It was July 2nd, we loaded up the car, headed towards Mendocino, with Kona and all of her toys. It never fails, we always pack everything she needs, however, we forget several of the things we need. Oh, the life of a doggie parent. Taking a little bit of a different route, we decided to take our friends advise and stop in Healdsburg at the Costeaux French Bakery on the way. Totally worth the drive!
We then cut through by lake Sonoma, let Kona swim for a while, and ended up on the other side of Sea Ranch. Super windy road. We arrived at Mar Vista Cottages a few hours before check in, but thought we would go check it out and then run to the store for a few items. We drove down this cute county road, past a huge chicken pen with about 20 coops scattered all around, I mean it was bigger than my house. We were told by a gardener, the property was a chicken farm decades ago. There was also a garden attached to the entrance of the chicken pen, meant to catch any excapees. This particular garden houses tons of flowers, meant for the guests to cut. Being a fan of fresh flowers always on the table, this made me very happy.
We got to the check in cottage and were greeted by the sweetest lady name Renata. She gave us the entire tour, and guided us through every thing we should know about the property, the area, stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and beaches. We were lucky that our cottage was ready. We reserved cottage number 8 on the advise of a friend. It was by far the best cottage of the property. It sat in the very back of the property, on the hill, with an incredible view of the ocean. There were two cozy chairs inside by a little gas fire stove, facing the window, looking out at the ocean. There was a little kitchen that was equipped with all you needed. Two pour over coffee utensils, which I loved! The bedroom was cozy with such cute duvet covers and it was decorated in the cutest mix matched way. Everything was super clean and kept up well. There was a gentle wind that blew through the fun curtains. To open them, you just take one end off the dowel rod that were hung by. In fact, the entire cottage had a wood panel all around and there were dowel hooks everywhere. It was genius, I want my home like that! Cottage number 8 was the only one with a deck. It sat above all the rest of the property by a ways, so the deck was awesome for ocean watching. Kona loved laying out there surveying her new home. There was a hook by the front door for the basket that is utilized for eggs. You hang the basket on the hook if you desire to have fresh eggs for the next day.
At 5 o’clock every evening, Tom, Renata’s husband, gathers the eggs from the chickens. Everyone staying on property is invited to go along and help. It is so cute watching the kids collect the eggs and adore the chickens. Tom then takes all of the eggs to Renata for cleaning, and then later in the night, he goes around to all of the cottages and delivers the fresh eggs to the lucky vacationers.
We were surrounded by grass, nestled in the trees, and set apart from life. There was no cell phone reception, only wifi while in the cottage. This was a bonus in my opinion. It was like we stepped back in time and were in some far away place in Europe. Right in front of our cottage was the large garden area. Set up with signs all around explaining what many things were. There was a flag on each sign. Red or Green depending on if it was ready for harvest. We had such a great time using the fresh herbs and veggies for our meals. Yes, I made fresh pasta and herbs! Duh! I enjoyed every friggin bite too! Usually when I am on vacation, I would rather go out, but there was just something about this place that made you want to stay there and enjoy the ambiance. I mean, fresh food, fresh eggs, room for Kona to run, and the ocean views.
The property was equipped with literally everything you could think of. Fire barbecue areas scattered for grilling, chair swings placed all over the property as well as adirondack chairs. A hammock, two garden areas, a large campfire area with chairs and logs cut flat for side tables all around, firewood, tools, roasting sticks, a soaking tub fed by an underground aquafir, a mini playhouse, rope swings, goats, and an old feral cat named Feral. He was about a zillion years old and loved to stare Kona down. I mean, if you could imagine a little place to sit, cook, play, or lounge, it was there somewhere. Tom let the goats out to roam the property every once in a while. He would make the baah sound and these three goats followed him like dogs. It was so funny to watch.
Yes we did go out, the coffee shop just down the road called Whitecap coffee and tea was great. The guy who owns it moved here from the Big Island. So that was cool. My only big thing when I go to the beach is I love fish and chips! I mean I love them. We went to a local place called Gualala Seafood Shack. It was just what I hoped for. The other thing I dream of with ocean vacations is S’mores. Mar Vista Cottages is set up for total success in this department. They have the best campfire area, tools, chairs, and the fire is already built, and just waiting for a match. All you need to bring is the S’more supplies and a good bottle of wine. As usual, sitting by a campfire, chatting with people you meet, and enjoying the moment is what a true vacation is all about.
Beaches nearby were all super cool. Most of them are below a cliff, of coarse there are stairs built in the the cliff’s to help you down. The nice thing about this is, there are very few people on the beaches. We found getting down was the hard part. My favorite beach was Bowling Ball Beach. You have to go during a low tide to see the bowling ball rock formations. They were absolutely incredible. I wish you could capture on camera what the rock formations look like on this part of the Pacific Ocean. It is really something you just have to see for yourself. We foraged in the tide pools and collected a pretty sufficient amount of sea glass. Collecting sea glass is literally one of my favorite things in life. It makes me smile and I could waste hours doing it.
Mar Vista Cottage has a 5 star review from Frank and Myself, but I am sure Kona would give it all four paws!