An April Point Reyes Day

We got a late start.  I was supposed to wake up early to write following a chat about discipline with Dad the day before.  I did eventually answer my alarm, but was still so groggy I accomplished little more than some foggy scribbles.  When Nina came to call it was very easy to give in to the gift of overbearing Maine Coon snuggles and fall into a long warm slumber, during which time Rama filed his taxes.  Around ten he'd finished and I was feeling fully rested for the first time in weeks.  The destination for the day was Point Reyes, with the vague notion of doing some springtime foraging and the more definite plan to picnic.  It was sunny (in the harsh-lighted way that makes me hate my pictures), but very windy, and even with my jeans, t-shirt, denim shirt, cardigan, and heavy blanket sweater I was struggling all day to stay warm.  We went first to Heart's Desire and wandered around a while in the woods.  I was working hard to avoid poison oak (something I've never actually felt the ill effects of *knock on wood* and am not adept at spotting), and also was gathering some weedy grasses with the idea of augmenting a bouquet.  On a sunny hillside we came upon some really neat flowers--smallish, pale purpled white with delicate furring and mauve green grassy stems.  I gathered a hatful and back at the car Rama sawed a water bottle in half to preserve them for transport back to the little vases awaiting them at home.  (They've been giving me so much pleasure, as did the exercise of successfully IDing them with my Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers Western Region as--wait for it--Elegant Cat's Ears.  Satisfaction.) 

Anyway, Heart's Desire was horrible for wind, so we put picnicking on hold for a more protected location.  Rama, in his uncanny way, followed an inkling and brought us to a perfect spot--Shell Beach, a place he'd gone to as a kid but not since.  It was a half mile down a zigzagging path through fairytale Point Reyes springtime foliage.  I had just learned what to call forget-me-nots (dur), and enjoyed a hillside liberally sprinkled with their periwinkle. 

The first beach was very sweet, but Rama took us around a cliff to an even prettier one.  There was a lovely cove with striking orange moss and caves, and we hunkered down at last under a raggedy bishop pine.  Poundo ravaged a soggy log and went generally berserk, and I read Rebecca Solnit's The Faraway Nearby and felt awed by her mastery.  We ate Ewephoria and another stinkier cheese on apple slices, some of my mom's hummus which gets better with each passing day as the garlic gains traction, and glugged a couple of Sierra Nevada Hop Hunters. 

Relentless Mr. P

Then it was six in the evening and as windy as ever, and despite the fact that we'd just eaten we decided to head out to din at Nick's Cove.  I concentrated on not getting carsick while also staring at singular Tomales Bay.  There's something strange and suspended about the place, particularly approaching sunset, a timeless heavy quality the light has, hard on the unmoving gleam of bay, silvered sketchy ships, and vanishing ranks of cliffs.  I love it there and I think it is a special place on this earth.  Nick's Cove for its part is a perfect spot to end up.  Rama took me there early on after we met, and I'm sure that's part of its appeal, but it's also just a genuinely charming establishment that avoids the tendency of waterside-located restaurants to have really crappy food.  It was busy but they found us a spot at one of the little round fireplace tables, and we sipped on a couple beers and looked over the menu, finally settling on a mixed greens salad from "The Croft" (the name, we read in Edible Magazine, they've given their garden above the cottages--such a lovely old English word) to balance out a butter-roasted Pacific walu and the restaurant's "signature" Dungeness crab macaroni and cheese. 

While we were waiting for our food I ducked out to try to grab a couple sunset shots, tearing down the dock through breath-taking gusts of wind, returning feeling very chilly and energized.  Rama had been digging the live Spanish guitar and devouring the heated-up bread and the butter topped with brown Hawaiian salt (um, yum).  Our salad was very good with heaps of lettuces and a buttermilk dressing--I've only just learned about buttermilk from our making the Barefoot Contessa's recipe for potato salad for Rama's and his mom's respective birthday picnics, and I really like its subtle sourness.  As for the rest of our food: the fish was middling and the mac and cheese lacked flavor (I feel out of my element trying to write in-depth about food so I won't right now).  Suffice to say it hit the spot, and so we ended the day wind-chapped and well-fed in just the spot we wanted to be, followed by a mellow drive home and a prompt conk-out.

(I wrote this in April and never posted because I got overwhelmed by the teckmology aspect of including pictures.  I finally got tired of having a languishing draft, so here it is, and I might've even figured out the picture part!)