Staying with Aunty Mary and Uncle Peter

Trip Start Sep 14, 2009
Trip End Aug 16, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Arriving at Los Angeles airport we made a mad dash across to another terminal to catch the internal flight to San Francisco. There we picked up our Chevy Malibu hire car for the next 3 weeks journey around California and Nevada. Off we set dosed up with travel sickness pills for the extremely twisty trip up to my Aunt Mary and Uncle Peters' house some 4 hours north up the coast in beautiful Mendocino. After getting limited sleep (due to watching every available film on board the plane, Issy and Ady slept for the first 3 hours – peace!) We made good time and surprised Mary and Peter at 9.30pm for a wonderful reunion and Italian spag bol, after not seeing Peter since our last family visit 7 years previously. They live in the most idyllic fairy tale setting in the Mendocino redwoods. They have a wonderful guest cottage which Rick, Ady and I called home for the next 7 days; Issy had Mary’s spare room in their house. They rent the cottage for holidays and weekends and if you do fancy a break in this incredible location here is their website for you to investigate - . Mary has thought of every possible guest requirement from handmade soaps, freshly ground coffee,  a bottle of wine on arrival, a bed you could sleep for weeks in and a garden to die for with different seating areas. They truly are the hostess’s with the mostess’s.

Mary had kindly arranged a still life drawing class for Issy at their friend’s house early the next morning so Rick, Ady and I took advantage of the time to sleep in! It was brilliant to be able to hang out with family and chat about life and also make ourselves useful. We all did our bit in earning our keep especially Rick, who became Mary’s personal Mr. DIY man and, I might add thoroughly enjoyed himself.  It is a truly magical setting and we regularly spotted the family of deer who Issy and Ady fed with apples and the numerous varieties of birds around the woodland garden. We all had fun seeking out yet another handmade bird house around the garden or even the house and cottage.

Montgomery woods were fascinating with its majestic redwood trees which are just enormous and great for playing hide and seek in. Issy and Ady found a number of logs to sea saw on and we enjoyed a complimentary packed lunch from Mary which included a bag of delicious cherries with which we all had a "who can spit the stone furthest" competition with! Nearby there is a beach aptly named 'Glass beach because a number of years ago it used to be the local dump for household items including bottles and even cars. Now it is a beach literally made up of rounded glass particles and the occasional car engine sticking up. We had great fun collecting pieces of coloured glass and shells which Issy later arranged on a bird house for Mary (unfortunately they didn’t make an entry into our ever growing rucksacks!) Rick and I enjoyed mornings running and walking along the magnificent headlands which have the most incredible rock formations which we carried out a geography lesson with for the kids!

Every night we were presented with an extravagant gourmet meal from our Chef de Cuisine, Peter. He excelled himself especially on the ‘Beef bourguignon’ and Scallop dish. Peter you have to be the best cook I know, obvious exceptions (my darling Hubbie Rick!)Thank you for the wonderful food Peter. We all attempted to make some meals in reciprocation Ady with his curry and nan bread, Rick with a filled roll chicken breast and Issy and I in our usual way lemon drizzle cake and homemade lemon curd! Only a small thank you for all the Zama hospitality. We only actually ventured out for one meal to their local Mexican where we sampled an amazing Margarita and Mexican meal in a friendly restaurant called the ‘Purple Rose’.

I was fortunate enough to experience the Mendocino music festival which is held in Mendocino every year. Peter took me to the afternoon practise of the Opera Carmen which I thoroughly enjoyed. We also looked around all the beautiful shops including where Mary works ‘Sallie Mac’s’, at all the gorgeous things as Rick put it ‘everything in life you would never ever need’. Of course that was not Issy’s and my views! The kids also found a lovely book shop which Mary kindly treated them to a book as a memory of Mendocino, which they have avidly read already. 

It was wonderful for us to spend some quality time with Mary and Peter in their everyday lives and it will certainly be a highlight of our American adventure. We’ll be back – be afraid be very afraid!

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Julia on

Tell Aunty Mary and Uncle Pete that the Mullins family will be coming up for a visit one day. It looks absolutely beautiful.

Adrian Gordon on

Looks great! We are planning a USA tour next year. Will put it on the agenda.

jane on

where is the pic of the lemon drizzle cake ?

Gladys on

Que hermosas imagenes!!!! Los colores y esos arboles son fantasticos!!!!!!
Se los ve tan felices..... un abrazo desde Argentina!

David & Jo on

We can't believe you're still going! You're all looking fantastic, happy and healthy. We're loving reading your blogs and seeing the photos - this trip will undoubtedly be something you'll never, ever forget. Enjoy the next few weeks, we're really looking forward to catching up with you all in the autumn. Love, love, love xxx

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