Monday, October 13, 2008

Birthday at Mazanita

This year my birthday fell on Kol Nidre, plus I had a cold, both of which conspired to make the day feel distinctly un-birthdayish. When you are born during the Yomim Nora'im (the ten Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), every few years or so your birthday will fall on either Kol Nidre or Yom Kippur. For you non-Jews, these are the most solemn days on the Jewish calendar, and Yom Kippur includes a day-long fast. Definitely not the sort of thing you want to be doing on your birthday.

Fortunately, we had ample warning of the calendrical snafu and we booked our favorite rental house at our favorite town on the north coast, Manzanita, for the weekend just after my birthday. And what a lovely weekend it was. The weather was outstanding, mild and dry (Saturday was incredibly clear and beautiful), and we took full advantage of it. We arrived Friday around noon, had a quick lunch and then went down to the beach. It was a bit windy that day so we headed back, stopping in at the various stores and galleries to see what was new and what was still the same. After dinner we went to our favorite wine bar, Vino,
and, on the recommendation of our server, had an amazing red blend of Merlot, Pinot and Barbera, called "Tantrum," (named for the winemaker's four daughters) from Erin Glenn Winery (I don't usually go for blends, but this was fantastic), along with a Caprese salad, smoked salmon and really opinionated sharp cheddar with rosemary crackers. It was all delicious and I loved the way the wine changed its taste depending on what I was eating. Even Sweetie, who usually doesn't care for wine, was turned on to this stuff.

Saturday was sunny and beautifully clear. I made Sweetie an omelet with the leftover cheddar and we both enjoyed bagels, cream cheese and the rest of the smoked salmon, and then we headed to the beach to daven the morning Shabbat service. We like doing this when weather permits. Here's our shul:

And here was the view of Mt. Neahkahnie from our shul:

We spent a good part of the afternoon at a harvest festival at Alder Creek, a nature reserve nearby. There's a resident elk herd and a community garden there, (Sweetie made a new friend)

and the festival featured lots of farmer's market vendors, barbecue, stuff for kids to do like pumpkin tosses and face painting, and square dancing. The square dancing was fun to watch; I used to do it when I was a kid. The caller had an interesting array of tunes, including O-Blah-Di O-Blah-Da and Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville (proving that you can square dance to just about anything). Here's a view of Saddle Mountain from Alder Creek, and a glimpse of the elk:

After the festival we rented bikes and tootled around Manzanita and Neahkahnie a bit; we saw parts of Manzanita we hadn't explored before, including the impossibly cute 9-hole golf course.

Then we came home, rested a bit, and went out for my birthday dinner. The whole weekend was an indulgence in excellent food, including this dinner (I ordered lamb chops, something I haven't eaten in ages) and the tiramisu cake dessert, along with a chocolate Cabernet (it's Cabernet filtered through cacao beans, the perfect compliment to anything chocolate). My tastebuds are still recovering.

On Sunday we checked out the new yarn shop and found this amazing creation:

Brownie points to anyone who can guess what it's made of. We also saw this; both were created for Junk to Funk, a recycled fashion contest.

I particularly liked the espadrilles.

We had a lovely time.

When we got home yesterday, our cats, particularly Addie, who is usually more aloof, curled up right next to me on the couch as if to say, "We're glad you're home." I couldn't ask for a more perfect weekend.


Sari said...

It sounds like a perfect weekend and I am very glad for you both (and a wee bit envious!) Happy Happy Belated Birthday!

I am curious as to what drew you into a yarn shop in the first place - always on the prowl for new (or returning) converts! Regardless, here is my shameless attempt at brownie points...I believe the garment is made from recording tape - 8-track, cassette, VHS, reel to reel - Can't say which of these for sure, but that is what it looks like from your photo.

Talk to you both soon ~

Liz said...

Score brownie points for you! It is indeed cassette tape (not 8-track, which to me makes it even more amazing, 'cause it's smaller and thinner).

We were scouting out the yarn shop both because it's new in town and we always check out new businesses, and also because we are plotting to kidnap you and Ron for a weekend sometime and take you with us to Manzanita; you'd love the rental house we stay in and we'd love to show you all our haunts. I figured that the yarn shop might be a good draw. Besides, I haven't completely given up on re-learning to knit again sometime, and I'm attracted to the colors and textures of the yarn. The shop also sells tea and high-end chocolate, trying to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

Why be envious, anyway? You were just at the beach, as I recall...

kalamala said...

Thanks for the shout-out!
Tomorrow is the day I find out wether or not I made it into Junk to Funk this year. Cross fingers for me!

Olga, owner of T-SPOT Yarn Teas and Chocolates,
crazy dress maker.