I'm sitting here on a coast overlooking a huge vast amount of sea. It's not the Pacific Ocean, though...it's the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which spills into the mighty Atlantic Ocean.
|Note: I used limes here. I wouldn't recommend it. The flavor was too harsh. Lemons have a much sweeter flavor with fish|
I'm in the most precious little B&B that sits right on St. Peter's Bay on Prince Edward Island. The wind is whipping through the house and making the most lovely woo'ing sounds. I can hear the swish of the trees outside of our open window and the calls of birds that I do not recognize. I can't wait to begin exploring this new home away from home tomorrow morning...
...but right now, I am relaxing on Prince Edward Island, in this sweet little powder blue room with white trim, honey colored wood planked floors, and soft yellow and cobalt blue floral curtains at an inn aptly named "Shady Lane". I'm tucked into a huge bed with wonderfully fluffy pillows and taking the time to slow down, count and re-count my blessings, and remember a different sort of scenery...across the great mass of the U.S.on the far western coast.
It is the beautiful, stunning Pacific coastline just north of San Francisco...adorned with a little jewel of a harbor town called Sausalito before the coastline opens up to the wild expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
After playing the consummate tourist role in San Francisco here, and then branching off into food tours of the Mission District here and Chinatown here, it was time to head out of San Francisco and discover the countryside's treasure trove of idyllic small harbor towns, wooded forests, and stunning coastline ocean drives.
When I returned from San Francisco, I wanted to make one seafood dish after another. From traveling on the West Coast and now slowly weaving up the East Coast from Cape Cod, MA to Prince Edward Island, Canada...I'm dreaming of lots of seafood dishes I want to bake, steam, broil, and pan fry.
In order to be able to take such a lengthy road trip this August and leave steamy hot Houston for awhile, Riley and I decided to go ahead and begin his Jr. year of high school...in July.
Right after the 4th of July festivities ended here, we enrolled in all of his online courses, turned on the computer, and plunged into English III, French III, Contemporary World Issues (love this one), Accounting, Chemistry, and Algebra II.
At the end of the day, I am mentally drained from organizing, checking, and monitoring his course work. Dinners need to be quick and hopefully healthy.
I reached again for an easy healthy fish recipe "en papillote". I love this way of cooking fish because the varieties of fish, herbs, and flavors are endless and the little steamed packets are so fun and pretty.
Varied fish and seafood choices are all over the creative menus up and down the California coast. Inspired by traveling on both coasts recently, I find myself compelled to expand our horizons more into seafood options for dinners.
After crossing the imposing Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, it is an easy enjoyable drive right up to the little harbor town called Sausalito.
Sausalito is one of those California coastline picture perfect little spots that just make me sigh each and every time I see it.
The beauty and scenery is just endless here. From the quaint harbor area filled with adorable bobbing boats to the massive multi-million dollar cruisers that anchor themselves stalwartly to this shoreline.
Flower boxes bubble with profusions of colorful flowers, and wrapping floral vines of bougainvilla and jasmine mingle in and out of every archway, nook, and cranny.
From the harbor area, the lush hillside hidden with one little jewel of a hobbit home after another climbs up a gentle hillside where they all gaze out onto the lovely waters below with the sparkling city of San Francisco winking on the horizon. How much picture perfect can this little town of Sausalito be?
After ambling along the harbor area, enjoying a mint chocolate ice cream, and weaving through the tiny little roads that lead through the lushly covered homes of Sausalito, I headed along Highway 101, 11 miles north of Sausalito, to the redwood forest called Muir Woods.
Redwood trees only exist in this part of the country and up into the Southern Oregon area. I felt a little sorry for my son because he has commented often about wanting to see the great Redwoods. But this was a trip just for Patrick and myself...a time to practice being on our own again as a couple and not being exclusively parents all of the time.
The walk through Muir Woods was wonderful, the air fresh and cool, and the scenery lush and green. I looked at the families jogging to keep up with running children while wrangling strollers, cameras and kiddie paraphernalia. It seems like just yesterday that was us. Ambling along at a steady pace, stopping here and there to pause and take in the sights and sounds of the forest was luxury beyond compare at that moment.
One day, I'll be scurrying after little grandchildren I hope. But, on that day in Muir Woods, in those serene surroundings, looking, listening, and absorbing the beauty of the woods completely at my leisure was such a treat that I will remember always.
I couldn't help but swing over from Muir Woods to Hwy 1 and do a little driving along the Pacific Coastline. What a wild and wonderful scene unfolds there after the calm oasis of the woods and the hip and urbane San Francisco. It is amazing how much diversity is contained in the beautiful northern section of California.
I continually imagine what the early pioneers thought as they padded slowly through the country leading up to the mighty Pacific...and then unbelievably eventually discovered gold in this stunning landscape.
I'll go back to looking out the window here on Prince Edward Island. It seems surreal that I was driving along the Pacific Ocean only a month ago and am now looking out towards the Atlantic. The St. Peter's Bay out the window looks charming and inviting. I hear Ian and Pam, the owners of this B&B rustling around downstairs so I'll go soon and have a chat. Ian is from England, they lived for awhile in Japan, and travel yearly to Portugal...so they must have endless stories to tell and for me to absorb.
Tomorrow promises a walk in the woods of a different sort, leading to little harbor ports with sturdy hefty lobster and oyster boats churning in and out all day. I'm sure the day will include another warming bowl of lobster stew or freshly gathered oysters.
***I added some cherry tomatoes to my recipe
Labels: easy seafood dinners, fish en papillote, flounder lemon thyme en papillote, muir woods california, san francisco touring, travel sausalito