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Books,Lodging

Whale Watch Inn ~ A Jewel on the Mendocino Coast Line

Along the southern end of Mendocino County is the Whale Watch Inn.

Don’t blink as you drive the twists and turns of Highway 1, or you’ll miss it; although, most people who arrive, arrive not by accident, but by design. By 60 percent, they come to The Whale Watch Inn as return visitors. They’ve already discovered the precious gem; they can’t wait to catch up with new journal entries, pages filled with other visitors deeply personal messages… messages of love, humor, thanks, or touching moments of intimacy that they openly share.

These journal entries are so special that I took a couple years of my life to work with the owners to pour through these books, finding the most extraordinary entries hidden among the, “Gosh, we just had a swell time,” and capture what would become a book entitled, “The Power of Getting Away.” My daughter Lyla Azia also helped with the project. Sitting in the middle of about 30 journals scattered all over the floor, Lyla remarked, “Every entry is so special that we have to find the ones that are the most special,” and she was absolutely right… most being the operative word.

Although the title might sound like a self help book, it’s far from that. It was named “The Power of Getting Away” because those who journey to Whale Watch Inn do so as part of their own power for wanting recovery from their daily grind… That’s the real self help.

People who visit collectively seem to be very highly accomplished artists of one sort or another. They articulate their experiences in their own medium. For writers, they do it in prose, poetry, or essay form. Musicians have left behind a new score, and artists draw in them. It’s just not the usual, “We thank you so much for such a beautiful inn.” The writings describe intense feelings brought about by the view from on high, and the lulling or pounding of the surf (depending on the weather) from below.

The book is for sale at the Inn, only, as far as I know.

People return for the peaceful solitude, the luxurious pampering, the splendid oceanic views, and the romantic encounters that they’ve deliberately scheduled into their hectic lives.

Situated in Anchor Bay, California, on two cliff-side acres, The Whale Watch Inn offers incomparable scenic views, a private sand beach, and is a getaway like no other. The charm is due entirely to its proprietors, Dr. Jim and Mrs. Kazuko Popplewell.

Owning this country resort by the sea is Kazie’s dream come true. And, if truth be told, Kazie has taken her passion to an all-time high. Perhaps it’s due in part to her Japanese culture, the profound understanding that cleanliness and hospitality are next to godliness. Perhaps it’s due in part to her staff, who have adopted her ideas as their own internalized principles. Perhaps it’s due in part to her exquisite perfectionism that begins in her carefully landscaped gardens, and ended in her goodbye hug. It’s hard to put a finger on what it is exactly, but it is very apparent that this is a labor of love, and guests feel as though they’ve just found their way back home.

When we entered the reception area, I thought that I had entered someone’s living room. Gone is the reception desk. As we entered, innkeeper Wendie opened a side door to greet my husband and me. She asked us if we would prefer a glass of white or red wine. My Lord… after the two-hour ride that we had just had, and living in wine country where wine is part of our every day culture, she knew exactly what I was thinking; that it was time for dinner, relaxing with a glass of wine, and turning off the world. Little did I know, and to our delight, our room also had a private Jacuzzi. Who could ask for anything else?

The Whale Watch Inn, an exceptional treasure, has its own East-West culture:

  • No television, phones, or clocks in each of the 18 individually, uniquely decorated guest rooms.
  • A journal in which guests first read, then record, their own expressions of love, humor, and thanks.
  • Professional chefs freshly prepare a bountiful breakfast each morning. And your feast is happily delivered to your room at your pre-selected time. This way, private dining totally complements the intimate adventure you’re having.

The Whale Watch Inn is a place where lovers can reconnect, recuperate from the daily grind, and find luxurious pleasure in a very privileged environment. It’s a place that offers dynamic ocean views from each room, fire places for romantic interludes, Jacuzzis for healing your body, mind, and spirit, and ocean-front beach access for the adventurer in your soul… it’s a place to reconnect with every part of your being. And, don’t forget to leave your journal entry… it is part of the experience.

She wrote, “I left my heart in Mendocino, high on a hill, above the surf. I awakened several times during the night, desperately wanting to listen to the crashing of the waves below, only to slip deeply back into the comfort of Pacifica…my room. There’s a majesty, a buoyancy, a reverie… and the smell of muffins tells me that I’d better get dressed.”

He wrote, “It’s a bed and breakfast with LOTS of breakfast.”

Totally yummy, but find out for yourself!

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