Sunday; Monday getaway
A four day odyssey to the north for food from the Blue Bird Diner to a stop for the Oyster Crossing… Sea Ranch wanderings and celebrations tucked in between. And there was so much more… a rare visit by Eric and Alison to the Bay Area and a chance for us Rectors — at least the MCEA Division — to cook together. So here’s how it went down as we wound things up…
Alison and Paula left early to meet with “the girls” at Two Fish, a tiny restaurant up on the hill, to make “back-East” travel plans and have breakfast. Carol and I joined them just in time to finish off a decadent Morning Bun (pecan roll) and enjoy a cup of coffee. Coming back down the hill, we spotted the sheep herd from above.
When we received the wedding invitation, we quickly agreed with Eric and Alison to rent a house together. We asked Paula to join us. With five folks, it was about the same price as rooms at the lodge and had the obvious advantage of being “our own place.” Of the houses available, we chose CROW’S NEST, situated on the hill side of Sea Ranch, east of Route 1. We were particularly taken by the deck and hot tub as Eric and Alison were planning a welcoming dinner for those arriving on Friday evening. As a bonus, Sea Ranch had a special going on: Stay for three nights for the price of two. WooHoo.
As our time approached, Sea Ranch called to say that Crow’s Nest had discovered problems with their deck and hot tub and it had to be rebuilt. Consequently, we were obliged to change to OCEAN WATCH, near Pebble Beach on the Bluff Trail. Bummer… bummer? I wasn’t totally conversant with Sea Ranch geography, but there are two major zones, divided by Route 1; the west, ocean side and the east, hill side. So by virtue of the Crow’s Nest misfortune, we came out smellin’ like a rose. I’m sure we would have enjoyed Crow’s Nest immensely, but I did a lot of walking on the Bluff Trail, and that would have been cumbersome from Crow’s Nest. Besides, being next to the mighty Pacific is compelling in itself, as you saw from the previous pictures. I would say we caught a “member’s bounce.”
So after another hot dog lunch, we decided to drive up to Crow’s Nest to see what we missed. I checked the map and figured that since I skipped my “morning walk,” I could drive up and walk back while Carol drove the car back down. That’s just what I did.
The walk back to Ocean Watch took 55 minutes. I can’t imagine walking in the reverse direction… that hill that provides the breathtaking view is very very steep and long.
By the time I got back, Eric was busy with the lamb for dinner. It’s a beautiful five-and-a-half pound leg from Golden Gate Meats, and beautifully Frenched. Oops, won’t fit in our cheap little charcoal grill, have to cut that bone. The bone cut, he stabbed it with a paring knife and inserted slices of garlic all ‘round; trussed it and wrapped it up with rosemary for a few hours until time to grill.
While the lamb grills for about an hour to 140°F internal temperature, toss up a green salad with the leftover bean salad dressing, and boiled potatoes, buttered and dilled and there’s your recipe of the day.
We chose the clean-up-yourself option for Ocean Watch. A very detailed list of items to be taken care of was stuck on the refrigerator door. With five folks willing and able, that didn’t take long. We posed for a good bye portrait on the deck. I know there are days at Sea Ranch that aren’t perfect, but we didn’t see any.
I drove back with Alison while Eric drove Paula’s car with Paula and Carol aboard. We met at Nick’s Cove at Tomalas Bay for lunch, and a fine lunch it was. I had been there once, soon after it re-opened to salve my architectural curiosity, but the others hadn’t been. We were all in for a treat.