Wednesday, August 26, 2015

San Francisco: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young

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The de Young Museum is currently exhibiting "J.M.W. Turner:  Painting Set Free." It is the first major show focusing on his late career.  I found it especially interesting to see after viewing the recently released movie about Turner, "Mr. Turner."  More . . . Show runs through September 20, 2015.

Varnishing Day, Turner exhibit at de Young Museum in San Francisco
I learned about Varnishing Day in the movie and found it fascinating.
War. The Exile and the Rock Limpet, 1842; Turner exhibit at de Young Museum in San Francisco
"War. The Exile and the Rock Limpet"; 1842
detail from Sunrise with Sea Monsters, 1845; Turner exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco
monster detail from "Sunrise with Sea Monsters"; 1845
three paintings Turner working on concurrently just before he died; Turner exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco
three paintings Turner working on concurrently just before he died
queen detail from "The Departure of the Fleet"; 1850; from Turner exhibit at de Young Museum in San Francisco
queen detail from "The Departure of the Fleet"; 1850

More things to do in San Francisco

Way more things to do in San Francisco. 

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images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Monday, August 24, 2015

101 North: Eureka, Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate


Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate  4 W. 4th St., (707) 798-6010.  M-F 10am-4pm.  This luxury chocolate-maker offers drop-in tours of its production facility. No appointment necessary.  Focusing on quality, they make small batch bean-to-bar chocolate from scratch and specialize in dark chocolate from around the world.  
cacao pod and bean display at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California
cacao pod and bean display
Only 12 tons were produced last year, but the plan is for 18 tons this year.  You’ll see burlap bags filled with slowly sun-dried cacao beans from around the world.
burlap bags at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California

Beans are sorted on a conveyer-belt machine,


then roasted 35 pounds at a time in an antique Royal #5 coffee roaster from the early 1900s, which dries and sterilizes them.
antique Royal #5 coffee roaster at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California
antique Royal #5 coffee roaster
The flavor and chemicals that make you feel so good are in the nibs.
bucket of chocolate nibs at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California
bucket of chocolate nibs
Cocoa butter—which is solid in your hand, but liquid in your mouth or at body temp--is what makes chocolate unique.  A grinding ball mill uses ball bearings to turn nibs into paste, and that is followed by more grinding.
co-owner Adam Dick with grinding ball mill at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California
co-owner Adam Dick with grinding ball mill
The last step in the process is putting the mix into a circular conche,
conche at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California

where it spends 48 hours and comes out liquid.  It is then tempered and put into molds, hardened into blocks, and finally foiled and wrapped in envelopes.
liquid chocolate at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California

chocolate is wrapped at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California
A whole array of specialized machines is used, and it takes three weeks to transform from bean to bar.  This shop sells their own chocolate bars, of course, but also offers a few items they like from other makers.  Since dark chocolate is Dick Taylor’s specialty, and since I am a huge fan of milk chocolate, I wound up seduced by an Omnom dark milk-burned sugar 55% bar from Iceland as my souvenir (I like it).  My husband, a dark chocolate lover, plans to buy Dick Taylor bars where he can find them distributed.
chocolate products at Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate in Eureka, California


More things to do in Eureka.

Here are some travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

images and video ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Friday, August 21, 2015

101 North: Eureka, Harper Ford Carousel


Harper Ford Carousel  4800 Hwy. 101 N, 2 mi. N of town, (877) 285-6677, (707) 443-7311.  Daily noon-4pm.  Free.  Amazingly, a classic 1947 Allan Herschell wood carousel has operated at this car dealership since 1992!  Any dullness resulting from its exposure to the elements is periodically spiffed up with automobile paint, leading to some horses in unusual colors.  Of the 30 horses, 15 are original wood ones and 15 are replacements in aluminum.  Each has its own theme and name.  One of the oldest Ford dealerships in the United States, Harper Ford was established in 1912 by Harvey Harper's father, Harvey Mitchell Harper, who arrived in Eureka from Phoenix, Arizona, after a 40-day journey in a 1912 Ford Model T.

1947 Allan Herschell carousel at Harper Ford dealership in Eureka, California

1947 Allan Herschell carousel at Harper Ford dealership in Eureka, California

1947 Allan Herschell carousel at Harper Ford dealership in Eureka, California

1947 Allan Herschell carousel at Harper Ford dealership in Eureka, California


More things to do in Eureka.

More carousels.

