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:
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.
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.
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.
Recent ActivityView all United States activity »
- 1 Seattle to Los Angeles Dec 2015
- 2 Vegas-Arizona-Utah road Trip
- 3 Report & Photos: Behind the Scenes at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!
- 4 Welltravbrit's Ongoing NYC Jaunt
- 5 California road trip - oneway or round trip
- 6 Oahu November 2015 Trip Report
- 7 5 nights/6 days in Honolulu during Thanksgiving
- 8 Traveling to bend ore via hwy 5 fron SF in early January
- 9 Costco Chicken Salad Recalled
- 10 south west family trip itinerary
- 11 Relocating to the Deep South
- 12 2.5 days in New York. Are hotels the only option?
- 13 Security at Lucas Oil Stadium for Big Ten Championship
- 14 Adele saves Thanksgiving
- 15 wasting time around JFK
- 16 Bagging a bargain on Black Friday?
- 17 RV Roadtrip | Elkhart, IN to Middletown, NJ | Mid March 2016
- 18 outside adventure Las Vegas? Food too
- 19 Modern, clean Miami Airport hotel ???
- 20 SF Restaurant
- 21 Best cities with Mild winter temperatures
- 22 Charleston, Savannah, and Coast Itinerary <Feedback requested!>
- 23 Chicago-Family Reunion Ideas
- 24 Restaurant recomendations in the east 54th Street area, please.
- 25 Places to eat like a local in Los Angeles