10 Things to do in Fort Bragg, CA

10 Things to do in Fort Bragg, CA

Sat., July 23, 2017: 10 things to do in Fort Bragg, Ca… 

1. Camp @ MacKerricher State Park

On Saturday, July 23rd, 2017, my friend John who is Co Organizer of our Bay Area Singles 35+ & Live Music Marin Meet Up hosted a caning event at MacKerricher State Park in Fort  Bragg Ca… A beautiful campground North of the town, MacKerricher close proximity to the town (10 minutes.

Events and include:

2.   Ride the Historic Skunk Train

Cost of riding the Historic Skunk Train is @
  • 27 adults, $16 children and children under 2  is $10.80 RT tickets .
  • On the “Pudding Creek Express…
  • Hours of operation is @11am and 1pm. 
Address:
Office: Foot of Laurel Street
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
707-964-6371

What the Skunk Train offers:

1. Half Day Excursion to Northspur:

4 hour, 40-mile RT takes you through Tunnel #2 at the Summit and descends into the Noyo River Canyon and magnificent Redwoods of Northern CA. The track you’ll pass over is so crooked that in one spot it stretches 8.5 miles to cover a straight line distance of less than 1 mile.
1. Take the Skunk Train to
1A. Departing Willits (Year Round)
Check your website of call for specific dates and times.
$59 Adult and $34 Child ( Ages 2-12)
Tickets subject to additional Historic Preservation Assessment Fee.

1b. Camping On the Noyo

Embark on the Skunk Train and spend the night in the rugged Noyo River Canyon, 17 miles east of Fort Bragg. Originally a logging camp along the route of the Skunk Train, Camp Noyo is a remote wilderness area that will be your new favorite campsite-and only accessible via train.

  • 8 private campsites
  • 1 River Chalet
  • Canoes, Kayaks, and Row Boats
  • Wood Heated Showers
  • Campsite Cook Kits

1c. Pudding Creek Express

This scenic 1 hour, 7- mile RT takes you along the PUdding Creek Estuary and some of the first tracks laid by the California Western Railroad. Common sightings include blue herons, egrets, osprey and trutles. This trip is perfect for those with limited time who want to explore the rest of the breathtaking Mendocino Coast.

Departing Fort Bragg (Year Round)
Check our website or call for specific dates and times.

www.skunktrain.com

$27 Adult and $16 Child (Ages 2-12)

Tickets subject to additional Historic Preservation Assessment Fee.

Why did they nickname Skunk Train?

The name originated in 1925, when motorcars were introduced. These single unit, self-propelled motorcars had gasoline-powered engines for power and pot-bellied stoves burning crude oil to keep passengers war. The combination of the fumes created a very pungent oder, and the old timers living along the line said these motorcars were like skunks. “You could smell them before you could see them.”

3. Visit Glass Beach…
4. Go Wine Tasting @ Pacific Winer 

Address:

33000 California 1, Fort Bragg, CA 95437

www.PacificStarWinery.com

Perched right on the edge of the wild Mendocino Coast, Pacific Star winery overlooks the Pacific Ocean. They boast that they have a picnic area with gorgeous views of whale watching.. YOu can book private events and weddings as well as Oceanside cottage. The Oceanside cottage available

 