Here are some travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

101 North: Eureka, Lost Coast Brewery & Cafe and Lost Coast Brew House

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Lost Coast Brewery & Cafe  617 4th St., in Old Town, (707) 445-4480.  L-D daily; $.  Reservations accepted.  Situated within a historic building, this is the first brewery in the U.S. founded and operated by women.  The actual brewing production has moved to a new dedicated facility south of town, where you can take a tour.  Among the several kinds of handcrafted microbrews, the hands-down favorites are  Great White beer (features the flavors of wheat and coriander and is their best seller) and Downtown Brown ale, but Indian Pale Ale isn’t far behind and was my favorite.  And don’t overlook the house-made root beer.  Roast beef and turkey is baked in-house, and french fries are made from scratch with fresh potatoes.  The menu’s extensive pub fare goes well with a pint.  Burgers are the best sellers, but the delicious locally-caught  halibut and chips is close behind.  More options include French dip and pulled pork sandwiches, coconut prawns, stuffed Navajo bread, Tuscany pizza, and a build-your-own pizza.  Happy Hour runs Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and is the perfect time to try the nachos or the big baked pretzel--solo or stuffed with cheese.
rear entrance to Lost Coast Brewery & Cafe in Eureka, California
back door


bar menu at Lost Coast Brewery & Cafe in Eureka, California
 interior of Lost Coast Brewery & Cafe in Eureka, California
surfboard chomped on by a Great White at Lost Coast Brewery & Cafe in Eureka, California
surfboard chomped on by a Great White

local halibut and chips at Lost Coast Brewery & Cafe in Eureka, California

house salad at Lost Coast Brewery & Cafe in Eureka, California
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Lost Coast Brew House  1600 Sunset Ave., 2 mi. SW of town, (707) 445-4484.  Free.  This small regional brewery is of one of the nation's largest microbrews and now has a sleek new brewing production facility.  The company’s brews were made for the first three years in the pub cafe, then in a warehouse for 22 more years.  Tours here are usually led by owner Barbara Groom, a former pharmacist.  You’ll learn about how yeast eats sugar and makes gas, and about malt and green leaves and sun and how it all turns into beer.  You’ll smell the fragrances, see the various grains, and stagger your mind with the fact that 40 types of yeast are used to give the beer different flavors.  If you’re lucky, you might get to step inside the 20-degree hop freezer—a particularly refreshing experience on a warm day.  Throughout you’ll see shiny stainless steel pipes, concrete floors, and equipment from an array of international companies—Germany (tanks with colorful blue trim), Mexico (a grain grinder with a dryer motor used to grind coriander for Great White), and America (a fascinating bottling machine).  Try to schedule a weekday tour because that is when everything is happening,  and you can see the bottles filled, capped, and packed in boxes.  The bottler pops out 440 per minute, and though bottles are king, cans are coming due to demand for use at the beach and around pools.  At the tour’s conclusion, you’ll get to do some tasting in the Tap Room, where lovely recycled counters from a 100-year-old Monterey cypress tree enhance the decor (that tree was also used for trim throughout the building).  Ice cream is available from Humboldt Creamery (expelled grain from their company is used in beer making here).  Don’t miss viewing the concrete restroom counter made with recycled chipped beer bottles and molded to look like a beer bottle.  Picnicking is welcome. 
owner Barbara Groom leads tour at Lost Coast Brew House in Eureka, California
owner Barbara Groom leads a tour

bottling line at Lost Coast Brew House in Eureka, California

recycled beer bottle counter at Lost Coast Brew House in Eureka, California

More things to do in Eureka.

More breweries.

Here are some travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, August 17, 2015

Greater East Bay: Antioch, Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve


Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve  5175 Somersville Rd., off Hwy. 4, (888) 327-2757 x5, (925) 757-2620.  Daily 8am-dusk; mine tour Mar-Nov Sat-Sun.  $5/vehicle; mine tour $5, must be age 7+; $2/dog.  From 1860 to 1906, when coal mining was a booming business, this area was California’s largest coal-mining operation.  More than half the coal used in the state came from these mines.  Today, bird-watchers can view more than 100 species of birds, and hikers can walk nearly 40 miles of trails winding through wildflowers and groves of almond, black locust, eucalyptus, and pepper trees.  Historic Rose Hill Cemetery is also interesting to visit.  A tour of the Hazel-Atlas Mine takes participants 950 feet into the 57-degrees-cool silica-sand mine.  Sand was mined from the 1920s through 1940s and used to make glass.  Participants are loaned hard hats for this adventure.  Picnic facilities and campsites are available, and naturalist programs are scheduled regularly. 

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways.