Planning a trip to a faraway place is made easier by www.tripadvisor.com. You can see pictures of and read comments about hotels, restaurants, historical sites, and all other attractions. Of course, you have to try to be objective about people’s reviews, asking questions like, “Was this sunny review written by the great-aunt of the owner?” and “Is this reviewer crabby that the rain is wet, too?”
After Muir Beach Overlook and lunch at a little town not far from there, our next stop was in Point Arena for the night. The Wharf Master’s Inn looked pretty cool online. Luckily, it was pretty cool in real life, too!
Perhaps every coastal town has its story, and Point Arena is no exception. (Photo of Marcus below)
In 1913, a sparse crew of 15 young men from Japan chartered a 15-meter fishing boat across the Pacific Ocean. The monument on the coast recalls their adventure this way: “Entrusting their dreams and hopes to a compass.”
On the Tuesday night we “docked” at Point Arena, we ate at one of the two restaurants open in the small town, gathering with the locals. Marcus, more the extravert than me, stuck around after supper to take in the culture as the local fisherman drank and chatted. He did decline when one of them invited him to their table for a birthday celebration!
The next night, my luck with Trip Advisor was, well, not so lucky. A camera can do remarkable things in a motel room with a skilled eye behind it. When we reached Crescent City, California, with its stretch of uninviting motels, things looked grim.
And grimmer still when we pulled up to the motel I had thought looked alright on Trip Advisor. When we opened the door to our room…we bravely entered and assured each other it would only be for one, single night.
However, Crescent City, too, has its own story. This little “city” has survived not one, but two tsunamis. Not only that, but it has a phenomenal little restaurant called Marlins that serves delicious Italian and Mediterranean food, including a wicked chicken parmigiana and a scrumptious cannoli.
But beware of the motels. And tsunamis.
A few more photos...