Fitness, Food, Wine & Travel


Ukiah Super 8: Be the Change You Want to See in the World

Dear Readers, 
Sorry about the lack of posting. I have been a very busy girl lately. I am currently working three part-time jobs, and between those and keeping a steady fitness routine, that gives me little time to devote to writing.
But, while I have a moment to spare, I wanted to let you know about some events happening in Mendocino and Ukiah during the month of March, and a great place to stay while you are there.
Last month, I was hosted by the Super 8 in Ukiah while my boyfriend and I attended the latter weekend of Mendocino Crab and Wine Days (an annual Mendocino two-weekend long festival featuring a series of events including a cioppino feed we attended at Barra of Mendocino Wines), and tried a restaurant in downtown Ukiah called Patrona.

What is so special about Super 8 Ukiah and why did I title this post the way that I did? These awards on the wall begin to paint the picture. Super 8 Ukiah uses modern techniques of being nature friendly by using recyclable papers to for cleaning, electrically economical lights, healthy practices of waste and resource management. They also offer complimentary electrical vehicle charging for hotel guests.
You can find the Super 8 Ukiah on this list of Eco Green Hotels. They are a member of the Green Hotels Association, and here is the audit information on everything they do to maintain their unique environmental status.
You can read more about their environmental efforts and practices and what they do to maintain the awards bestowed on them here on their blog.
Car charging station.

Watching Ocean’s Eleven (a treat because I don’t have a tv at home) from the comfy bed and snacking on dates, almonds, and strawberries. 🙂

This is the breakfast nook area in the check-in lobby where complimentary breakfast is served every morning from 6:00am-9:30am.

Room 224 where we stayed. 🙂

You can find Super 8 Ukiah on Facebook here and on twitter here.

March 3-4, 2012: Mendocino Village Whale Festival
The 30th Annual Mendocino Whale Festival will see the area’s top chefs serve up their takes on New England clam chowder, as well as Mendocino County wineries pouring their unique vintages for tasting at historic Mendocino Village shops, galleries and inns.

March 10-11, 2012: Little River Whale Festival
During the 3rd Annual Little River Whale Festival, visitors will savor bites from the kitchens of the town’s noted chefs, sip wines from Mendocino County vintners, get their art and adventure passport stamped for the chance to win a fabulous prize, take a history or a whale watching walk, go on an artist studio tour, sit down to a fireside talk with local historians, or take advantage of a “Whale of a Sale” at various Little River inns (stay two nights, get the third free).The Festival benefits the Mendocino Area Parks Association (MAPA) and the jewel of Little River, Van Damme State Park.

March 17-18, 2012: Fort Bragg Whale Festival
The festivities are endless at the 30th Annual Fort Bragg Whale Festival, which features flavorful microbrew beer, chowder and wine tastings for adults and arts and crafts fair and “sea-life” kiddie parade for children. The Whale Run and Walk, Whale Cruises out of Noyo Harbor, Whale-Watching Excursions on Horseback and more round out the weekend of whale-tastic fun for all.

Other March Mendocino Events

March 3rd-4th
Point Cabrillo Lighthouse Whale Watching – 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, free, Point Cabrillo Lighthouse in Mendocino, 800.262.7801

March 3rd
Mendocino Whale Festival Concert: An Evening of Wood and Steel – 8:00 pm, $20 in advance & $25 at the door, Crown Hall in Mendocino, 800.585.0095

March 10th
Pt. Arena Crafts Show and Bazaar – 9:00 am, free, Point Arena City Hall in Point Arena. For more information call 707.785.3538

March 10th
Second Saturday Wine and Food Tasting – 9:00 am, free, Milano Winery, 707.744.1396.

Mendocino Stories and Music Series “Braet and Brown Jazz Duo”: 7:30 pm, $10 to $15 per person, Hill House in Mendocino, 866.937.1732.

The Unauthorized Rolling Stones – 8:00 pm, $18 adults/$10 youth, Arena Theater in Point Arena, 707.882.3272.

March 12th
Dahlia Tuber Sale– 9:00 am, free, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg,707.964.4352

March 17th-18th Saint Patrick’s Day Sale and Wine Tasting: 10:00 am, free, Milano Winery in Hopland,707.744.1396.

March 24th Mendocino Stories and Music Series “Mendo Bobfest” – 7:30 pm, $15 in advance/$20 at the door, Hill House Inn in Mendocino, 707.937.1732.

