books and brews: part one of our fort bragg trip

we're already back from our time flies!
darin suggested the title because we visited so many good breweries and bookstores along the way,
two of our favorite methods of getting to know a place.

first stop, along the enchanted route up hwy 128 that cuts over to the ocean through the anderson valley. all along the way you are surrounded by blooming poppies and mossy oaks, redwoods and eucalyptus and the sweetest scents of wildflowers on the breeze.
anderson valley brewery is perfectly centered in the heart of this hobbity land, completely solar powered and brewing up some familiar and not-so-familiar treats.

already knowing he loves their amber ale and solstice brews, darin tries the seasonal Saison, one of our favorite types of beer. they were traditionally brewed for farmworkers during the harvest season before refrigeration was available. this type of beer has a long history and always has the most refreshing flavor.

the brewery is located in the tiny town of boonville, which was so isolated over the years that they created their own folk language, boontling. the brewery incorporates some of the terminology of this special language to capture the feeling of this place, watch here as brewmaster Fal Allen interviews a fluent boontlinger.

their logo is bear with deer horns. it took me years of drinking hop ottin ipa (delicious by the way) to figure out that BEER is bear and deer mixed! 
thus their famous silly mascot!

"Bahl hornin" = good drinkin!

they had the best outdoor seating area with wooden picnic tables, a fountain with blooming lavender, wisteria, little benches and a big expansive view of the green rolling hills all around. once again we daydreamed of owning a brewery in a valley with its own campground and a pub full of delicious vegetarian eats.

darin did a little more tasting and bought a four pack of a really strong belgian abbey style ale called Brother David's Triple.

maybe i should have titled this "books, brews, and BELLY;" i think it grew on the trip!
i'll have more pictures of that in another post :)

we went to bookstores every day...the first one was a simple little unassuming place called Windsong in fort bragg. 

my new favorite section besides literature and nature: pregnancy and childbirth.

darin's is still the science fiction section, among other mystical and esoteric subjects :)
this is his "i think i'm gonna have to buy some books" look.

later that day: North Coast Brewery.
darin found his new favorite, Le Merle, a belgian style farmhouse ale named for the brewmaster's wife.

and the next day we were back again! 
this time he tried another artisan brew: Brother Thelonius, a belgian dark strong ale.
he loved this one too. plus, let's not forget that north coast brews yet another of darin's faves, Old Rasputin!
so yeah, he was pretty much in heaven. the brewpub also has the best massive plate of black bean nachos.

another bookstore in fort bragg... this one simply called The Bookstore; it was run by a young couple who were very sweet and had a cute little rambunctious babe. more sci fi! more film books! vinyl records upstairs!

heading on up north, in eureka we supped the next day at Lost Coast Brewery. home of some of darin's usual beer stand-bys, like Great White and Downtown Brown.
i had the best grilled tofu taco and darin got to have more beer :) 
this is the friendly greeter at the door:

i'm posing with a beer for old time's sake. darin ordered the lost coast wheat, which must be a seasonal cause we'd never heard of it and it was super good and summery.

and next morning, one of my favorite bookstores ever: Booklegger in eureka.
right across the street from a yummy bagel shop, perfect :)
everything about this place invites you in to stay awhile....

the sections and selection remind me of my own bookery, but with a little more space and light and minus the rickety stacks on the ground ;)

we can't help it....we buy too many books!!!

we came home with at least a dozen new (used) books. 
i read the whole way home across my beloved land of california.
can't wait to show some more pics from our trip tomorrow!


marygood said…
heavy dose of nostalgia for me in this one! breweries (haven't been in ages, and used to love the lost coast), humboldt (used to live there years ago, le sigh) and belly (seeing yours almost makes me want mine back!). i love the simple decadence of brews and books...really, they're the stuff a good life is made of. especially so for the good company of the two of you (three!). can't wait to see more are looking absolutely scrumptious!

p.s. i heartily support you in that dream of your own little brewery/campground/snacky nosh spot. i'll be the can pay me in hops! xo
i live like five minutes from eureka. how did we not get together????? :(
awwww b it's because i don't have a damn cell phone! i thought of you a lot, kept telling darin about you and how you can walk to the beach with the boys...we didn't end up staying up there very long, but NEXT TIME we want to camp in the redwoods and i will make plans with you ahead of time!
Heather said…
What a great trip....oh I would have loved that fleet wood vinyl ....I love Stevie Nicks:) I love reading with my kids and in return they now all three of them devour books. It is a wonderful thing to pass on the love of reading to a child! Great photos you look so cute Love Heather
Tina Dawn said…
I love the bookstore in Eureka too! Heidi and I have been there a few times, and I have been there several more besides that. The brewery building in Ft. Bragg used to have antique shops in there, it looks a bit different now. I also love Boonville, I want to do a post on it someday, it is an old haunt of Heidi's and mine, plus my hubby and I go there as often as we can. I have two books on boontling, fascinating subject. Excuse me while I warm up my horn of zeese. Tina
Missa said…
Isn't 128 the most beautiful stretch of road?! Driving along on a warm sunny day with the windows rolled down is the best.

Love Boonville! Did you pop into that little homewares shop Farmhouse Mercantile? I like that place :)

It was so fun to spy you in the red butterfly wing sleeved dress! And the blue one from Anne too, you look gorgeous and both you and Darin look so happy, can't wait to see more!
Teeny said…
oooooo I wonder if my own family can drive out thataway too when we come over. You are the best dressed mama to be there ever was....I know they weren't strictly outfit posts, but I loved each of them. Where do you find such magnificent clothes?! I'm glad you two are taking off on trips together still, and enjoying these last moments of "just the two of us" time. I swear I can smell those bars and breweries. Wood and beer...mmmm. xx
Amy Beatty said…
OOOooo It all looks so beautiful and perfectly springy there!! I can't wait to hear more about this trip. And I agree with teeny, everything looks so adorable on you. I love it. I think we were together when you got that vest, and it was kind of big and we were all saying - it would be totally cute on a belly!!! and look! its on your belly!!! Oh the love!! At the time it seemed too much like a wish and now it is all a dream come true!!LOVE you xoxo
amy you have the BEST memory! that is exactly right, we were at the DI in st. george and you said "imagine how cute it would look with a belly sticking through." an idea that totally enchanted me, and i bought it! i wasn't even really sure about it, but just cause of that i had to get it! that was just about two months before i got pregnant, little leaps of faith like that helped i think! you blessed us.
Celynne said…
I love how many photos there are of Darin drinking something or other, too cute :) And that dangling welcome-spider is right up my alley! That red dress of yours looks amazing on you, but you always look fab. And you know there's no such thing as too many books :D

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