Getaway Weekend :: Scootin' Sonoma

Monday, March 31, 2014

I love the strong (and completely unintentional) focus on blues and greens in these photos. It must be spring!

Last weekend, Jimmy and I hopped on our Piaggio and scooted our way from the East Bay, up through Sonoma to Sebastopol, through Guerneville to Armstrong Redwoods, to Dry Creek Valley, back to Sebastopol, to Bodega Bay, down Route 1, to Stinson Beach, over the Golden Gate Bridge, over the Bay Bridge, then home. I thought about adding up the miles and decided against it - but let's just say that's quite a lot for an open-air ride!

We tasted wine, we ate the good foods, we enjoyed nature. But first and foremost, we enjoyed the time on the scooter, zipping through the breeze and sunshine, able to soak every last piece of the ride in. There's something so wonderful about traveling this way, especially for me as the passenger. I get to see, hear and smell everything as it flies by, making every last moment of the road trip feel like part of the fun rather than a means to an end.

Here's a little instagram-vid that I took from the ride:
[Click here for on-scooter instavid]

Where we stayed: The Sebastapol Inn was a great place for our weekend stay. We liked that it was affordable but better than your average chain, and very central to much of what Sonoma County has to offer. Also, Sebastapol in itself is a worth a stopover - it's a very "groovy" little town with a strong community vibe.
Where we ate: This weekend was all about "what looks delicious?", rather than my usual focus on "what's healthy and/or cheap". This was a very fun change. Favorites:
  • Angelo's Wine Country Deli in Sonoma is the perfect place for a casual lunch between tastings. Check out the jerky tasting bar (you can't miss it) with complimentary bite-size pieces of every kind of jerky under the sun.
  • Ono'z Cafe in Guerneville for Hawaiian - who knew you could get Hawaiian food in wine country? Yummy onion rings + lumpia + an enormous shaved ice will stick in my memory.
  • We found the HopMonk Tavern in Sebastapol so enjoyable that we went here twice. Great food eaten with local beer in a friendly-stranger filled beer garden next to a fire. How can it get better? Add a perfectly grilled ham and cheese + chunky tomato soup...that's how.
  • The Bodega Country Store (in Bodega) is always a must for us; we find ourselves passing by strangely often and we love it each and every time. There is AMAZING chowder, lots of local knickknacks and flavors, and our favorite kind of gluten-free cookies which is what we grabbed this time on our way home.
  • We stopped at the Parkside Cafe snack shack at Stinson Beach for some burgers and chili fries (I told you we weren't focused on health...), which we took over to eat on the beach in the sunshine. 
  • The Community Market in Sebastapol is the adorable place where we stopped for morning breakfast and coffees - I wish we had one of these in our town!

What we drank:
Though Sonoma and Napa are closer to us and renowned for their wines, we tend to venture out to the Dry Creek Valley / Russian River Valley wineries more often. They are a bit less pricey in general, there's less traffic, and since there is less packed into the area, you can't beat the views. We're wine club members of both Dutcher Crossing and Truett Hurst, which are both amazing, delicious, off-the-beaten path wineries in the area. Check 'em out!

What we did: Besides eating and wine tasting, we had an awesome time exploring Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve (I just can't get enough of those majestic trees), walking around Stinson Beach, and spending time on the scooter, stopping every 5 minutes to get a view of this or a photo of that. 
Have you been to Sonoma County? What was your favorite stop? 

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