www.PacificStarWinery.com

5. Lunch @ Jenny’s Giant Burger
Address:
940 Forth Main Street
Fort Bragg, Ca
Make sure you taste the 1/3 pound burger with fries and have it with French Fries. The day after we tried the triple patty burger. We also tried the triple burger which was out of this world… very tasty… And please don’t forget the Mendocino Chocolate Cookie. It was out of this world.
6. Stay at Country Inn Bed and Breakfast.
This hotel is highly recommended by Casey who worked for at the Chamber of Commerce in Fort Bragg. Country Inn Bed and Breakfast has 7 beautiful guest rooms. Each has a suite bathroom and several has fire places.
All their beds have tempurpedic toppers, down comforters, high thread count sheets, and plush towels.
Guest enjoy complimentary snacks and beverages 24 hours a day..
Social Hour is Saturday nights.
Address:
32 N. Main Street
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
www. beourguests.com
This 1890’s residence is just steps away from Glass Beach, the Skunk Train, downtown shops, galleries and award  winning restaurants. North Coast Brewing Company and Tap room, The Guests HOuse Museum, and Tatoo Museum, and the new Coastal Trail are all within an easy walk. It’s jus a short drive to Mendocino Village, MacKerricher State Park, Point Cabrillo Light House, Anderson Valley Wineries, REdwood Forests, kyaking departure points, horseback riding and the miles of hiking and biking trails.
The breakfast is definitely the highlight of your sta. Every morning  you’ll enjoy a different, artfully prepared, filling, and beautifully presented meal.They boast that they use the fresh local ingredients whenever possible and organic eggs from their resident hens.
Other lodgings include the following:
Beachcomber Motel and Spa
www.thebeachcombermotel.com
address:
111 N. Main Street
Fort Bragg, CA  95437
Reservations: 800-400-SURF (7873) or (707) 964-2402
8. See a play at Eagles Hall Theatre 

address:

Eagles Hall Theatre

210 N. Corry
Fort Bragg, CA  95437
Currently the play ” Chicago” is playing through August 13th, 2017.
For current plays please visit eventful for current plays and prices.
http://eventful.com/fortbragg_ca/venues/eagles-hall-theatre-fort-bragg-/V0-001-007634941-7
9.  Taste Barrel-Aged OLD rasputin at North Coast Brewing Co.

address: 501 North Main Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437

www.northcoastbrewing.com

Taste Barrel-aged beer called “Old Rasputin.”

10. Rent a kayak at Liquid Fusiono

address; 32399 BAsin Street, Fort Bragg, CA;  (707) 962-1623

www.liquidfusionkayak.com

Kayak tours available such as Dry and Mild – Noyo Meander/Sunset Bird Paddle

Whitewater of the Sea- Kayaking Rocks!

Take Kayak Classes

Learn kalyak skills to e

 

How to see a live band at the Marin Art and Gardens, Ross, CA

Can’t imagine a traveler going to San Francisco and not experiencing Marin County across the Golden Gate Bridge especially during the summer. Freebies.. YES… at the Marin Art and Garden in Ross, California. During the summer “The Marin Art and Gardens (MAGC)” has a concert series.  In order for  you to enjoy the band make sure you come 30 minutes to stake out an area next to the stage and save your spot with a picnic blanket. Bring a picnic basket as well along with some vino and WOW what a great way to spend a couple of hours surrounded by lush and beautiful vegetation and an awesome band… Can’t get better than that. I usually take my Singles and Music group to this venue religiously on a weekly basis..

Bay Area Singles 35+ Meet Up

San Anselmo, CA
599 Singles

FRIENDSHIP IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS…. Are you new in the bay area? .. need to make a fresh start.. meet new found friends.. or established old ones…networking professionally or w…

Next Meetup

Summertime Northern California Camping Pt. 2!!!

Tuesday, Jul 25, 2017, 2:00 PM
2 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

Music!….Live!….Marin!

San Rafael, CA
585 Live Music Aficionados, N Bay!

Getting together to meet fellow, Live Music Aficionados and enjoy and discover the music and talents of our North Bay musicians, singers, bands, dancers, artists, composers……

Next Meetup

The Boom Box (Motown Hits) at The Marin Art and Gardens, Ros…

Tuesday, Aug 8, 2017, 5:00 PM
4 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

 

It’s totally free. The Concert is between 5 and 7pm.. If you want a full dinner, there are 2 different restaurant caterers offered each week during the show…. if you don’t want to bother to bring your own food. This is as good as it gets.

There are other events and activities at MAGC and if you are coming as a group please call them because they can tour your group and learn more about this beautiful park.

home

MAGC guidelines if you decide to visit this fantabulous garden in Marin County:

visitor guidelines

In any case, the 2017 musical band extravaganza began with one of our favorite local bands: Loran Rowan’s Rattlebox Classic. We have mentioned  Loran Rowan earlier in this blog and really you can’t miss his performance. He is one of our favorites in my hometown.

https://www.facebook.com/lorinrowansrattlebox/

I’ve seen Loran perform in different place throughout Marin  including our home concerts. We hired Loran to play several times in our private meet up.

