With our 15th anniversary coming up and after 2018 being rather trying, Ian and I figured it was high time for a vacation. We’d visited California on our honeymoon and our 10th anniversary trip, so we figured it was practically a tradition and we had to go again. With an eye toward revisiting some places and visiting others for the first time, we began planning our trip to Sonoma Valley, Yosemite National Park, and Napa Valley. You’ve heard of Eat, Pray, Love? We dubbed our anniversary trip Drink, Hike, Drink.
There aren’t many things that will get me out of bed before 4:00 am, but an early flight to begin a vacation is on the list. Arising at an ungodly hour seems more palatable when you have 10 days of fun and relaxation ahead of you (not to mention a 4-hour flight to catch up on some Zs).
We landed in San Francisco, picked up our rental car, a red Nissan Versa we referred to as Joe (JOE was part of the license plate number), and drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. Although it was not quite 11:00 am, we decided lunch was in order since we’d eaten breakfast around 4:00 am, which was 2:00 am California time so that meant I’d had nothing but some trail mix for 15 hours. Don’t argue–the math checks out. Time is a flat circle. *hand waving*
We enjoyed sandwiches and a delicious, giant Sausalito cookie at the Sausalito Bakery and Cafe.
As pretty much everyone knows, 15 is the big metal chicken anniversary, so I was delighted to spot a big metal chicken while we were en route to Sebastopol. I wanted to turn the car around so we could stop and get a picture, but Ian wasn’t receptive to the idea. And since I’ve learned to pick my battles, I didn’t fight him on it. Not too much later, we passed another big metal chicken. Again, Ian didn’t want to stop for a picture. However, once we’d returned home, I was able to snag an image of it after spending what was probably an unreasonable amount of time retracing our route on Google Earth. (Of course I wouldn’t have had to do that if I’d been allowed to stop and take pictures, but whatever…I’m not bitter…) I really wanted to find an image of the first chicken–it really was bigger and nicer–but alas, I could not find one. Big metal chicken beggars can’t be choosers I suppose, so here’s the second one.
In Sebastapol, we stopped in Horse & Plow for a wine and cider tasting and then we each ordered a glass of our favorite to enjoy outside on the grounds where we were charmed to find—actual chickens!
On our way out of Sebastopol, we encountered two more big metal chickens (that’s four for those of you keeping count). Sadly, I have no photographic evidence of these. Hmph. (Still not bitter…)
We made our way to Bodega Bay and stopped at Duncan’s Landing to enjoy the view and take some pictures.
We drove onward to Occidental and checked in at our inn there. We’d stayed at this inn during both of our previous trips to the area, but each time we’ve chosen a different room. This time we were in the Safari Room. On the wall behind our bed was a mural of an African savanna, complete with zebra butts!
After settling in at the inn, we strolled over to Barley and Hops for dinner and retired for the evening shortly thereafter to rest up for the next day’s adventures.
* I never actually call Ian bae as I would probably be the recipient of some serious side-eye from him if I did. However, the term just seemed apt here.