Kites and Clam Chowder at the Coast
March 28, 2010
I get a hankering for the sand between my toes several times a year, then I quietly suggest to the fam that we head out to the beach, and it takes no convincing at all. They race for their sandals and towels and can’t get into the car fast enough, then off to Bodega we go !
We happen to be lucky enough to live about thirty minutes from the Northern California coastline, so after a big weekend of gardening and home improvement, we decided to take a Sunday afternoon out at the coast to fly some kites and stop at our favorite seafood restaurant for the best clam chowder in the county.
Bodega is fantastic in spring and fall, but incredibly foggy and cold in the summer, a lot like the weather in San Francisco. So we head out the the coast as much as we can in April, May, September and October.
I just love trails through sand dunes and coastal grasses.
Inhale. Breathe deeply. Smell the salty air. Life is good.
There’s a reason I set my alarm clock to the ‘ocean’ setting – I know of no other sound as soothing as the lull of ocean waves hitting the beach. Instant stress relief !
The very best beach for kite flying is Doran Beach State Park in Bodega Bay. My kids are in their second year of their kite flying, but they are not alone. Doran Beach is the famous meeting place for the Kite Club for all lovers of high flying colors.
Last year, we picked up our kites from the famous Candy & Kites along Highway One, just north of Doran Beach. We like to pick up our salt water taffy here too.
Our munchkins have been in training ever since.
Study your opponent, grasshopper.
Avoid obvious traps and tangles.
Anticipate their every move.
When the moment arises, strike.
Victory will be yours.
OK, so the little guy had some help but the critter is barely four so he needs it.
You can’t leave the beach without a good old fashioned game of wave chasing.
I love the native flowering iceplant that cover the dunes, in both purple and yellow varieties.
Doran Beach also offers camping and RV Parking. One of these days we’ll have to find a friend with an RV and take a mini vacation out here.
In fact, I think when my last kid goes to college, I’m going to sell everything, buy an RV, and we will just drive around from state to state parking our RV, then annoyingly intruding on others peacefully parked by shouting “Permission to come aboard !”
Sound good ? :-)
Hungry, we headed to The Tides Wharf – our go to place for seafood.
We start with a little dungeness crab and prawn appetizer.
This place has ze best seafood.
Oh, la, la, mussels in white wine, garlic, and plenty o’ butter with parsley.
Soak up the heavenly broth with sourdough, divine !
The Tides Wharf is our favorite stop for the best clam chowder in the county. No, in the state. Yep, I said it. We’ve tasted clam chowder up and down the state, and in the Big City, but no one can beat this perfect blend of potato, celery, and clam nestled in the most buttery goodness of a chowder. It’s simply the best.
There are some evenings when we have driven all the way to the coast just for a ‘To Go’ order of this clam chowder.
So we splurged and got our fix with a seafood smorgasbord. Paired with some fresh sourdough and sauvignon blanc, it was a mini vacation in our own backyard. Worth the splurge, worth the trip. We left Bodega very fat and happy.
Stay tuned, later today I’ve got a little project where silver leaf meets a cheapo lamp. For those of you in the die hard Dark Bronze Lamp Club, you may wish to avert your eyes in this next post since I’ve redone one of your brethren in this very shimmery finish. Coming next . . .