Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sonoma County

Coastal Wildflowers
We had to walk through the woods to get to this little isolated beach.
The Russian River flowing into the Pacific Ocean. The seal nursery is at the point.
I like this one!!!
Mission San Francisco Solano
Peanut's Characters

We planned to spend four days at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds RV Park in Santa Rosa then extended our stay by a couple of days since there was so much to do in the area. There are many wineries which made Nanc happy and several micro breweries which pleased Jim. We went out to dinner every night, often to breweries, something we don't do nearly as often as we did when we were in our stix and brix. One day we drove the Russian River Valley through neat little tourist towns, redwood forest and farmland to the Pacific Ocean at Jenner. We drove a little of the coastal highway and strolled on the beach. The coast is absolutely beautiful here with many small beaches, rock outcroppings and vistas. At the mouth of the river a large group of harbor seals where nursing there young on the beach. That same day we drove to Bodega Bay to look for a restaurant where we had eaten in 1993. We found Lucas Wharf and the calamari was as fantastic as we remembered.

We went to Healdsburg where several wineries have tasting rooms around the town plaza. This lets you try a bigger variety without having to drive, which is good thing. Nanc indulged herself by purchasing some “better” wines than she usually drinks. There was also a brew pub where we had dinner and I could try a couple of different craft brews.

Sonoma, another nearby town, is an older village where the last of the California Spanish missions was built in 1823. The Mission San Francisco Solano is the only mission constructed after Mexico gained its independence. There are, as expected, several wine tasting rooms, galleries and shops around the central plaza, but they are a little behind the times since no one has opened a microbrewery. Although, there was one tasting room which offered tastings of both local wines and craft beers but we decided one day of tasting was enough and that we would have to save this for another time. There was also an arts and crafts show in progress on the plaza which we enjoyed as we strolled around the town.

On three of the nights we were here we dined out so we could see the Penguins play in the Stanley Cup Finals. For two of the nights the results were very positive, but Saturday was terrible but we are not giving up. The good thing on Saturday was a restaurant we discovered in Sebastopol. GTO's, located on South Main Street, is run by Gene and Tess Ostopowicz who are originally from Pennsylvania. This little gem offers a taste of New Orleans in Sonoma County. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and talked about fulltiming which they said they would love to do at some point. If you are in the area and want a great meal make sure to check them out. You won't be disappointed.

Santa Rosa is a neat city with all the services you need and a nice downtown area with several restaurants and shops. It is the home of Charles Schultz the author of Peanuts. There is a museum, which we did not visit, and statues of the various characters around town. This is a place we could return to because it is well located for visiting everything from the vineyards, local farmers markets to the ocean. It could even be a good place for a day trip to San Fransisco.

1 comment:

MarkandRenita said...

Ahhhh! Wineries and brew pubs, we wondered why you hadn't posted in a while. Really sounds neat!