The forest, someone special, a coastline or two, a healing cabin and maybe some whiskey; I don’t know of many better ways to recharge your batteries.

I’ve been here before, in this place called the Pinewood Palace in Mendocino, CA, but it ceases to tire. It keeps a special place in my head and my heart, one that always brings a smile to myself, but also a longing that doesn’t let up until the next time I visit. A rare treat, infrequent visits to this place always remind me of a few important things…

Listen to the vacuum of noise that is a still


Certain things remind you of the endless amounts of noise humans make. We don’t stop making noise until we’re dead and finding your own pulse in the midst of that can be hard, but critical. A quiet forest rings the bell in your head that, yes, you need to slow down and reflect.

For me, a still reminds me that of all the noises the world can make, darn close to zero sound is one of them. As much as a wall of sound can surround you, so can the complete absence of the hum and drum of life. Embrace it.

New places and experiences are everywhere!


Dunes?! As in sand dunes? (No Kyle McAchlan, though.) I’ve been here three times and never realized this protected area of land existed. The Inglenook Ten Miles Dunes is, you guessed it, ten miles of dune lands butting up right against the ocean. It’s so out of place, it almost feels like another world.

Although filled with ocean-side flora and fauna, it’s still a great place to explore. With a warm breeze and partly cloudy skies, we hiked around for a bit, but tired quickly from trudging through the sand. Worth it.

Don’t underestimate the ‘commonplace’


Though I’ve passed by it many times, the Mendocino Botanical Gardens never interested me much. Something about the pretty-but-mediocre of many visits to other gardens before led me to pass this one off as commonplace. While it was a bit pricey, the large acreage and the fact that it slides right against the ocean enticed me further. We decided to waste a few hours, wandering the grounds.

Not only are the immaculately manicured plant life here rather interesting to see, there is a positivity that radiates throughout… I couldn’t tell if it was the groundskeepers, gently tending to each bush and flower, or just the gal who I was with. Either way, a walk through the garden was completely worth the entry fee.


Amazing how fast four days can go by, and what you see here is just a tiny portion of it, though I’m glad to have a new set of memories to calm my head when the workweek gets a bit too hectic.

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