I will post the restaurants and events as Rowan performance throughout the North bay. I also posted and blogged about him in this blog. Loran Rowan not only plays with his merry band ” The Rattlebox,” he also partner up with his brother Chris ( The Rowan Brothers). Loran has played at Iron Springs brewery, Fairfax, Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael, Panama Hotel, San Rafael, The Trident, Sausalito and of course,  our meet up group Bay Area Singles 35+ and Live Music Marin Meet Up. Noted are just a few places you can experience the tunes of Loran. He’s an exceptional musician.

http://www.rowanbrothers.com/index2.html

https://www.facebook.com/lorinrowansrattlebox/

In any case, the last two Thursdays our merry little band has experienced other phenomenal artist including the following :

  1. The Schrammtastics

  1. Zydeco Flames (New Orleans Funk)

I have to admit Zydeco Flames is just what the doctor ordered. Our music luvah group got their endorphins going. Love this band and I highly recommend seeing them this summer .. if not experience them next year if you are coming to the bay area.. They are hot.. hot.. hot…

http://www.zydecoflames.com/shows.html

 

 

 

 

An Evening With Mr. Jonathan Poretz at Osterio Divino, Mill Valley, California

Through the years, I have experienced the sights and sounds of Jonathan Poretz  from a sold-out crowd at Lucy Mercer’s Throckmorton theater in Mill Valley to the his intimate venue in a Florentine restaurant called Ostoria Divino’s in Sausalito, north of the Golden gate Bridge.

They call him Mr. “Sex, Swagger and Swing”  with a tightly arranged, expertly narrated, and beautifully sung tributes to two of the vocal masters ..idols of his youth, Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin. 

Always a memorable experience listening to Jonathan.. When we arrived, I was approach by Jonathan’s father Arthur, who is absolutely proud of his son. For good reason, Arthur can’t get enough bragging rights.  Through the years I’ve known Arthur as Jonathan’s number one fan, both father and son are quite Dynamo. I first met them years ago when my friend Jake Costa introduced me to Jonathan, and I was as mesmerized  by the sound of his voice. He does an excellent job singing not only songs by Frank Sinatra but also Bobby Darin. Of course there are other singers of the past and the band that plays along with his performance are just as polished as Mr. Poretz.  

To experience the sound of Frank Sinatra through the voice of Jonathan is truly something to remember. 

My Meetup brought seven member together to exprience this phenomenal artist and the night that we did  we requested Jonathan to sing his rendition of Mac tonight. It was magical. Time and time again I  introduce my 1200 members group ( Bay Area Singles 35+ and Live Music Marin Meet Up)  to see his performance. Mac The Knife by Bobby Darin is certainly my favorite song that I love to hear Jonathan sing.

More importantly when I come to see Jonathan Poretz, I always noticed a growing entourage of fans.  Of course there is his wife Bobbi and Dad who try not to miss a performance.  But there are also fans who is actually a good friends of Frank Sinatra’s and can’t get enough of Mr. Swing, Swagger and Roll.  We all seam to love these songs, and Jonathan does a fantastic job of bringing us back to days gone by as we listened to the sounds of the packrat in Las Vegas.

Speaking of Mr. International, Jonathan has travelled as far away as Germany to sing songs with other singers who impersonate the packrat ( Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin). Just wished I was there to experience it.

 I can’t wait to bring my dad to see Jonathan. My dad actually sang  the songs  of Sinatra and Darin on my wedding day at The Carmel Mission Ranch. My dad used to sing on occasions at the piano bar in the Mission Ranch. He tended bar for Clint Eastwood.  Indeed,  my dad has that Swing, Swagger and Sway and I cannot wait to have him enjoy the performance of  Mr. Poretz.

http://www.jonathanporetz.com/

” Jonathan singing Mac the Night at the Nikko Hotel, San Francisco!”

Sipping Tea and Listening to Local Talents at Wu Wei Temple, Fairfax, Ca

One of my favorite end of the week events to relax here in Marin county, North of San Francisco is sipping tea and to listen to the performances of local artists. From the poetry to  music, you canexperience a whole array of sights and sounds with a Bohemian setting. Musical instruments played includes an electric guitar, a mandolin, a ukulele, a trumpet, a trombone, and many other instruments is not only entertaining but it is also very calming to your nerves.

