We arrived at Ann and Alex's house in Glen Ellen on Saturday night after four days of driving down the Oregon and California coast. We spent the next few days hanging out with our friends, exploring the surrounding Sonoma wine country, enjoying a nice hike and just recharging ourselves with rest and relaxation after all that driving.
|CLICK TO SEE LARGER.|
Map of our Pacific coast travel
thus far: Poulsbo, Washington to
Glen Ellen, California.
Ann and Alex have a beautiful house - we were there last March and now we had returned to see them once again and enjoy their friendly hospitality. When we arrived, late Saturday, we unpacked and headed out for dinner at a sweet restaurant just a mile or so away in the town of Glen Ellen. The area they live in is quite lovely, surrounded by the Sonoma hills. Those soft, rolling slopes are home to many of the area's vineyards with elegant mansions that serve as tasting rooms for the wine they produce.
|High above the house, Stacey and Ann make their back down.|
|Ann and Alex's beautiful house and pool with hot tub. Oh so nice!|
|Now that's Smart! A plug-in (no gas at all) Smart Car for running|
errands and short trips.
|While we were out scouting a location to view the eclipse, we|
stopped for coffee and a chat at a local cafe.
|Little Biggie likes Ann and Alex's home also. Why not?|
|CLICK ANY PHOTO TO VIEW IT LARGER.|
We walked up a little hill and waited as the sun set. Alex used an app on his phone to
figure out the exact spot above which the moon would rise. It was dead on!
|The sun had set but these clouds were still reflecting its fading light.|
The next day, Monday, our friends had business in Santa Rosa, a nearby city. While they were there, Stacey and I drove into Sonoma and wandered around the town square, centered on a beautiful park.
|Buildings adjacent to Sonoma's town square.|
|Sonoma's City Hall is in the middle of this beautiful park which is the center of the town square. Exquisite!|
We had agreed to meet Ann and Alex for lunch when their business in Santa Rosa was completed. So we headed back to their home and the four of us headed out to a local Mexican restaurant, El Molino Central, which both Stacey and I very much enjoyed.
|The outside dining at El Molino Mexican restaurant|
allowed us to bring the little dog along to our lunch.
|El Molino in a nearby town of Aqua Caliente. The food was fresh and delicious.|
After lunch, to work off the calories, the four of us went for a hike in a Sonoma County park. The area they live in is not only the home to many wineries. Parks also, county and state, seem to be all over the place with lots of opportunities for walking, running and cycling. Ann and Alex take advantage by hiking the hills regularly.
|Yes, you read that right. Alex assured me that|
these cats are around but are very reclusive.
|These hills are covered by grass which is yellow and parched but turns a brilliant green from November through May,|
the rainy season. Oaks and Manzanita trees stand out from this cover of yellow grass.
|Walking up and up through these stands of gnarly oak trees.|
|A red manzanita encircles and entwines itself around an oak.|
|Taking a break on our hike in the Sonoma Valley Regional Park. We walked along the Corridor Ridge Trail, one of|
many in the area surrounding their house.
|Beautiful views of rolling hills from our trail.|
On Tuesday, Stacey and I drove back into Sonoma for lunch on our own. Alex recommended a nice place, The Red Grape. We explored the town a bit more. Dinner was at home and Alex, who's quite proficient in the kitchen, prepared a lovely meal. We turned in early because we'd be leaving early the next morning to continue our Pacific coast tour. That would include a stop in San Simeon and a tour of the most amazing Hearst Castle there. But for that you'll have to wait with baited breath for my next post. A great big thank you to our hosts who graciously hosted us for these few days!
|Ann at work in the office. Biggie's helping.|
|Little Biggie and his favorite perch: a rock in front of our friends' house.|
|Walking around Sonoma, this old mission was established by Mexico in|
the 1820s. This is a restored version of the original and dates to 1913.
|Stacey, enjoying lunch at Sonoma's Red Grape restaurant.|
|My dog, Little Biggie. Poolside at Ann and Alex's house.|