the american adventure, part 5: mendocino

A lot of people in Germany know the beautiful town of Mendocino – at least the name – because of a very cheesy song:

To all those who don’t understand German: The guy singing is searching a beautiful girl in Mendocino. She was a hitchhiker, and he forgot her name, so he spends his days knocking on doors, looking for her. The song is a cover version of a song by the Sir Douglas Quintet. But I think it’s not about a guy looking for a girl… But listen for yourself.

After we had our Golden Gate Bridge adventure – and a headache – Sydnee and I drove through the breathtakingly beautiful golden hills of Northern California. And deep green redwood forests. We stopped at a very nice vinery for a picknick. And then I was introduced to a place to which my soul instantly connected1: Mendocino.

And although I was again blessed with unusual sunshine, I think I would have loved it with fog too. Because this ocean fog is a very theatrical fella, adding instant drama to any boring coastline. And he seems not be as sticky and ongoing like the fog around here, which sometimes doesn’t move for days.

albion river cove - with fog

It is a rough beauty, this Mendocino county. There are the deep and dark redwood forests, which reminded me a lot of the Black Forest at home. Then there’s the coastline, steep and rocky. With lots of Ice Plant. And Nasturtiums, with the biggest leaves I have ever seen. And no aphids! Unfair!

iceplant and nasturtiums

The redwoods:
in the redwoods

It was in many ways a vacations of firsts. First long-distance flight alone, first time in the US, first time I ever ate oysters, first time I drove a Pick Up… I did so much, but one of my favourite things was pretty unspectacular. It was a bench.

on a very special bench

It’s located in Albion, at the very end of a spit. You sit just mere inches away from the drop into the ocean. And it’s a huge bench, maybe designed for giants? The special thing is, that it is on private grounds. You can’t just access it like that. You have to ask permission. And I would so love to have met the guy who owns it. He’s a photographer and has quite a name in Hollywood2.

More pictures here.

the american adventure, part 4: simply succulents

I still kick my behind for not checking out if I could bring plants on a plane and back home. But actually, considering how they fuss about shampoo, I rather not find out what happens if you try. The reason why I still kick myself? Simply Succulents. It’s a nursery, specializing in – you guessed it – succulents. You can find them in Airport Road, Fort Bragg, if you happen to be in the Mendocino area. Go check them out, they are awesome.

They had a gorgeous selecction of Sempervivums and Sedums, two of my favourite succulents ever. In the dark ages people used to plant both on archways and rooftops, because they believed they would prevent lightning strikes. And Sempervivum literally means “living forever”, I like that, too.

sempervivum

sempervivum

gorgeous red sempervivum

Ah, those colours! To die for. But there were other beauties to admire, like that pitch black & dark red Aeonium:

black aeonium

Or this perfect spiral Aloe:

spiral aloe

More succulent beauty here.

the american adventure, part 2: stanford

Stanford is just a skip and a jump away from San Mateo, so one late afternoon Sydnee and I drove down to admire the beautiful campus. Gosh, I wish my university had that many palmtrees. But hey, we don’t even have a campus, soo… anyway, here are some pictures:

Stanford Campus

Stanford University Campus

See what I meant with the palmtrees? But Stanford has also a very beautiful church.

Stanford University Church

Stanford University Church

As always, there are more pictures in my flickr stream.

north california, week one

Hello there – the first week of my vacation is over, and I had a lot of fun. The first few days I spent relaxing on the sunny deck of my hosts – much needed after all that mad stress in the weeks before. And San Mateo greeted my with lots of sunshine, I enjoyed the view over the Bay, the hummingbirds and little daytrips to Half Moon Bay and Stanford University.

Then I relocated for four days to a picturesque place named Mendocino. And there I fell in love. The rough coast, the wild woods, the lovely beaches… it is absolutely, stunningly beautiful. I didn’t want to leave, even with the prospect of exploring San Francisco.

The adventures I had included

- trying (grilled) oysters for the very first time in my life
- bathing in a hot tub with only the moon as a companion (and being a teensy bit afraid of the mountain lion)
- sitting on a giant’s bench (it was so tall) at the edge of the cliff, watching the sunset – on the property of someone who is good friends with Johnny Depp!!!
- driving a Pick up truck (temporarily forgetting my fear of driving anything with four wheels and an engine)

I had tons of good food, gorgeous weather and met lots of wonderful people. Now I’m back in San Francisco and the mad whirlwind of sightseeing will begin.

And yes – I walked on the Golden Gate Bridge. But that’s a story for another time – with pictures then.

dipping my feet into the pacific

Yesterday I embarked on the furthest trip I have ever done alone. And oh dear, I was really shakey because I was so nervous. Nervous about airport security, nervous about missing my second plane, nervous about my bag going missing…

But, everything went fine. I enjoyed breathtaking views of the Atlantic ocean , I saw Greenland and now I’m in the United States of America! And it was worth every hour of overtime, every shakey second at the airport. I’m so glad I did make it happen. Syd and Ken are the greatest hosts ever.

And today I dipped my feet into the Pacific!

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