There’s wonderful talent in Marin and what more to veg out with a soothing cup of tea at the kava kava bar and listen to the sonds and instruments played by  local talents of the area. I was here to taste their tea elixirs such as the kava kava, the luv tea and other. It was definitely delicious.  

https://wuweiteatemple.com/

 

Happy Hour at Pig and Whistle, Geary Boulevard in San Francisco

 

Happy Hour at the Pig and Whistle

One of the best pubs in the San Francisco Bay Area.. The members of Bay Area Singles Meet Up spent a very Happy Hour at “The Pig and Whistle on Geary in San Francisco Ca. Draft beers at $3.50 during happy hour 4pm to 6pm daily.. and please make sure to try the ales from around the world.

Happy Hour at The Pig and Whistle, San Francisco, California
Brit’s at The Pig And Whistle

An English style pub atmosphere. I recommend the following bar foods: the Cornish pasty, spicy buffalo wings, jalapeno poppers and shepherds pie. A couple of the bar foods were garnished with a small portion of salad which was delicious as well… Two of the ladies tried the crispy and flavor full fish and chips.

While we were there, we met the Irish and English Social Club meet up.  This made our entire group that much more fun! Thanks to their organizer, we found this delightful English pub with.

The Pig And Whistle is an exceptional value for your money, I need to try the traditional hamburger or bangers and mash next time.  I will bring my members again in this fine establishment known not only for its food, beers and ales but for its service and it’s busy bar filled with the natives of the mother land.

Their Own website states:

“Have you ever been into a Bar, asked for a pint of Guinness only to be dismayed by the sloppy half hearted effort the Bartender puts into building the black stuff? At the Pig and Whistle the staff are trained to pour Guinness the correct way. From using a 20 ounce Guinness glass to allowing the Stout to sit for a while after pouring 2/3rd’s, to topping it off with a nice white creamy head raised just above the rim . We pour one of the best Guinness’ in San Francisco. We also sell a lot of Guinness, so your certain to be drinking from a fresh keg every time.”

Cornish Pasty
One of The Pig and Whistle’s tasty bar foods..

 

I’d be interested what great experiences you all shared last time you visited The Pig And Whistle on Geary.  Please share in the comments below.

Jocee

Watching “The Last Dalai Lama” at the annual Mill Valley Film Festival at the Larks Theater, Larkspur, California

lark-theater

http://larktheater.net/about-us/vision-a-history

What an enlightening evening it was last night to watch The Last Dalai – Lama at The Larks as one of Mill Valley film festivals movies of 2016.

http://tickets.cafilm.org/websales/pages/list.aspx?epguid=c6b17b06-9289-4456-9ea8-48c16255c85d

The Dalai Lama’s contribution is as one of the most spiritual beings living on this planet. I am moved by his compassion towards the killings of other Tibetan Buddhist monks by the soldiers of Communist China, inspired by his tolerance and patience as he negotiated with Mao of China not to invade Tibet, and touched by his calmness as he watched the death of young Tibetan monks by burning themselves to send the people of the world the message of their suffering under the Communist Regime.

lastdalaillama

Mill Valley Festival is well acclaimed as one of the best films festival in the United States.  Other than movies, there are famous guest actors and actresses and world-renowned musician who grace us with their presence within a weeks time here in Marin County. Not only are these well chosened award-winning films shown at The Lark , they may be shown at the Christopher B Smith theater in San Rafael, the Sequoia in Mill Valley, and the Fairfax theater in Fairfax California. Seeing the film in the classic Lark theater has me reminisce of the days gone by. One of my favorite actors Aaron Eckhart is coming to speak to a crowd of people. Hopefully I can buy tickets to see him.  

After watching “The last Dalai Lama,” it put me in perspective. I am inspired and on my path to sit, be still and meditate so I feel centered again.

