United States Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report Sonoma and Napa Valleys, in 4 parts

Jump to last reply

Part 1

Having had a terrific time in Healdsburg and the Sonoma Valley last year, we couldn’t wait to return and broaden our explorations a bit, and so we did, in the second week of May.

We landed at SFO after dragging ourselves through the enormous thorny hedge that is air travel today and picked up a rental car, receiving a free upgrade to a small SUV, the Ford Edge. Not great for gas mileage, of course, but excellent for hauling cases of wine, we realized with glee, and it had one unforeseen nice feature: Bluetooth Sync with our iPhones, which meant we could use Google Maps’ turn-by-turn voice instructions with ease. Nice!

I also learned how to deal with the Golden Gate Bridge tolls now that all toll booths are unmanned. Instead of paying daily for the transponder in the car when were only going to need it once, we used this website to prepay:
ww.bayareafastrak.org
I did it on my phone in the car, entering the car’s license plate number and my CC information. You can also use this to pay AFTER you cross, so if you don’t have a smartphone you can handle it later.

On our way to Healdsburg we stopped in Petaluma to visit Lagunitas Brewery and Tap Room.
http://lagunitas.com
The beer garden is just delightful: kids, dogs, peeps of all ages, a good band, excellent servers and, of course, outstanding beer. We ordered two tasting flights, one dark and one light, as well as some deadly delicious nachos. A theme began to emerge: why is even the simplest darn thing tastier in CA? Our favorites were the WTF Stout, which we do occasionally see on tap in Florida, and the SF Fusion and Kolsch Etwas, both local only, waaah! Great pit stop, and necessary to restore mental health after air travel.

We then drove on to Healdsburg and checked into the Hotel Healdsburg for our second stay there. I really like this hotel, for its location, for the comfy beds, and for the full included breakfast—more on that later.
http://www.hotelhealdsburg.com/home/

We had dinner that night in Healdsburg at Barn Diva. This was not to be our favorite meal of the week, but it was good, and the space, including a very pretty garden, was lovely. The asparagus soup was memorable, and I should note that the chef will prepare a vegetarian entrée to one’s specifications. I ended up with a refined vegetarian lasagna featuring potato puree and fiddlehead ferns, tomato jam, pickled red cabbage and house made pasta.
http://www.barndiva.com

20 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

View all United States activity »
  1. 1 Buy high quality and real Passport ,Visa,Driving License,ID CARD
  2. 2 Where to from Tampa?
  3. 3 Angels Crest and Rim of the World Scenic Drives: Mid-November 2014
  4. 4 Drive Dallas To New Orleans - Best Food Stops!!
  5. 5 Need ideas - hGirls' trip to Chicago
  6. 6 What do you think about Asian tourist manner?
  7. 7 Did Interstates ruin travel in America?
  8. 8 Chicago O'Hare to Downtown
  9. 9 Trip Report Three nights in Chicago -- a report
  10. 10 Trip Report Sampling Ethnic Las Vegas II
  11. 11 Sacramento to State College, PA in late November
  12. 12 USA and Canada in 2 months
  13. 13 Skiing New Mexico
  14. 14 Trip Report Trip Report to Pacific Northwest: August 2014
  15. 15 Hotel in Newton outside Boston - need transportation and related advice
  16. 16 I am turning 60 and boy do I need help with my trip!
  17. 17 Relocation: Where Do We Fit In
  18. 18 What do you do when your VRBO rental is a nightmare in Lake Geneva?
  19. 19 Thinking about moving from PA to Florida (Dr. Phillips area of Orlando)
  20. 20 Saturday arrival Seattle airport to Lake Crescent
  21. 21 Grand Canyon , Zion and Bryce Itinerary suggestions
  22. 22 Drive from Grand Canyon to Prescott next week
  23. 23 Houston Weekend Planning Help Needed, please
  24. 24 Special Occasion/Fancy Dress shops in South Florida
  25. 25 Looking for a travel loop in Arizona (Las Vegas to Tucson & back)
View next 25 » Back to the top