Travelogues: Sonoma County Adventures, Armstrong Woods

posted on: Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Oh hiiiiiii, here I am. It's been a rough month, y'all. A cold, shingles (what. the. eff.), crazy hours at work and in those rare moments I've been home, lucid and awake, "The Killing". If you haven't watched this show yet, doooooo ittttttt. It's like Law and Order meets Twin Peaks meets CSI meets I don't even know what kind of awesome-sauce. Seriously into it.

And so, I'm finally getting around to posting these photos from our July vacation in Sonoma County. Remember that time we went to Armstrong Woods, all of us expecting a chill and easy? And then, we decided to walk up this one road to Bullfrog Pond. A couple hours and a couple miles later (all uphill, just FYI) we found Bullfrog Pond reduced to more of a dried up puddle. I may still be in trouble for not letting the crew accept the ride from that nice man in a pick up in our first 30 minutes. But hey, that scenery was damn sure worth it! Beautiful.


But we got our reward, a couple hours and a couple miles later (all downhill, just FYI) we got in the car and went to the Stumptown Brewery in Guerneville for burgers and brews. WORTH IT. Can't WAIT to go back!

Travelogues: Sonoma County Adventures, River Road to Goat Rock

posted on: Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sure am taking my sweet time getting California up on this here space! But before you go thinking too many harsh thoughts about me, just know that since I posted about Preston Farms 6 days ago, that cold I mentioned is still hanging on and a secondary health issue developed (one that's kind of weird and embarrassing so I'd rather leave it to the imagination). So needless to say, I've been spending a LOT of time in bed being very lazy and feeling very sorry for myself. But self pity is over! Time to get back to life. And soon enough, I'll be able to work out again. Who knew I'd miss my morning runs this much??

Anyway, looking at these pictures from a little adventure Jackie and I went on is making me wish I'd stayed in California. SO GORGEOUS. The story goes like this: We were all at our gracious hosts' home, hanging out, some of the crew possibly lazing off a hangover and trying to decide how to spend the day. Alan comes running in and goes "Hey! The guys are going to play golf!" So excited I hated to burst his bubble but way to just totally make plans that didn't involve me on our vacation! He realized his faux pas pretty fast but by that time, I had invited Jackie on a mystery adventure mini road trip to Goat Rock. And the boys were pretty stoked to be able to go off on a boys only adventure so, you know, win win.

A friend from work got a list of recommendations from her dad, a wine rep who does a lot of work in Sonoma County and Napa. His most highly recommended activity was to drive along River Road to Goat Rock. I decided to keep Goat Rock a mystery from myself and didn't google anything but directions. With a quick stop in Monte Rio to check out a weird movie theater and a bridge over the gorgeous Russian River, we slowly meandered our way almost to the coast.

Almost to our destination I accidentally took a right when I should have taken a left. Worked out well though! I saw a place to pull over that looked like a restaurant or cafe and sure enough it was. I was hoping for a beverage, a coffee or something, and River's End hooked us up way better than that with a cocktail and a beer and a bomb beet salad for a snack. I asked where to find Goat Rock and the bartender merely pointed out the window. "Ohhhh, you mean the giant rock in the ocean? Sweet!" Killer view, so rad. We enjoyed our snacks and the view and then wound our way over to Goat Rock.

This wasn't my first time up the Pacific Coast. I've seen it before while on an epic road trip to Seattle a million years ago. But you know what? It doesn't matter. It's always beautiful. It's always magical. It always will be. We ran around for a bit and headed home, totally refreshed and happy and ready to hang with our dudes again.

Travelogues: Sunday at Preston Farms in Healdsburg, CA

posted on: Sunday, August 10, 2014

I FINALLY got around to going through my California photos! Yay me! It's been challenging making myself get around to it because I was lucky enough to catch a bitch of a summer cold. It hit me sometime on Sunday or Monday and I still have a serious sore throat and blocked up ears. So fun… Sitting down and sorting photos hasn't been much of a priority, not when there is napping to be done!

But anyway, on to the good stuff… On Sundays, our wonderful amazing and kind hosts sometimes go up the 101 to Healdsburg and do Sunday picnics and to go jugs at Preston Farms, a beautiful organic farm and vineyard. When we first arrived in town they made the suggestion and obviiiii we were totally down. On the way we ran into a little rain, not so fun for those on a motorcycle, and pulled over at the Dry Creek General Store for a drink and to wait it out. We watched some silly dogs try to outrun motorcycles pulling out of the drive and checked out the various goods on display.

After the rain cleared a bit, we continued on to Preston Farms. It was pretty fantastic. We found a picnic table under some trees, tasted some amazing wine and enjoyed a lot of laughs. I bought a round of the signature sourdough bread, basically on the suggestion of a friend from New York who as it turns out, is old family friends with the Preston's! That bread was good, man, I ate a slice every morning of the trip. Good, good stuff…

Travelogues: Home again, home again

posted on: Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm finally home after a truly amazing and enlightening trip to northern California. My head is spinning, not least of which is due to the fact that our plane arrived at JFK at 7:30 this morning and then I went basically straight to work. I tried to sleep on the plane, I really did, but turns out Independence Day was playing and when that movie is on I just can't help but watch it. I have loads of photos to go through, who even knows what is hiding on my sd card as I was shooting and not even reviewing. Adventures were had, new friendships were made, so on and so forth. And for now, I'll leave off with a photo or two from our little adventure driving down California 1 from Point Reyes to San Francisco and on to San Jose. Honey's first time (being blurry) in the Pacific Ocean, a drive down Haight Street, all kinds of firsts.

These gulls went after some unattended chips. Turns out they didn't like the Tapatio Doritos near as much as I do...

Travelogues: Sonoma County adventures, Jack London State Historic Park

posted on: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

And here we are, half way through our trip to California. We'll see if we actually go back (just kidding... Sadly...). We've had a blast and still more good times to come but this morning and afternoon turned out to be the perfect time for everyone to do their own thing. Family to be seen, naps to be had, etc.

We weren't sure what to do for our little solo hang so we headed to downtown Santa Rosa to get some coffee and walk around a bit. While there, I got a notion to get in the car and head to Jack London's ranch that is now a state historic park. I mean, who wouldn't want to hang out somewhere called House of Happy Walls? Alan suggested picking up sandwiches to picnic and off we went.

Seriously beautiful country although everything is toasted with this wicked awful drought they're having right now. We didn't explore much, just a little picnic table and the house itself, but we did get enough of a taste for me to know I'll go back and enough adventure to feel like we'd done something worthwhile with our solo outting.

And now, a bit of a rest before BBQ and river adventures and who knows what else. Love it here...

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