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Old 06-22-2015, 08:28 PM   #41
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I have not dined there. Thought about it, but my wife said that our frugal nature might make us raise the expectations too high to really enjoy it.

Right across the street from the French Laundry is a private vegetable garden that Thomas Keller has to provide himself with fresh home-grown produce. When we first saw it in 2010, it was perhaps only 1/4 acre. Two months ago, when we next saw it, apparently he has bought more land, and that lot has grown to perhaps 2 acres, and we even saw a green house and a few full-time workers. See photo I took.

At the price that Keller charges, he still has very good business, and has money to invest further in his restaurants.

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Old 06-22-2015, 09:54 PM   #42
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I would head next door to Sonoma County and stay in Healdsburg. Visit the wineries along Dry Creek, head down the Russian River to the coast and take the drive to Bodega Bay, come back up to Sonoma for a walk around town, back to Healdsburg. Lots to do, beautiful country, less congested than Napa. As for where to stay, check Trip Advisor based on your preferences and budget or look to AirB&B or VRBO.
Yes. And take "Westside Road" from Healdsburg. Great wineries; lovely scenery. Stop in Armstrong Woods Park near Guerneville to see 1300-year old enormous redwoods.
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:43 PM   #43
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Got back Thursday evening after our trip to drop off our son at Humboldt State for his sophomore year. Nice area.


We headed down the 101 thru the Avenue of the Giants (scenic bypass thru the CA redwoods), and into Healdsburg/Sonoma wine country. The weather was very warm but still pleasant. We had a very nice time on a wine tour via Wine Country Journeys, then a free day to just drive around down to the coast to hike around and check out the area.


Took some pics if anyone wants to check them out - just a link to the folder:
Index of /Pictures/humboldt-sonoma-2015


Healdsburg is a neat little town - we walked the old plaza, checked out some tasting rooms, ate at Wurst Grill & Beer Garden - had a fantastic "Southside" braut! Bought some nice wine - some drink now, some I'll lay down for a bit.


Glad to be home, though.
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:47 PM   #44
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Nice photos. I rode a bike along the section of the coast you shot - beautiful.
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:45 PM   #45
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If you have time I highly recommend a trip down CA 128 towards Mendecino, an area known as Andersen Valley. There are some good wineries on that route especially for Pino Noir fans, including Navaro and Goldeneye Wineries. Take the road (CA 128) all the way into the coast and you'll reach Albion. Albion River Inn is a wonderful place to stay right on the coast, magical place IMO!!!
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:30 PM   #46
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I passed through Napa Valley 4 months ago. It was our 4th 5th visit over the years, but we have not been to Healdsburg. This thread makes me want to jump on my RV and go back.
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:59 PM   #47
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DW and I just spent 2 weeks in wine country/ northern California coast. After landing in Sacramento, we traveled to Suisun Valley, the next valley east of Napa and where I buy the bulk of my grapes. We then traveled over the Twin Sisters into Napa and proceeded into Caspar by way of RTE 128. I concur with omySteve, great wineries, great local eats, great but small, farmer's market in Boonville. Using Caspar as our base, we hiked over 80 miles in 10 days, as far north as Patrick's Point, above Eureka. Wonderful food, eats, weather, hikes, wine and digs. Humboldt was magical!

This retirement travel is killing me and the dear wife. We hope to do it again for the 4th in a row next year.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:10 AM   #48
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DW and I just spent 2 weeks in wine country/ northern California coast. After landing in Sacramento, we traveled to Suisun Valley, the next valley east of Napa and where I buy the bulk of my grapes. We then traveled over the Twin Sisters into Napa and proceeded into Caspar by way of RTE 128. I concur with omySteve, great wineries, great local eats, great but small, farmer's market in Boonville. Using Caspar as our base, we hiked over 80 miles in 10 days, as far north as Patrick's Point, above Eureka. Wonderful food, eats, weather, hikes, wine and digs. Humboldt was magical!
We are in the Sonoma area now with our RV, having just spent the last week in Humboldt County, and I concur that it is a magical area. While there we stayed in Trinidad at an RV Park perched above Patricks Point State Park, where we could see and hear the ocean, plus as a bonus, nicely noisy sea lions. We hiked pretty much the entirety of Patricks Point, and also the Hammond Trail between Arcata and Trinidad.

Yesterday we started our wine country stay in Healdsburg with a Legacy wine and food pairing at Williamson Wine, one our must-do wineries when in the area. After several years of enjoying their free wine and cheese pairings, we opted to upgrade to their Legacy wine and food pairing, and it was phenomenal. Seven excellent wines and six excellent small bite pairings. Must admit the day got a bit fuzzy after that . . .

But I do recall enough to know that we ended the day with dinner in Sonoma at the most excellent The Girl & The Fig.

In its own way this area is as bad as Las Vegas . . . too many days in a row and we're overloaded by the decadence of it all!
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:16 AM   #49
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Go to the Jelly Belly factory just outside Fairfield. Not in Napa but close. When we lived in SF we would go there and buy two pound bags of belly flops.


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Old 09-02-2015, 10:27 AM   #50
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We are in the Sonoma area now with our RV, having just spent the last week in Humboldt County, and I concur that it is a magical area. While there we stayed in Trinidad at an RV Park perched above Patricks Point State Park, where we could see and hear the ocean, plus as a bonus, nicely noisy sea lions. We hiked pretty much the entirety of Patricks Point, and also the Hammond Trail between Arcata and Trinidad.

Yesterday we started our wine country stay in Healdsburg with a Legacy wine and food pairing at Williamson Wine, one our must-do wineries when in the area. After several years of enjoying their free wine and cheese pairings, we opted to upgrade to their Legacy wine and food pairing, and it was phenomenal. Seven excellent wines and six excellent small bite pairings. Must admit the day got a bit fuzzy after that . . .

But I do recall enough to know that we ended the day with dinner in Sonoma at the most excellent The Girl & The Fig.

In its own way this area is as bad as Las Vegas . . . too many days in a row and we're overloaded by the decadence of it all!
Great minds think alike!

We also have explored around Trinidad - did you take the 'scenic' cliff drive from Trinidad to Moonstone Beach?

The Lighthouse Memorial was very cool, too.

Enjoy Sonoma! Sooo many wineries to choose.

If you like Zins, check out the Seghesio tasting room in Healdsburg. A bit more than others, but sooo tasty!
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:34 AM   #51
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Great minds think alike!

We also have explored around Trinidad - did you take the 'scenic' cliff drive from Trinidad to Moonstone Beach? No . . . and how in the world could we not have known about it

The Lighthouse Memorial was very cool, too. Check!

Enjoy Sonoma! Sooo many wineries to choose. Check!

If you like Zins, check out the Seghesio tasting room in Healdsburg. A bit more than others, but sooo tasty! We do, and thanks so much for the tip!
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:26 PM   #52
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If you want to see some fun cinema memorabilia in a cool setting then a trip to the Francis Ford Coppola Winery should be on your list. You can see Don Vito Corleone's desk and chair.

We had a great Neapolitan pizza in Napa at Ca Momi.


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Old 09-03-2015, 02:26 AM   #53
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But I do recall enough to know that we ended the day with dinner in Sonoma at the most excellent The Girl & The Fig.
Oooh, one of my faves out that way.
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:51 AM   #54
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Agree on Girl & the Fig. Excellent place! Also, if you're tired of wine one evening as I was, they have Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewing on tap. One of my favorite beers.
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