American Holly

American Holly
American Holly

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Week With Friends, Part I

I've been too busy to post, then haven't had Internet for several days. What kept me too busy were four friends that flew up from Houston, Texas to visit me for a week. And of course, I had to cook - two of them stayed with me and I fed the gang, plus a couple of bunk mates supper a few nights - and travel with them.

They arrived at Sacramento Airport around 1:30 on Saturday and got their reserved van and drove the 85 or so miles up to me, stopping on the way to see the famous falcated duck which is still wowing people. I had to work on Sunday, so they stopped by the visitor center to visit me, after joining me for breakfast, and then drove around in the light rain to see local birds. As soon as I was finished, we grabbed my bags and jumped into the van and headed for Santa Rosa where my friend Natalie has a cousin who was crazy enough to let us stay with her two nights. She also took a sick day to guide us around Bodega Bay and then to two Wineries.



She met us at a wonderful Italian restaurant that was like no other I've ever been to.  We had a series of small, but delicious and wonderfully presented courses. Then we shoehorned ourselves into her cozy house, filled with mostly her paintings. The next morning we started of to Bodega Bay where we found birds and took a hike thought the ice plants and other ground covers while enjoying a huge surf. Then we had to eat crabs.  We ate at a little crab shack and had crab sandwiches, crab cakes and crab chowder that was wonderful.


Our Van with Bob, Leslie, our hostess for two nights, and Natalie

The ocean outside Bodega Bay

Ice plant and other plants made a beautiful grouondcover


The gang eating crab everything

After lunch, we went north along Highway 1 to River Road which runs along the Russian River.  Our destination was CarolCarol  Shelton Wines, the most awarded vintner in the United States, and a friend of Leslie. We enjoyed wonderful scenery and stopped a few times to get pictures of the beautiful views. 


A view of the Russian River

Carol Shelton with Natalie, Leslie, and Tracy

Leslie painted the large mural behind the tasting counter at Carol Shelton Wines

Friends - Bob, Natalie, Tracy and Dutch in the Discovery Room of Sacramento NWR Visitor Center
After this winery, we went to Rodney Strong but I was pretty wined out and was ready to take a little rest so stayed in the car. After this we changed our habits and went to the Russian River Brewery Restaurant for pizza.  A few of us still had room for some beer but most of us stuck with water. The pizza there has some of the beer yeast added to the pizza dough for a different but delicious flavor.

Then it was time to go back to Leslie's house and almost immediately go to bed so we could get up early, pack up, eat breakfast and head to Point Reyes.

To be continued.

My only disaster was accidentally leaving my camera at work.  Bob loaned me his little point and shoot camera but my photo's are way below par.