Love At First Oceanside Sunset
After a winding, scenic drive up 128, past vineyards and through redwoods, I arrived just in time to see the sunset on the ocean at the Little River Inn. Upon being greeted at the office with a warm smile and an invitation to set a dinner reservation, I settled into my suite (specifically #103 Oceanview Deluxe with fireplace and Jacuzzi) where a chilled bottle of wine awaited. Cheers to you, Cally, for providing one of the warmest of welcomes I've experienced.
Wait. Who's Cally?
She's the fifth generation innkeeper - Cally Coombs Dym.
Originally built in 1863 and resting on 225 wooded acres, what started out as a house constructed by Cally's great-great-grandfather and lumber mill owner, Silas Coombs, was turned into an Inn by Silas's daughter and her husband (Cora & Ole Hervilla) in 1939. Decades later, the Inn remains in the care of the family. Cally Dym, GM and Owner, manages what is now 65 ocean-view rooms, a full-service day spa, and a nine-hole golf course. Her husband, Marc Dym, is the Executive Chef for the Inn's garden view dining room where 'family favorites meet fine cuisine' and Ole's Whale Watch Bar where you can sip classic cocktails or choose from a well crafted wine list or a selection of both local and imported beer all while taking in the stunning seascape.
Pleasure On The Palate
After driving past Roederer Estate only a few hours before I arrived at Little River Inn, I found myself sipping their Brut while tipping back oysters at Ole's Whale Watch Bar. A near perfect pairing, the Beausoleil Oysters with grapefruit chili mignonette were a match made in heaven with the Roederer Anderson Valley Brut. And this was just the beginning of the great pleasure my palate was to have at the Little River Inn.
My 7pm reservation in the garden-view dining room resulted in one of my favorite pairings - Salmon and Pinot Noir. The preparation was impeccable. The salmon was pine nut crusted and pan seared with spinach puree, Parmesan polenta and basil coulis. The spinach puree had a consistency that complimented the salmon, serving up added richness. The polenta's silky texture made it a decadent side that was in a single word - awesome. And the salmon itself was magnificently moist and stunningly accented with the pine nut crust. This Little River Classic was paired with the Lula 2012 Costa Vineyard Pinot Noir - a bottle I picked up earlier that day upon stopping at Lula Cellars and meeting with winemaker Jeff Hanson. Cheers to wine and food pairings that are leave you entirely and utterly impressed.
Other menu items, among many, to note at Little River Inn are the Calamari (rice flour dusted and flash fried with Little River Inn mustard sauce) and the Dungeness Crab Eggs Benedict (the crab cakes for which Little River Inn is famous for).
Beyond the Beloved View and Fare
The view is breathtaking. The fare is inspiring. But it's more than that. The Little River Inn is inviting on every level and with each detail. The people here are what make the experience picture perfect. I spent a few hours at the spa and received more than 'services'... I was given experiences that evolved with genuine care and consideration and honest conversation. I can't say thank you enough to both Chris for my manicure and Sue for my massage. With both of these women, I was in good and gentle hands. Cheers to service with more than just a smile.
In my black ballet flats, my favorite fluorescent tank top and my new Rose Gold iPhone 6s, I trekked up into the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the Eagle Falls Trail in South Lake Tahoe with friends from the city. At the end of our hike we were rewarded with the most gorgeous lake I've had the great pleasure of seeing. I'd like to raise a glass to old friends, new friends, good hikes and great memories.
Cheers to picture perfect treks!
A special thanks to a few of The Allie Way crew: M'Lady, Matty & Lady Leeda.
I love Southwest. Straight up.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
1. I checked TWO BAGS that I imagined weighed more than me for FREE.
2. $5 COCKTAILS. Yep, mixed drinks, including my new go-to 'Scotch & Ginger', were priced to pour and pound down.
3. STYLISH flight attendants with sassy dispositions make flight entertaining & enjoyable. Loved our flight attendant who rocked the man-bun.
A toast to flights with multiple delights. It's Southwest or bust for me.
"The scent of a woman
So, here's a look at Paris through my lens, paired with the wine I poured. Please lift your glass with me to the City of Light. Click HERE to flip through pages of pictures to see what I saw.
THE DELIGHT IS IN THE DETAILS.
It's the little things that make all the difference in the world, or all the difference in the inn. Petite arrangements of fresh flowers, artistic oil rubbed bronze light fixtures, antique racks of glassware, new leather furnishings, intriguing artwork, and a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen with granite and stainless steel. And that's just the beginning when it comes to describing the delight found in details that the Brookside Inn offers its guests in accommodations that serve as a home away from home for those with even the highest of standards. Inside there are six guest suites with private baths, a great room that opens to the second level with a stone fireplace, a formal dining room, a breakfast nook and an entirely epic kitchen. Outside, a warp around deck provides a view of the estate's 20.7 acres that include a forest with trails for walking, a nearby creek, a pond stocked with fish and a fire pit with Adirondack chairs for enjoying conversation in the evening or counting stars at night.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO RELAX.
"For the record, in the chair to the left in the photo pictured to the right, I 'relaxed' for the first time in a very long time. Completely unplugged, I hovered over no laptop, listened with no ear buds and didn't take or make a single call on my cell phone. I simply sat. I was kindly reminded by the comfort and serenity of the moment that I had the right to relax. And so I did. Normally, five minutes of sitting still drives me crazy, and yet there I sat, parked and perfectly happy in an ivory painted Adirondack chair at the Brookside Inn in Carlton, Oregon. I'm not sure if it was the clean, cool air, the warm, welcoming sun or the surrounding, serene forest. Perhaps it was all three factors that made me feel at ease in a way I haven't been in a very long time. Cheers to the permission granted to pull up a chair & simply be present." -AM
So, here's the deal. If you have plans to travel to Oregon's wine country with a group of people (8-12), the Brookside Inn is absolutely ideal. Jerry & Erika, the managers & caretakers, are fabulous hosts and offer an experience that is nothing short of fantastic. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I'm ready to go back (right now). That said, if you are interested in getting a group of wine lovers together and heading to Oregon for 4 to 5 days, do let me know. Yes, I'm serious. Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Consider me your personal wine guide.