Thursday, September 2, 2010

I've Seen that Building Before

For Final Jeopardy, the category is: "Well-Known Buildings" and the challenge is to identify the building below.

While you're thinking about that, here are some photos of our day in town. We drove into the town on a highway that was overlooking the marina. With a bit of trial and error driving, we found the street leading down to the marina.

The boats clearly indicated that this was a working fishing village. There was a bit of color in some of the boats, but it was clear that function was the primary focus.

In our search for the town center, we drove through areas that we did not realize were, in fact, the center of the comunity's life. We saw signs for a campground and entered the site so that we could turn around.

Since we had caught glimpses of the ocean, we continued past the road to the camp-ground. At the end of the road, we came upon some colorful plants and dunes that looked inviting.

As we began our walk through the fine sand, we could hear the ocean.

At the top of the dunes, we were greeted by the full sound of the waves rushing to shore.

A wooden ramp led to the beach, but we were content to remain at the top of the ramp and take in the treasures that had been hidden by the dunes.

We wondered what this "structure" was or repre-sented, but we were caught up in the whole scene--remote and expansive dunes (that are some of the tallest in the state) along a scenic and secluded beach.

The beach is about two miles long with fine sand along much of the distance. The two views (looking left and right in the photos on the left and below, respectively) kept us mesmerized for several minutes.

It was only when the sounds of other arriving beachgoers broke the silence that we realized Salmon Beach was coming to life.

The scenes in the next photos show some of this activity. Typical scenes of a couple and their dog

and a person under a beach umbrella (she's hidden from view) reading a book are

balanced by this rather atypical scene. While the grandparents and grandchildren are testing the waters, a gull is checking over the articles on the blanket with some attempts to pull (unsuccessfully) on one particular article.

Hint to the answer: This church is located very near the building in the first photo. Before revealing the answer, it is time for lunch.

Kate: As we were finishing lunch, my Favorite Traveling Companion leans across the table and whispers: “I think I’m tired of fish and chips.” (And you thought it was going to be something romantic.)

The heat in Napa sent us driving sixty miles west to the ocean to escape the ninety degree plus temperatures. And a quick on-line search directed us to the Boat House which is known for their clam chowder and fish and chips.

“Don’t be put off by the exterior.” warned the reviewers. Well, this place had “shack” written all over it, but that has never stopped us before. So we wandered in, placed our order at the front counter, and took two of the sixteen seats inside. What amounted to décor was limited to the wall of faded photographs behind Chuck’s seat which depicted fisherman displaying their large catches. I think that art work was limited to the menu board above the counter and some children’s drawings.

This was another fried fish haven, although one could order a chile dog, burger, Philly Cheesesteak (Egad!), crab cake sandwich, fish tacos, or BBQ oysters. But the emphasis was on fried seafood and fish combos with fries. You had your choice of fish, calamari, prawns, scallops, oysters, or clam strips. None of these came in appetizer orders so you were going to get the fries whether you wanted them or not.

For Chuck it would be, yes again, the fish and chips combo. My choice was the calamari and chips. But we both started with the clam chowder. If Chuck is tired of fish and chips, I am equally tired of clam chowder. Even the faded newspaper clipping whose headline read: “The Cream of the Northern California Chowder Bowl” couldn’t make me enthusiastic. The chowder contained the usual suspects – potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, and lots of clam pieces. But it was in desperate need of salt.

Chuck’s fish and chips came with four medium sized pieces of cod that had been dipped in a rather thick beer batter. To both of us, the coating was too thick and was leathery and chewy. And, in the frying process, the fish shrunk inside its tube of beer batter coating. Kind of strange.

My calamari was a massive serving of food that contained about one-quarter tentacle pieces and three-quarters three-inch long tubes that had been split lengthwise. Fortunately, they hadn’t been dipped in the same batter, but were instead just tossed in flour before being fried. Conceptually, this was good. It was the execution of this idea that came up short. Not enough flour had been shaken from the uncooked calamari pieces so there was considerable clumping effect and a profusion of raw flour taste. Still, they were better than Chuck’s fish!

The fries that accompanied both of our orders were good. Nothing to rave about. Just good.

I suspect that our negative impression of the Boat House is due in part to the quality of the food and in part to fried food overload. I’ll give the Boat House 2.5 Addies, and I vow to avoid fried seafood for the foreseeable future.

Answer: The 150-year-old Potter School behind St. Theresa’s Church five miles south of Bodega Bay in Bodega, CA, was vacant at the time of the filming of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film The Birds. The film crew repaired the exterior that was used for several scenes. Today it is a private residence.

No comments: