Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Trip to Ferndale and Eureka

December, 2014

The first house we saw in Ferndale

I heard about the tiny Victorian town, Ferndale, while I was watching a TV show. I’m the person who always loves Victorian style , except the fashion. When I heard for the first time about the town, I asked my husband to make a trip there. This Christmas Holidays, we were thinking to going somewhere. My husband was thinking about Santa Barbara. Then I told him about Ferndale. He also likes Victorian architecture, so he agreed with me to go there. We decide to spend last few days of December away from the city, to an old town with a touch of rural flavor. 

The town was situated at the Northern part of California. After driving on the winding mountain road through the dense forest of conical shaped high redwood trees, when we reached Fortuna  it was almost 4 o’clock. The redwood forest was so beaconing that I was desperately longing hiking on the mountain trail on the chilly afternoon. Specially when I could see the cyclists and the bikers were going. The trees were so tall and so green and undamaged, it looked like that still civilized man’s hand yet to touch the forest. However, it reality it was the opposite. 

Anyway, it was a winter evening. Though it was only 4 o’clock, but seemed that it was almost going to be night. Anyway, after reaching the hotel we decided to just give a visit to the town Ferndale. 
Ferndale was very, very small town. It was very quiet, and very small. The residents were very relaxed, and not so keenly interested in the modern complicated high-tech life. I felt that, it was an ideal place to spend the retired life. As soon as we entered the town, first my eyes caught, one small victorian house with a beautiful sprawling front yard. My husband asked me to take a picture of that house. As soon as I clicked, one lady came out from the house and gave us a beautiful smile. However, we thought she was coming to object us, so we hurriedly drove away from there. Then we stopped our car near the downtown, where actually all the houses were built in Victorian style. I have no idea whether those houses were once residence or not, but currently they were all used for commercial purpose. I always love the detailing of the Victorian architecture. 


 Victorian architecture is a series of architectural styles in the mid-to-late 19th century during the Victorian era. The houses were very brightly colored. These style is very much romantic style, very intricate and very beautiful.  Every where  from the roof to the window pane, some kind  of very detailed and ornamental design could be seen. We parked our car on the side of the road , and decided to take a walk through the  downtown to see all the houses individually. The buildings on the both side of the road were very old yet they were very well maintained. Even the post office was also beautifully designed. We went there just after Christmas. 

So, all the Christmas trees were still there. All the shops kept their Christmas tree outside of the shop. I am mentioning it here, because all the trees were decorated with the crafts made by the local children. After the small downtown, everywhere were only the ranches and fields. The cows were grazing there. 
We came back to the hotel, and decided to find out more places there to visit. Thankfully the hotel provided a book with many information about neighborhood area. We found out that next town, Eureka had more Victorian building than Ferndale. My foodie husband wanted a different restaurant to dine out. He found out Samoa cookhouse. 
Next morning we weren’t in hurry. We knew that it was not  going to much time to see all the Victorian buildings, as there was no option to go inside of individual house to see the interiors. So, we started around 10:00 in the morning, after a hearty breakfast at Best Western Inn, where we were lodging. We directly went to the Carson house in Eureka. 

Carson house

It was famous landmark there. The mansion was built for William Carson, who came to join the gold rush in California, later formed a lumber company. The mansion was a mix of every major style of Victorian Architecture, especially Queen Anne style. However, later, the mansion was  converted to a private club, called Ingomer Club. The house opposite to Carson mansion, attracted me a lot. The pink house may be not that much ravishing compared to the mansion, but it had its own charm. The ornamental architecture was not so detailed, but it was very homely. I tried to find out something about the house, but sadly I couldn’t find out anything. From there we went to the solitaire seaside. We walked along on the deck, sometimes we stopped and watched the yachts stood in rows.

