A week in Northern California – Part 1 of 2

David Meego - Click for blog homepageContinuing the story of my epic trip in the United States and Mexico. In my last post, I had just finished the Dexterity Training in Mexico and was now heading to Northern California. I had been invited to stay with Craig Klapman, CEO of my distribution and support partner Mekorma, who lives in Arcata in Humboldt County on California’s Redwood coast.

The area is known for its beautiful coastline and tall forrests as well as being the home of the Humboldt State University. It has also been described by David Samuels of The New Yorker as “the heartland of high-grade marijuana farming in California”. So, I was not sure what to expect….

The flight from Mexico City to San Francisco was trouble free, but it took almost 2 hours to get through immigration and customs at SFO. Surely there must be a more efficient way to handle border control. 😦

As Arcata/Eureka airport is small, there are only a couple of flights to there each day, so I had to wait a few hours in San Francisco. It gave me time to grab something to eat and watch a couple of the movies I have on my computer. Then it was time to board our Canadair Regional Jet from the single gate which was boarding 4 flights at the same time.

Four flights boarding from one gate. Flight to Arcata/Euraka was furthest away (second from left)

After boarding and waiting a while, we were informed that the aircraft had some issue with its navigation system and that we would have to “deplane” (disembark in English) and change to another aircraft. The end result was that we were delayed an hour.

Once I got to Arcata, I was greeted by Craig’s smiling face and a short drive to my home for the next week. A lovely holiday house called Wild Horses (click on link for interior photos).

Wild Horses Home of Arcata – highly recommended if you are in the area.

The next day, Sunday, Craig picked me up and we headed out to find breakfast. We ended up in Trinidad, north of Arcata, at the Trinidad Bay Eatery & Gallery.

Trinidad Bay Eatery & Gallery

I had a lovely Eggs Benedict (one of my favourite breakfasts) in this diner style restaurant that reminded me of old style diners we (non-Americans) would only see in the movies.

Diner with bar and booths. Craig was on his phone as usual. 🙂

After breakfast we went for a stroll/walk/trek/hike around Trinidad Head, the hilly penisula that sticks out into the bay. The walk was a little tiring and I was very glad I had grabbed my water bottle from the car. However, the scenery was stunning with beautiful views across the beach, out to sea and back to the town.

Trinidad Head looking north across the beach

Trinidad Head looking out to sea

Trinidad Head looking back to the town

Craig also decided that he wanted to explore another change in career and become a fashion model.

Craig modelling beside a section of shaded pathway

After our walk, we drove back to downtown Arcata. The town square, Arcata Plaza, was decorated with chalk drawings on the pavement from the various community groups and businesses in the area.

Arcata2Decorated drawings around Arcata Plaza

We stopped by Everett’s Club and had a drink (both of us had soft drink, very boring I know!) and played a game of Pool. I was showing how out of practice I was and trailing in the game, Craig had sunk almost all his balls before I finally started to clear the table. It is easier to sink balls when the only balls left on the table are your own. Craig had just to sink the 8 ball to win, but managed to just make it bounce out of the pocket. I was able to capitilize on the mistake and win the game.

Playing Pool at Evertt’s Club in Arcata, California

After an early dinner, Craig dropped me back to my accomodation for the night.

On Monday, I caught up with Craig for breakfast and then went back to his place to do some work. I was finally able to start writing some of the blog posts from reIMAGINE 2015 up. While in town for lunch, I picked up some breakfast cereal from the fresh food market, so I could have some more “normal” breakfasts.

On Tuesday, I spent the day at the house working. The morning started with the Microsoft Windows 10 Devices Briefing and then continued with writing up and scheduling the last of the blogs on reIMAGINE 2015. I also worked on preparation for the sessions I would be presenting at GPUG Summit 2015. While I did not get to do anything outside the house that day, getting the work done did make me feel at lot less stressed.

Wednesday morning was taken up with some more work until Craig picked me up and took me back to his place. For lunch, Josh (Craig’s assistant and all round great guy*), Craig and I went to the Six Rivers Brewery.

In the afternoon, Craig and I drove south to Eureka and Craig showed me the historic Carson Mansion. Built between 1884 and 1886 by William Carson, one of Northern California’s first major lumber barons, it is considered to be one of the finest examples of Queen Anne Style Victorian era architecture.

Carson Mansion, Eureka, California

Across the road is the Milton Carson Home (aka the “Pink Lady”), another Queen Anne style Victorian, completed in 1889, which was a wedding gift to William’s eldest son.

The “Pink Lady”, Eureka, California

We then went for a walk along the foreshore where this seagull decided it wanted to get its picture taken and published on a blog of the world to see.

Photogenic Seagull

On the way back to the car, Craig stopped by a clothing shop and bought a new shirt and jeans. While at the shop we mentioned that Craig had a rehearsal for his dance group and would not be finished until after 9pm, and that every restaurant seems to close by 9pm. The owner of the shop then made some calls for us and organised for her chef friend, Brad, at the Bayfront Restaurant to stay open a little longer so we could have dinner.

While Craig was busy at the rehearsal, I chilled at Old Town Coffee and Chocolates doing some work and listening to the live music. At the cafe, I met Rafael Franco from Franco’s Bones and Beads and I have asked him to make me a bone carving of a dragon to add to my collection.

Later, I walked down to restaurant to meet up with Craig. The food was great and even though we ordered one dinner between the two of us, we still had more than we could eat.

Teppanyaki Japanese BBQ at Bayfront Restaurant in Eureka (direct link)


A great meal to finish a productive and fun day.

More to come….


* Josh: You can pay me later. 🙂

This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

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