[DISCLOSURE: Images of Mezzaluna and Landis Shores are borrowed from their Websites. All other images on this blog post I’ve taken.]

I have a perfect plan that I enjoy using, whenever we have visitors traveling back home from Sonoma County who need to fly out the next day.

Yes, they can stay at a hotel by the airport, but that’s so perfunctory. It’s noisy and a heck of a way to leave wine country, don’t you think?

My plan is to stay about a half hour away from SFO in charming Half Moon Bay. Jose and I just did this with my sister Merry, who was returning back to Pennsylvania, after having stayed with us. Merry and I grew up in Maine, living less than an hour from Popham Beach. Merry even had a part of her life when she lived in Georgetown, Maine, in a secluded cove on the Atlantic Ocean. Having her come to visit after not seeing each other since our mother passed away years ago… she now living in PA and me living in CA… I wanted this to be the most special visit possible.

I arranged for her to have her last night at a place where she could jump into a whirlpool bath, light her gas fireplace, throw open the window, and listen to the roaring surf only 20 to 30 feet away… from her falling into perfect slumber. Merry has told me more than once since how fabulous it was to have had this last night in Half Moon Bay at Landis Shores. She loves it out here, and I know what she means.

So, if I gave her the best of the best experiences, you – when you’re traveling – might want to put this into your playbook.


This wonderful bed and breakfast is so much more than just a B&B. It has to do with who owns this inn.  Ellen and Ken Landis are very wine knowledgeable people. Ellen’s blog is Ellen on Wine…

Ellen’s a highly respected sommelier, which includes having served as the sommelier at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay. She and her husband Ken are wine judges at many prestigious wine competitions. Examples: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, San Francisco International Wine Competition, Central Coast Wine Classic, Sonoma County Harvest Fair, West Coast Wine Competition, Affairs of the Vine competitions, Grand Harvest Awards, Mendocino Wine Competitions, Mid-American Wine Competition… Shall I go on? I think I’ve proven my point…

Ellen and Ken have an excellent wine cellar, and share their wines and expertise with their guests, during a wine reception each evening before dinner calls people away to enjoy local restaurants. Yes, people… one more wine tasting before you return home!

Ellen is also so responsive. When she learned that we wanted to go to dinner at Mezzaluna, she made our reservation. I was going to do that; but she was so eager to take the initiative, that she made my life more simple, as I planned Merry’s perfect flight home.

Okay, I had nothing to do with the fact that the first part of her flight had her being used with, “Is there a doctor on board, we’re having a medical emergency?” Merry has RN credentials, having spent 20 years in post cardiac surgery care, in New York City and Maine. She helped a passenger having an anxiety attack, staying with the person until the plane landed… It was so bad that if no one with medical credentials was on board, the plane would have had to turn back… Then, the next flight bumped her, refusing to let her get on; because even though the plane had two seats available, there were too many overweight people on the flight… Great for a nutritionist, huh, whom they had just used on a first flight? Argh! Airlines…

AIRLINES: please consider that the fattening of America has happened, since those planes figured out how many people could safely be on board for take off…

So… back to our perfect overnight…

Another obviously advantage of being away from a noisy airport is actually being on the beach, versus being next to jets taking off and landing.

Sun Center for Well Being

Merry and I took a quick walk before dinner on Mirada Road, where the inn is located. This road is a huge u-shaped detour off Highway 1. You travel down to the ocean facing part of it to Landis Shores, and within this very short space of about 20 dwellings, has gathered a very artistic community. Each visit, I get deeper into this eclectic neighborhood.

On that short walk with Merry, we strayed off the path and into the gardens of Sun Center for Well Being. This is one complex that’s fascinated me from day one. I didn’t realize that there was a chiropractic center here, too, until Merry and I strayed into their succulent gardens, leading to their center’s doorway in the back of the houses. Let’s just say, we were a few minutes late for our dinner reservation…


Jose and I have long enjoyed the Half Moon Bay area. Years ago, we had an inn there that hired us as their PR agency; which we did for years, until the property was sold. Pillar Point Inn is right next to Mezzaluna, so it was a perfect find for us.  Mezzaluna’s authentic environment is a real treat, with the food also following through. It’s the best Italian food in Half Moon Bay’s community of Princeton By The Sea… bar none, and there are other options. It’s a quick five minute drive from Landis Shores. The restaurant is tucked away in this fishing community, and the waitservers also make a huge difference in your dining experience. I can sit here and think about the restaurant and start drooling, it’s that good.

From their site, and I believe every word of this:

Mezzaluna is continually awarded as Best Restaurant on the Coast and Best Customer Service. But it doesn’t take an award to prove the quality and consistency of the great food, service and wine…

Between Landis Shores Inn and Mezzaluna, you’ve got a perfect escape, and you’ll be ready for whatever challenges  the airlines are going to throw at you… And, we all know they will….

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