Saturday, August 28, 2010

Idyllwild, Tamed

"You sound plaintive," John said when he read my August 20th post where I complained of needing a road trip. "Let's just go."

If I'd known it was going to be that easy, I'd have blogged about it sooner.

Many of you suggested the beach, but as we chose to spontaneously skip town on a weekend during tourist season we thought the mountains would be a better bet. So we headed to Idyllwild.

A few years ago, we had spent an idyllic weekend in Idyllwild. We tried Palm Springs and found its "get drunk and cruise" party atmosphere a little too retro for our tastes, so we escaped up the mountain and found a lovely cabin beside a stream in the artsy, alpine village.

Since then, commerce has arrived. Idyllwild has gotten itself all cutesied up for tourists. It's working; the town was overrun with spenders last weekend. And there's some kind of music academy--at least that's what the sign said. The entire south end of town was awakened by conga drums early each morning and serenaded by those same drums each night.

Idyllwild has a couple of worthy, dog-friendly restaurants where Boz was welcomed on the patio and treated with respect, and for that I'm grateful. All three of us ate well. But we won't be going back.

Oh--and by the way, this is not a photo of the cabin we were able to get on spontaneous short notice. Let's just say "AstroTurf" and leave it at that.

What did we learn?
There's no place like home. We already knew that.
The grass is always greener on the other side. Sure, when it's AstroTurf.
What we really learned: we can have fun anywhere as long as we're together. And spontaneity is sometimes best when you plan ahead.

18 comments:

Nathalie said...

What a wonderful photo, the place is drop dead gorgeous !!!

Too bad it no longer lives up to its name, that's very sad. Glad you had a good time away together anyway.

(I had to smile at your last line)

Shell Sherree said...

Heh heh, your talk of Boz and AstroTurf in close proximity has me thinking of The Jetsons and their Astro.

"We can have fun anywhere as long as we're together." Gosh, that's lovely.

Nathalie said...

Back from vacation, I'm really enjoying catching up with all your latest posts. You've got so many good photos there it's a real joy!

J.J. in L.A. said...

I've never been to Idyllwild, but I feel the same way about Solvang. It was a cute town, back in the day.

Dina said...

Wise conclusions. Glad you got that road trip out of your system.

altadenahiker said...

Outside of town, though, it's wild and woolly and the hiking and views are fabulous.

Petrea said...

Thank you, Nathalie. I hope you had a good vacation!

Shell, Boz didn't know what to think of the AstroTurf.

J.J.,the first time I went to Solvang it was on a Thanksgiving day. Probably not a wise choice!

Dina, a road trip is never out of my system but the absolute necessity is abated for the moment.

Very true, Hiker. Unfortunately we chose a hot weekend and our dog is getting on in years. We did some easy hikes, and they were nice.

TheChieftess said...

We went to Idylwild several years ago for our anniversary weekend in November. We stayed in a delightful bed and breakfast and had a wonderful dinner at the Aroma Cafe (?) Our weekend was cut short when my step daughter called to tell us her fiance had been in a motorcycle accident in Glamis, was seriously injured and had been transported to San Diego. He survived, though suffered some serious long term damage. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) the marriage didn't last, and we are happily moving on...

Petrea said...

Chieftess, I'm sorry your weekend was cut short and especially that the young man suffered so.

It sounds like you had the right circumstances in Idyllwild. Cafe Aroma is at the north end. They've got a great menu, wonderful chefs, laid-back atmosphere. The cafe has been there a long time, I think, and it's the best restaurant in town for my money. We went twice while we were there--one dinner, one breakfast.

Greg Sweet said...

Pay no attention to the meth labs behind the curtain.

Petrea said...

Ulp. That explains a few things we saw.

J+P said...

So now I can admit that when we were up there, all I could think of was Steely Dan …

Every A-frame had your number
On the wall
You must have had it all
You'd go to LA on a dare
And you'd go it alone …

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Idyllwild is one of my favorite places. We like the Bluebird motel because of the naugahide and astro turf. It's next to the local eating hangout adjacent to the guy who does chain-saw art. I think he's the fellow who might have sculpted the Monrovia Hot tub bear.

Meth labs? i have my doubts

Idyllwild Arts. Really fabulous. Adult workshops. Friends teach there

Petrea said...

We saw only one guy who looked like a meth user/addict/alcoholic/homeless/hopeless case. Saw him a couple of times, smiling smiling smiling with his brown teeth. Probably no more than 35 but destroyed.

Amy said...

It looks like a gorgeous place still. And it's near mecca-like rock climbing. Hmm...

Petrea said...

The country around there is beautiful, and the views from high up are amazing. If you camp, I'd recommend it.

Steve Scauzillo said...

We used to love Idyllwild.... is The Gastronome still there? Once a beautiful restaurant with a fireplace. Also, what was the name of that breakfast place, The Red Kettle?

Petrea said...

The Gastrognome is the other nice restaurant we liked. Didn't try the Red Kettle, but it was there and crowded. Having Boz with us restricted us to places with larger patios--to keep him out of foot traffic for his sake and for that of the wait staff.