Monday, October 29, 2012

West Coast whimsy

The Black Bear Diner offers a whimsical start to our first morning on the West Coast.

We have made 15 or so West Coast trips through the years. When we fly, our destination has always been San Francisco. Sometimes we stay in the City. Some trips we explore other locales new to us. 

Regardless of which direction we head after we pick up our rental car, one pattern seems firmly entrenched in our travel pattern. We go all out during the day. By the time dinnertime rolls around, we are bushed and have little interest in fine dining. We just want something simple, light, tasty and quick so that we can crash and sleep.

The next morning, however, we are ready for breakfast with a capital B. We both enjoy breakfast, and on this trip there was much we found to enjoy.

We started our first full day with breakfast at the Black Bear Diner. It is a chain in western states, and our introduction to the chain was in Yreka, Calif.

The first thing we noticed as we entered the diner was that the black bear theme was over the top and offered an entertaining side dish to our breakfast fare. Black bears marched

. . . across the valance over a window,

. . . on our mugs of tea and coffee,

. . . on our water glasses,

. . . across our napkins, and

. . . on staff shirts.

Restroom doors were, of course, labeled Mama Bears and Papa Bears.

The bear cubs in the women’s rest room didn’t bother me. After all, we are always on the lookout for black bears on our trips to the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee.

Bear cubs 

The scene of a raccoon coming in a door made me laugh.

Memories in a mug
I ended my black bear experience with the purchase of one of the heavy mugs like the ones we used at breakfast. I have enjoyed hot tea in it every morning that we have been at home since our return.

Neither Hubby nor I are much into souvenirs other than our photos and shared memories. But this souvenir is an exception. It gives me a chuckle as my hot tea helps me on my early morning journey from groggy and incoherent to awake and functioning.


  1. My visit to the chain was in Lake Havasu, AZ. In fact it is where we had breakfast with our condo friends before we left to come back to Wisconsin. They serve one of the best breakfasts' around.

  2. I love the mugs. You will enjoy them as you use them and remember your great trip.

  3. I love how you find the fun and the interesting not matter where you go.

  4. They really like bears at that diner. Hope none of the atrocious weather came your way. Dianne

  5. amazing place and I LOVE IT! wish i had been there, i would like to eat here. and you are right bears over the top, but why not... great post

  6. Now I know why the restaurant is called Black Bear Diner. LOL. We leave for India on Nov 1. Can't wait. Will bring my laptop, so I'll be able to read your blog. Happy trails!

  7. Wish we had known you were here on the West Coast.
    We could have met at the Black Bear Diner. There is one about 20 miles from our house in the Sacramento area.
    Its a great place to eat. My Granddaughters love it.
    I'm so glad you could have a good vacation. It helps charge the batteries.

  8. Good food helps especially at breakfast. I think I've been in every state except Hawaii and Cal. Maybe one should check out those huge trees...:)

  9. We traveled up and down the Coast and to Seattle (though not in recent years) but never encountered a Black Bear Diner so new to me. None I've seen here in So Cal though we do have our share of actual bears invading our communities. We always enjoyed a good breakfast and sounds like a place we would have enjoyed.
    Hope you're having a great trip.

  10. I'm glad to hear that you've made it home safely from your travels! I always enjoy seeing and hearing about your adventures :)

    I love all things "bear"--including your new mug!

  11. How could you bear so many bears?