March 25th Orixa-Inspired Dance Workshop – 1:00 pm, $20, Mendocino Ballet Company in Ukiah, 707.468.5338

March 30th Mendocino Stories and Music Series “Hit and Run Theater Improv Comedy” – 7:30 pm, $10 to $15, Hill House Inn in Mendocino,

March 31st – April 1st Learn to Kayak Weekend – 9:00 am, $160 to $200 per person, Liquid Fusion Kayaking in Fort Bragg, 707.962.1623

Ongoing Events throughout March
Mendocino Art Center’s Marine Wildlife Show– Free, Open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Mendocino Art Center in Mendocino, 707.937.5818.

“Introductions”: Devore, O’Feral, Sandberg and Lawrence – Free, Open Thursday thru Monday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Partners Gallery in Fort Bragg, 707.962.0233

Whale Graphite Objects by Agelio Batle – Free, Open Friday – Monday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, Studio 391 in Point Arena, 707.884.9065

Taco Thursday – Prices vary, Mendocino Hotel in Mendocino, 707.937.0511

Farmers Markets – Free to the public. Visit for city locations, dates and times.

Wine Pairing Host-Table Dinner– 6:00 pm, Sunday, Monday and Saturday, $90 pp w/wine pairing or $65 for non-drinkers, Glendeven Inn in Little River, 707.937.0083.

Sunday Brunch – Every Sunday starting at 8:00 am, prices vary, Mendocino Hotel in Mendocino, 707.937.0511.

My Visit to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry

During my Chicago trip to run the Hot Chocolate 15K, I arranged a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry. I was particularly interested in seeing one of their exhibits, The “Smart Home“. The Smart Home is a pre-fab modular home and was conceived by Michelle Kaufmann. Here is a picture of the house, built right on the Museum’s property, and some photos of the interior of the house.
For the exhibit, the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) partnered with Gizmodo and threw in some of the latest technology to make the house even more amazing.
The Smart Home is equipped with a home automation system that monitors and controls the energy consumption of every room and appliance, all from a single touch screen panel.
The system reports how much energy a resident consumes and produces (from the solar film on the roof or the 45-foot wind turbine on the front lawn) by the day and hour so they can discover ways to curb consumption.
The whole house can be placed in “hibernation” mode while the resident is away, and the system will lower shades, turn off lights, turn down heat/air in the house and bring energy usage to a minimum.
Let’s start with my favorite room! The kitchen! It features: Induction cooktops, built-in wall oven with speed convection to save cooking time, a tabletop composter that recycles its weight in waste every 10 days, and countertops made from mixed waste paper, recycled glass, and low carbon cement (over 50 percent post-consumer recycled content.)
The living room features vintage chairs sourced locally and upholstered in recycled car tires, a rug made from reclaimed wool from vintage kilim rugs that have been unraveled and rewoven in the Turkish countryside, a walnut console that was found in an industrial firm and was sanded down to raw wood and refinished, and metal globe stands that have been repurposed into lamps.
The dining room has a salvaged plank table, shade system with automated window treatments, dual pane windows, and a chandelier made from old CFL tubes.
In the master bath, there is a Cybertecture Mirror on the wall. It is fog-resistant and waterproof. It also can deliver the day’s time, temperature, news and traffic at a glance.
It has different light settings, keeps track of weight gain/loss, and can connects to friends on Facebook! (Not while I am in the bathroom, thanks!)
In this room there is also an anti-bacterial solar toothbrush that cleans your teeth without toothpaste by using electrons that react to acid in your saliva.
Here’s part of the garden growing outside the Smart Home and some of the patio furniture.
To hear more about Michelle Kaufmann, and how she came up with the concept for the Smart Home, you can listen to an interview with her here. And below is a time lapse of the four month construction process.

I also took pictures of some other museum exhibits that caught my eye. I’d really love to have a dress like this!
And below are garments with sensors in them that can be given a signal
via text to contract and “hug” the wearer.
During my visit, there was an exhibit called Month at the Museum. Kevin Byrne, a digital marketing analyst from Chicago lived inside MSI for 30 days during October & November. He was allowed to roam the museum at will, but this is the space where he hung out most of the time.

Another big highlight for me at the museum is this little cinema. Inside they play silent movies and animated shorts. I could have sat in there all day long.

For more information on the museum, visit their website here. You can connect with them on Facebook here, and follow them on twitter here.