 We started walking along the narrow lanes of the historic old downtown, where all the buildings are Victorian style. Most of them were either motels or shops. I don’t know whether they were residences before. In Eureka old town and in Ferndale, I didn’t find any retail chain. All kind of shops were boutiques. Though I didn’t go inside, but from outside all the shops were looking stunning. Every shop was decorated in Victorian style. I felt that we went back to old time through a time machine. 

The beautiful pink house just opposite to Carson house

My husband wanted to go to Samoa cookhouse to have lunch. From Eureka, we headed to Samoa cookhouse, crossing a long bridge. The Samoa Peninsula was the land barrier that separates northern Humboldt Bay from the Pacific Ocean. Samoa is a peninsula between Eureka and Arcata. Samoa was punched by a private company which wanted make it a beach destination. However,it was ended up as a working town with sawmill factories. 

Eureka downtown

The reason is unknown to me.  When the land took shape as a working towns with sawmills factory, the Samoa Cookhouse  was opened as a humble encampments for the workers. 

Samoa Cookhouse

However, the sawmill didn’t run anymore. We saw the area was very quiet, and I felt like it motionless. After spending some time on the deserted beach we went to Samoa Cookhouse, but the eatery was almost empty, though it was opened. We were skeptical, whether the food would be good or not. So, we came back to Eureka. When we decided to go to New York Pizza, at that moment it started raining. We had no umbrella, actually I forgot about the winter rain in California. We waited in our car for some time, then practically we ran towards restaurant. We ate enormous sized sliced-pizza. Then again we strolled around the old town, and we came back to the hotel, just to spend a leisurely evening. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Zucchini Fritter (another way)

I failed every time when I want to make zucchini chips. Until now i don’t know which is the exact method to bake crispy zucchini chips. After many failed attempt , currently I’ve decided not to make anymore zucchini chips. However, what to do with so many zucchinis I’m harvesting almost everyday. The other I was chatting with one of my friends in Whatsapp, who lives in France. She gave me a recipe of zucchini fritter, but I miserably failed to make that. I was desperate to make good fritter without deep frying. Then I came with this recipe.
Two medium sized zucchini
Salt to taste
Bread crumb (With Italian seasoning is preferable)
One egg
Oil spray
One big bowl
One big stainer

Something heavy (Like a big heavy bowl filled with water)
Cut a little parts from both sides of the zucchinis. Grate the zucchinis. Mix well  the shredded zucchinis with salt .Place the stainer over big bowl. Pour the zucchinis on it. Place a heavy bowl filled with water on the of the shredded zucchinis. Keep it at least for one hour. (You can do the same thing by tying shredded zucchini in a cheese cloth and hang that from somewhere over the kitchen sink.)By this way the water inside the zucchinis will be drained out. You will get dry shredded zucchini. Take it in a big bowl, add one egg and enough bread crumb to make a tight dough. Take golf ball size amount of the dough, make a ball and flatten to give a shape of a circular fritter. Spray oil on a frying pan. Heat the pan on medium. Arrange the fritter on the pan in batches. Fry one side until brown, then flip to fry the other side until brown. Server hot with tomato sauce. Perfect snacks with tea.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Journey from Singapore to Home country

The longest and arduous journey
It seemed to be an easy task, as there was nothing to do inside the plane, but sitting back idly. However, that was a real pain. Siting back , and doing nothing, and watching movie could be a nightmare to a person like me who likes to keep herself on toe. On the top of that sitting on a tiny seat continuously, gives only pain to waist and legs. However, I must say this is the first time in six year after my marriage I sat back and watched 4 movies one after another !!!! 

Anyway, after everything was done smoothly, we had a brunch at cafe Monto at the airport. We had a plenty of time in our hand. Soon after, we felt bored,especially my son became frustrated, and started disturbing us a lot. He was so bored that he couldn't keep himself on the chair.He started acting very silly. Anyway, we had been waiting eagerly to hear from the authority to announce to boarding the plane. At last we heard the announcement. Thanks to our little one ,we could avoid a long queue to board the flight. The starting was not so bad. Father and the son started watching movies. 

