by angeliska on November 25, 2008

On our second day in the city by the sea,
we unearthed a curious creature curled up
in a tree-stump. Bright dark eyes and nose
a-twitch, glossy curls and black-orchid scented..

We were able to lure her out with
promises of pastry and exotic confections
from Crixa Cakes

It was a regular smorgasbord of lusciousness! We kind of ordered
everything they had. My favorites were Fatima’s Thighs, Apricot Kifli,
the Russian Honey Cake– and the best pot of spicy chai I’ve ever tasted.

Bellies filled, and sweet-tooths sated- we drove up the coast to Sebastopol
to make a pilgrimage to California Carnivores, a nursery dedicated akmost solely
to carnivorous plants. The owner, Peter D’Amato (author of The Savage Garden)
has been growing carnivorous plants for nearly 40 years:

and has created an amazing jungle of some of the most impressive
specimens I have ever encountered:

Pinguicula laueana – mexican butterwort

These nepenthes were gargantuan,

..and so exquisitely formed:

Doesn’t my grampa look like a salty sea-captain?
After a few hours of gazing in wonderment, we dashed through
some antique hunting (only marginally successful, alas)
and headed to Point Reyes Seashore in search of repast.

The Marshall Store provided the perfect meal
in the perfect setting: raw and barbequed oysters,
fantastic clam chowder, and baked bried + apples
served with fresh-baked bread. Oh, and Guinness!
If you ever find yourself in the area, I can’t recommend
this place enough- the people working there were
so convivial and kind, the food was delicious.
Watching the sun set over Tomales Bay was so picturesque..

On our way back, we stopped in Inverness
for a visit with our friends Giovanni and June
of El Radio Fantastique– and met their daughter
Clementine! What a sweet, happy family they are!
They live in the dreamiest, coziest
little cabin near the sea and the forest.
When we walked up the little stone path at twilight,
through a garden teeming with roses, lavender
and blue hydrangeas- the windows were all
glowing warmly golden, beckoning cheerfully.
Inside, all was cedary shingle with a fire in the hearth-
the essence of gemütlichkeit!

(photo by verhext)
That evening we had dinner at Flora,
in the old Floral Depot, a gorgeous
art deco building in downtown Oakland.
We dined on scallops and grilled persimmons
and elderflower and absinthe cocktails..
For dessert there was sea salted caramel pudding!

At the end of the night, I do believe I felt as
content as Huey, Tam’s black tomcat-
who is lucky indeed- for he gets to lounge
nightly upon the best chair ever.
Who said black cats were unlucky?


Awww… Sebastopol is my home town. Too bad I wasn’t there at the same time as you. I could have shown you our organic farm!

by Sorrel on November 26, 2008 at 5:34 pm. Reply #

I am always thrilled to see there is a new post from you! Oh those juicy photos of bog plants, and your grandfather- what a cool guy… What a pair you two are having your adventures!
Through your posts I’ve learned of so many new and interesting things, you’ve broadened my horizons!

by Sue Hughes on November 26, 2008 at 8:11 pm. Reply #

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