Link to “The Last Dalai Lama” trailer:

california-film-institute-the-last-dalai-lama_

THE LAST DALAI LAMA – MICKELY LEMLE (DIRECTOR) & LINDA MARONEY (PRODUCER

 

Eat At The Best Thai Restaurant in Marin

There are many Thai restaurants in Marin County and my favorites is a restaurant at the Strawberry Village Shopping Center called Thep Lela Thai. Jenny, my waitress recommended many items in the menu particulary the sliced barbecue pork loin marinated with honey. Marinated in sweet-and-sour plum sauce, this savory BBQ pork is a favorite with the locals of the area. Furthermore, Thep Lela Thai’s chefs always prepares their food with beautifully  garnished  vegetables which only enhances your culinary  experienced.  which on only ience t garnished their food because it adds to the culinary experience.

"The Best BBQ Pork in Marin County, North of San Franciscot!"
“The Best BBQ Pork in Marin County, North of San Franciscot!”

Thep Lela Thai is tucked behind Strawberry Village in the town of Mill Valley….. right off Highway 101. It is past Sausalito on the way to the wine country. Mill Valley is the next town down after Sausalito which you will see as soon as you drive through the Golden gate Bridge.

a_010Our waitress Jenny described to me some of the favorite foods the locals eat from the menu which includes:

the mild yellow curry 

hot green curries

The yellow and green curries are the favorites but you can always order mild, medium or hot.

The last time I was here for lunch, I had the pad basil (spicy) chicken basil garlic chili sauce with mixed vegetable. In both occasions brown rice was served which look more life  wild rice to me. I will certainly order it time and time again.

Indeed, please order the pad basil mixture of tofu, chicken, pork, beef, praws, calamari or duck  and seafood combo. Its one of the best in the menu.

In addition, Jenny asked the manager of Thep Lela Thai to speak to me  because I wanted to gather more the history of this 40-year-old restaurant.

 Other foods that are recommended by Jenny on the menu includes the following:

Duck salad is favorite. The papaya salad is just as good specially for a vegetarian. The mango salad is not as good in this time of year because mango is out of season. The mango is too sour and salty.

Jennifer also recommends Yum Yai another favorite which include prawns, chicken, lettuce tomatoes, cucumbers, chopped peanuts with house dressing. Creamy dressing are drizzled on the prawns and chicken which is placed on top of the lettuce.

As for soup Tom Ka is the favorite. It is  a coconut soup with mushrooms, cilantro, onions. You have a choice of chicken and tofu…

Please note that a choice of the chicken, vegetable or beef is the basis for all the salad, soup or entrees presented on this menu.

As far as appetizers, Jennifer recommends the tuna wasabe, chicken satay and the fresh roll which is all vegetable.

In addition to the regular menu, there is the chef special which the local loves to order again and again. The mango snapper, lamb rack and the Penang beef (medium) from the regular menu ranks up there, too.

This is as good as it gets for a Thai food and has won awards for their restaurant.

 

 

Making New Friends at San Francisco’s Octoberfest

Are you looking for a great way to have fun in the San Francisco Bay Area during the month of September?  Want to be around a great group of international folks who live in the area, or are just visiting from Germany maybe?  Well Octoberfest might be just for you…

 To take in the event I decided to volunteer at an Oktoberfest allowing me to experience the festivities/atmosphere and not bust the bank in doing so. So my partner and I served beer to thirsty, and sometimes overly thirsty Octoberfesters! 

We had a great time making people happy by giving them a little bit more than they asked for.  They might have expected a beer with a inch of foam head, instead we gave them a poured beer with ice cold Spaten Beer all the way to the top of the Stein.  When your thirsty, and the event revolves around beer, a smile will appear with this type of unexpected end result.

 octofestviii092016

This is the 5th year in a row I’ve Volunteered to this Late September, celebrating October and the harvest event.  It’s a simplified definition, but the real origination and history of the Annual event heald for about a two week period in Munich Germany from Late September to about the first week in October :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oktoberfest

 

Back to the Oktoberfest in San Francisco, and the 3 day event held at Pier 48 San Francisco Ca., when on Saturday September 24th, 2016 my boyfriend and I finished our shift, we then were transitioned to normal guests with beer privileges.  This year we met some vundabar Frau and Frauleins within this most happy affair.

 octofest092416iv

The Oompah band was phenomenal as they played their homeland music but my favorite song was their toast on an hourly basis, as well as the Chicken Dance tossed in for good measure.

