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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day Tripping




Last Friday we left our green scape and blue scape to go visit our sons in California. We drove 900 miles, staying overnight in Northern California wine country, then in Central California wine country, and then down to Los Angeles where we stayed by the airport.


Every time we visit our family down in California we look forward to the shopping and the restaurants. This last item includes fancy places as well as simple fare.


On my list was a stop at In-and-Out Burger. It is the quintessential burger, in my book: pure beef, grilled on demand, layered on a toasted bun with special sauce, leaf lettuce, beefsteak tomato, onions. McDonald's burger does not come close. I added fries that had been freshly cut from Idaho potatoes bigger than my hand, and freshly fried. We found our first burger joint in Salinas.


Before that, we spent a half a day having lunch in Healdsburg, in the Sonoma Valley, north of San Francisco, at Dry Creek Kitchen, a Charlie Palmer restaurant at the Hotel Healdsburg, where we had the sit down chef's tasting menu that included different wines for different courses.

The first course was pea soup with minty creme freche and a sauvignon blanc to put us in the right mood. The second course was house-made fusilli with a creamy sauce and a variety of zucchini squash, paired with a lovely rose. By the time the third course arrived, pork tenderloin on rapini served with a robust cabernet, we were ready for a nap. But, we forced ourselves to sit through the dessert course as well, with yet another drink.


After all this we needed a nap for sure. Fortunately for us, the shops in Healdsburg are filled with distracting objects and clerks dressed right out of Vogue. We chatted, we strolled, we bought a couple of cook books. (As though I needed more!)


When we got back on the highway and crossed San Francisco's famous Golden Gate Bridge, we swore we would never eat that way again.


After we arrived in Salinas, and we settled for the night, I spotted the In-and Out drive-through an easy walk from the hotel. I couldn't pass that up.
Living in Oregon has taught us simple, green living. But we have muscle memories that have not disappeared.








26 comments:

janis said...

Hello!
I am trying to play catch up on Blog World. Sounds like things are lovely in your corner of the world. What a lovely trip to Cali. I look forward to reading up, and thank you Rosaria for checking in on me (=

Helen said...

Dear Rosaria .... like a wonderful travelogue ... good information! I would like to think I could exist in the world of great food, wine and shopping ~ but alas reality calls. Glad you had so much fun on your trip. Welcome back to OR.

♥ Braja said...

Your journey sounded fun but I'm still laughing at your comment over at Fhina's....it must win the prize :)

Wait...there's no prize? Cheap flippin' unimportant woman she is...

Reya Mellicker said...

I love having a fancy dinner now and then, but my stomach can no longer handle lots of intricate tastes all together with different drinks. It's kind of a relief!

And there's nothing better than a really great hamburger. I had one yesterday at a restaurant coincidentally named "Sonoma." Delish!

Renee said...

I didn't realize I was so hungry. Thanks for pointing that out.

I hope it was a wonderful trip.

Acceptance is a necessity and the Serenity Prayer is something that means a lot to me.

Glad your back dear muse.

Love Renee xoxoxo

Cormac Brown said...

You had me going good until zucchini squash...

As you'll find out when the garden goes into full gear, the earwigs and other pests seem to avoid that for a reason. Not to mention that it tends to flourish more than other veggies to the point that eating that five days a week...bad flashbacks.

Beth said...

This was an especially cruel post. I had to sit here and read all about your gourmet feast while I ate my measly beenie weenies. While beenie weenies do rock, I'd prefer a gourmet meal.

Sounds like you had fun! I do love San Francisco. It is the ONLY part of California this Georgia girl has seen.

Bogey said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful time even with the 900 mile drive. Fresh Burger joints with homemade fries are the best! Especially if you have the opportunity to eat out in the open. Mmmmm! The Dry Creek Kitchen Restaurant sounds very appealing. I'm sure I would have needed a nap as well.

Matawheeze said...

I'm a true junk foodaholic but on trips back to CA I make a list of fav foods not to be missed - really good SF Sourdough, Walnut Shrimp, Onion Bagels, oh the list goes on and on!

Amy said...

I'd never heard of In and Out Burgers until I moved to Arizona. Now there's one every few blocks. Did you know that they have a "secret" menu?! (We're slowly learning all of the secrets.)

Sounds as though you had a lovely time and that you kept your bellies full. Ahhhh....

Pyzahn said...

There's nothing better than a road trip that includes good food. I just love the feeling of piling in the car and zipping away without a demanding schedule.

Sigh. I can't remember the last time I had a meal that came in courses (tight budget these days). And I've always wanted to try in/out burgers.

I have such peasant tastes...if given a choice, my last meal would be a really good burger (like you described), crispy fries and a chocolate malt. Yum-o.

Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you.

Linds said...

I have just had dinner and now I am starving again,Rosaria, after reading about that amazing meal! I so enjoy hearing about everyone's adventures,and oh my, that food sounds divine.

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

You made me so hungry...thanks for taking us along. Glad you enjoyed the ahhhh moments.

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Sounds like a great time with family and lots of good food!! :)

Polly said...

900 miles drive?? no wonder you keep thinking about food all the way there

on the other hand, it does sound like a great adventure, I'd go

Maggie May said...

Driving 900 miles by car! That is a very long way to travel, isn't it? (By our standards, anyway).
Glad you had a good time though. It is always great to meet up with family.

Shadow said...

ha! there's a time and a place for everything. your trip sounds lovely!

Ribbon said...

I too love a good road trip... though it would be a great distance between food stops here and mostly not stuff you would like to eat.

welcome back.


x Ribbon

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Oh how lovely! A change really is as good as a rest.

Lola said...

In-and-Out Burger, yum!! One of my musts as soon as I touch Northern California soil!

And as far as your oeno/gastro-bash, I'm glad you're living it up. "Semel in anno licet insanire" (once a year it's ok to go crazy). Big insulin-hugs and a pat on the back for the California achievements- I will miss seeing you too, Rosaria.

As ever,
Lola xx

Gran said...

The food sounds delightful, if filling :)

I've done that myself, many times, always vowing never to eat that way again.

Sounds like a great trip!

Siobhán said...

I love a really good burger, but they are a bit of rarity around here.

Hope your vists all went well.

Gaston Studio said...

Oh, I love a good burger and your In and Out Burger place sounds close to our Backyard Burger place... yummy!

So glad I'm not the only one that pigs out when on a little holiday; and since I'm heading for Atlanta tomorrow to see the grandkids (and their parents, of course) know I'll be adding a few pounds but what the heck.

BTW, what's in that second photo? At first glance, I thought it was a giant pair of blue jeans... now not sure!

Marilynne said...

Last fall we took a drive north from Southern California to Washington State. We followed the coast and I loved the Oregon beaches. Well, to be truthful, I just love beaches. On one of your trips you'll have to come by the beach roads.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

THis is so fantastic and beautiful...Nice information too.Thanks for sharing..Unseen Rajasthan

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

You bring such a welcome to where you visit - a feeling that "home" is ever with you - no stranger to heartbeats away...