena  1667 W. Steele Ln., (707) 546-7147. 

Opened in 1969 by the late cartoonist Charles Schulz, this ice-skating rink with an Alpine decor has been called "the most beautiful ice arena in the world."  And indeed it is lovely, and it is also one of the “coolest” places in town.  The Zamboni resurfacing machine--made familiar to many through Schulz’s “Peanuts” cartoon strip—is painted with a “Peanuts” winter skating theme.

exterior of Snoopy's Home Ice/ Redwood Empire Ice Arena in Santa Rosa, California
exterior of Snoopy's Home Ice/ Redwood Empire Ice Arena in Santa Rosa, California


interior of Snoopy's Home Ice/ Redwood Empire Ice Arena in Santa Rosa, California
interior of Snoopy's Home Ice/ Redwood Empire Ice Arena in Santa Rosa, California


The Warm Puppy Cafe sports a few stained-glass windows depicting Snoopy and is where Schulz once ate every day (an English muffin with grape jelly for breakfast, a tuna salad sandwich for lunch).  It also features big windows looking out to the rink and free Wi-Fi.

interior of the Warm Puppy Cafe at Snoopy's Home Ice/ Redwood Empire Ice Arena in Santa Rosa, California
interior of the Warm Puppy Cafe at Snoopy's Home Ice/ Redwood Empire Ice Arena in Santa Rosa, California


Located adjacent, Snoopy's Gallery and Gift Shop purveys the largest selection of “Peanuts” merchandise in the world.  Cuddly stuffed Snoopys are available in many sizes.

stuffed characters at Snoopy's Gallery and Gift Shop in Santa Rosa, California
stuffed characters at Snoopy's Gallery and Gift Shop in Santa Rosa, California


And across the street, the spacious Charles M. Schulz Museum is dedicated to exhibiting thousands of original Schulz sketches.  A highlight is an 8- by 12-foot wall extracted from the cartoonist’s Colorado home, which he himself decorated in 1951.  Take time to relax and watch some animated cartoons or documentaries.

Peanuts characters crossing the street outside Snoopy's Home Ice/ Redwood Empire Ice Arena in Santa Rosa, California
Peanuts characters crossing the street outside Snoopy's Home Ice/ Redwood Empire Ice Arena in Santa Rosa, California


The whole complex is served by a free parking lot providing shade from solar collection roofs.



More things to do in Santa Rosa.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


April 16, 2019

Berkeley: Caffe Chiave; restaurant review


80 North

Caffe Chiave  2500 San Pablo Ave./Dwight Way, Poet’s Corner.

Located on a retail strip known as the Left Bank in a neighborhood known as the Poet’s Corner (because the streets named for poets include Bonar, Browning, Byron, Chaucer, Cowper, Edwards, and Poe), this coffeehouse was once a branch of San Francisco’s famous North Beach Caffe Trieste.  A family feud brought on the name change.

interior of Caffe Chiave in Berkeley, California
interior of Caffe Chiave in Berkeley, California


cafe au lait and cherry pastry at Caffe Chiave in Berkeley, California
cafe au lait and cherry pastry at Caffe Chiave in Berkeley, California

Frou frou coffees are the drink of choice, and the cappuccino is top rated, but beer and wine are also available.  Though it doesn’t have a restaurant kitchen, a microwave can heat up the delicious pastries (the cherry one is sooo good), pizzettas, and panini.  Breakfast is available all day and  includes an assortment of bagel sandwiches and avocado toast.  Lunch brings on sandwiches and pastas.  Live music is sometimes scheduled.

Caffe Trieste Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



After, stroll the block of shops that include Good Vibrations (sex paraphernalia) and Lhasa Karnak Herb Company (an atmospheric old-style spice and herb shop).
exterior of Lhasa Karnak Herb Company in Berkeley, California
exterior of Lhasa Karnak Herb Company in Berkeley, California


interior of Lhasa Karnak Herb Company in Berkeley, California
interior of Lhasa Karnak Herb Company in Berkeley, California


More things to do in Berkeley.

Way more thing to do in Berkeley.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2019 Carole Terwilliger Meyers