I have no habit of watching TV. So, I started reading the newspaper. After finishing that, I sat back for few minutes to think, what I should next. Actually I didn’t want to switch on my tablet, in the fear of losing the battery of it. At last I switched on it, then I started reading Anna Karenina, which I had been thinking of reading for along time, but I never started reading. Soon after, I started writing journal, about our journey from home to airport.  One round of meal was already finished.

 I didn't know what to call it, though it was a full fledged meal, we had at  4 o'clock in our time. When I read or write I always crave for coffee or tea. I didn't take the coffee with the meal, I asked the air hostess to give me a hot coffee, which also help me to stay awake. Already my back started paining. It seemed  that it was a never ending journey. I often watch the time in my wrist watch. 

Though it was giving me the US time, I had no problem in calculating the time of our destination. As we were traveling from west to east, we the time was rapidly changing, I found we were always in sunlight, though every time we were getting "dinner". After getting bored I started watching movies. Though I finished 2 movies two movies, but our stopover destination Seoul was still far away. 

We arrived at Seoul airport. We were relieved, as we got chance to walk for a while. After a hassle free check-in we waited in the queue to board to Singapore bound plane.  That was another 8 hours journey to Singapore. After boarding our son started watching movie. Again the meal arrived, this time I also didn't know whether it was lunch or dinner. Soon after the meal our son started sleeping. My husband was still awake. I slept on and off. My husband told me that, he would sleep a lot after reaching the hotel at Changi airport. I asked him not to be very optimistic, because our son was not going to sleep in the hotel room, because he was already getting some sleep in the flight. Anyway, after getting down at Changi, we checked in at Ambassador hotel. As I anticipated that my son would not go to sleep, that happened. He already slept in the flight , and he was full of energy when we went to bed at 2 o'clock at night as per local time. We booked the hotel for 6 hours. We desperately wanted to sleep, but our son was full of energy, refused to sleep. He had been literally jumping on my back before falling asleep. The alarm rang at 7 in the morning. We sprang out of bed and quickly got ready. We left the hotel at 8 in the morning. Actually we wanted to avail the Singapore bus tour to see the city. Unfortunately we didn't get three seats for bus tour which usually starts at 11:30. So, we booked three seats for the tour at 2:30. From 8 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon was a long time, especially when there was nothing to do. My husband wanted have a brunch, so that we didn't need to have food before going to Singapore tour. It was real challenge to pass time. I think we walked to and fro within the airport. There was nothing to do. I was eagerly waiting for the Singapore tour, because I missed the tour 4 times before. My husband wanted to take a foot massage , but I didn't allow in the fear of missing the tour. 

Anyway, at last we went to board the bus. To our great disappointment , it was raining heavily outside. It really dampened our spirit, I understood that our tour was going to unsuccessful.  We couldn't get good photographs of our tour. Anyway, amid heavy rain our tour started. The city was really green. Everywhere, I could see only green and green. In such a small place they could maintain the environment. One striking feature I could see that all the big trees were covered by many kinds of parasites. Like my last visit Dubai, here also I could see the architectural beauty  in all modern building. Among the old parliament building the typical colonial architecture could be seen. Anyway,  most disappointed moment to me was not getting chance to get down to see the Singapore symbol, the Marlion. In totality,  the tour was quite disappointing. My husband and I both agreed that we would come back again here to see the city in depth.

Again our waiting start for last flight from Singapore to Kolkata. My son fell asleep just before boarding. He was so tired that it was inhuman to make him stay awake. I also fell fast asleep. Suddenly my husband tapped me. I woke up and saw he already stood in the line to board the plane. My poor little one had to wake up for the security check in. He cried all the way, and after check in he again fell asleep.  Anyway, after boarding our son even didn't have his dinner. I finished the last movie what I was watching last. After that everything was hassle free except getting our suitcase. We had to wait more than 45 minutes to get our suitcases. At last we reached home at 1 o'clock in the early morning.