Tippi Hedren and Hitchcock’s The Birds

The birds posterI can’t visit Bodega Bay without driving a few miles inland to the hamlet of Bodega, most famous for the filming of Hitchcock’s The Birds.

As usual at this time of year, Tippi Hedren, whose haunting face is shown in the background of the iconic movie poster on the left was at The Tides wharf to sign autographs. 2014-08-31 10.03.05Tippi signing

2014-08-31 10.02.27A mannequin of Tippi stands duty at the Bodega Country Store filled with Hitchcock memorabilia.

The walls of the store are covered with artwork, costume sketches, publicity photos from The Birds and from Marnie. An article in the New Yorker chronicles the hidden story behind Hitchcock’s inappropriate advances and retaliation againstTippi and her long-held silence.

I take advantage of a photo op with the man himself, now stuffed and harmless.2014-08-31 10.03.51

The Tides


The Tides restaurant as it appeared in the film. It has since been completely remodeled.

schoolhouse2014-08-31 09.50.15On the left, the schoolhouse as it appeared in the film, site of the memorable scene of the birds chasing the children. I went there several years back on a solitary winter day when suddenly a flock of a hundred or more blackbirds came swarming out of the sky and settled on the tall pines nearby. For a second, I thought I would have to run for my life! But today the schoolhouse in renovated and occupied by a family.

A Bodega treasure–Terrapin Creek Cafe

terrapin-creek-cafe-bodega-bayI had just checked in to the Bodega Bay Inn (that’s another story for another time) and had only a little over an hour to get some dinner before I settled in to watch the final race in the Indy Series. I thought I would be relegated to a bag of Fritos and bean dip  from a convenience store, but, taking a chance, I walked across the parking lot to an unassuming blue clapboard building that housed the Terrapin Creek Cafe. The host and owner said they were fully booked but if I could be in and out in an hour that he could seat me. Perfect!

terrapin_creek_interiorThe interior glowed with the casual elegance and colors of southern France and I chose a table with a view of the small, open, and quietly streamlined kitchen. My efficient and knowledgeable fifty-something (my apologies if you were much younger!) waiter was warmly attentive. Such a blessing when one is dining solo. The menu offered a tempting array of local and international cuisine at reasonable prices.


I started with the roasted beet and mixed green salad, made crunchy and delicious with chopped whole unsalted almonds, instead of the usual slivered variety. A glass of sauvignon blanc added a refreshing touch.


duck anotherAnd then the entree of Liberty Farms Duck Breast served with Black Forbidden Rice, English Peas, Roasted Baby Carrots, Spinach, and Duck Jus. I am one of those Duckophiles that eats as much duck as humanly possible on my trips to France (eleven trips in the past 13 years) and I can say without hesitation that this duck surpassed any that I’ve eaten either in Paris or in Dordogne, the duck capital of France. The breast was tender and moist, cooked to perfection, with a crispy, salty strip of skin on each slice. The Black Forbidden rice with its delightful crunchiness, dotted with tender scallions, carrots, and spinach, and drenched in just the right amount of duck jus was an incredible accompaniment.

I had just enough time to squeeze in a delicious dessert of almond cake topped with a berry compote and lemon creme before heading back to my room.

terrapin ownersThe owners state on their website that they “are expanding the notion of comfort food to include dining that is delicious, affordable, and responsible.” I must add one word, in French. SUPERBE!