 2011-09-30-21-25-57-1

 

What a way to distress yourself after a long week at work, or just getting to the heart of the matter of a good party to celebrate this Yearly German tradition.

My partner and I enjoyed not only the socialization process as we served a happy lot when we first arrived… but later as we immersed ourselves within the croud it seamed that regardless of age or nationality, it was quite a swinging dance celebration and party hearty till the clock struck midnight.

 octfestv

The best part of it all for us besides the fun and excitement of interacting with the crowd, was the random luck of meeting some actual German ladies in their suitcase packed beautiful and authentic Oktoberfest costumes.  They were so cute and proud to discuss how their costumes were different and we all agreed better than some of the more provocative Oktoberfest Wear that was being worn by more local folks.  Very stylin…

 octoberfest-iv

So we partook in an International Event like Oktoberfest to just get a little of the worldly feel.  Instead we were having an engageing conversation with 4 people traveling for 3 weeks in the United States, and just stopping into Oktoberfest because otherwise they would miss the event entirely within their home country.  Now we have Authentic German friends from Dusseldorf, who have invited us visit them for the real Oktoberfest in Munich! 

 octerfesti

The connections can be Lifelong…forever friends in Facebook or the beginning steps towards a World Tour to the land Germany and of these beautiful people.

 

Eat Cioppino and Beef Ravioli Bolognese at Trattoria Cattaneo, Santa Rosa, California

  tratcat4

 

Nesetled at 2700 Yulupa Avenue, Santa Rosa, my partner and I had lunch at Trattoria Cattaneo. We were extremely happy at this restaurant find…and through Travel Zoo. Even without a discount you will be satisfied with the delicious food this restaurant has to offer.

 

tratoria-cattaneo-santa-rosa-ca

 

Our waiter Richardo was exceptional with an Italian flare. He recommended what’s special in their menu.I had the Seafood Cioppino which included a rich thick blend of prawns, bay shrimp, scallops, calamari, clams, mussels and crab meat in spicy tomato base soup. My partner ordered the Beef Ravioli Bolognese which is beef stuffed ravioli in their homemade wine meat sauce…Many of the ingredients in their pasta and sauces are fresh homemade daily in their kitchen. I’ve never tasted so many delightful Italian dishes which melted in your mouth.

 

tratcat8 tratcat7

 

The service was impeccable as well. Ricardo was charming and attentive as we  questioned him about the history, food, and the selection. Ricardo had to leave because his shift was over but the dinner waiter  and busboy were just as attentive and friendly.  I have to admit that it was one of the best Italian dining experienced We will definitely come back. 

tratcat11tratcat10

tratcat6tratcat4tratcat3tratcat2tratcat5

Groove To The Music of Lorin Rowan… One of Our Favorite Local Bands in Fairfax, California

Fairfax, as you know, is known for being  Grateful Dead’s home and the only town in America that holds a Green Party majority. It boast an excellent community grocery called Good Earth. The hub bub of this quaint town. Located 3.25 miles (5.2 km) west-northwest of San Rafael is on the main road…..Bolinas Avenue in downtown Fairfax is filled with local restaurants and bars. I highly recommend this local brewing company which show talented musicians for free every Wednesday night.  The beers has an excellent taste and some has won awards…   We pampered ourselves by listening to the beat of Lorin Rowan, local artist.  Lorin performed the music of ‘Rattlebox’ featuring his finger pickin’ acoustic roots/Americana in folk/rock and world music.

irnsprwithlorin092216ii

 Lorin is known as one of the best band we hire for our house concerts. Being a meet up organizer for the last 9 years, I have chosen many of the musical venues to post on my Music Live North Bay Meet Up. Hosting an event and blogging about the places and activities for our group to attend has its perks… Not only do I experience these events with my social meet ups, I will blog about these music afficionados.
I find  “Meet Up”  an excellent way to create community. Bringing a group of singles together who want to make new friends, established old ones or find a partner, is a good way to socialize and  pamper yourself after a gruelling day at work.