Before leaving checking out of the inn and leaving Occidental, we recreated a photo from our previous trip with the Inn’s chimney with a heart on it.
Our next task of the day was to complete my quest of finding a rain jacket. Thankfully, this was accomplished at Sonoma Outfitters in Santa Rosa. I had a feeling I was not the first person to enter the store having not packed appropriately for the seemingly ever-changing weather of the region. The staff was very helpful, and I found what I needed.
We drove on to Sonoma, passing another big metal chicken on the way (still no photo! hmmph!). The Ravenswood tasting room was our first stop there. We’d been fans of their wines for some time and had visited during both our previous trips to Sonoma. As it turned out, we had pretty good timing for our third visit because upon arrival we learned that it was the final day the tasting room would be open! Very recently, the Ravenswood had been bought by Gallo, and the powers that be had decided to close the tasting room. The employees seemed to be making the most of the situation, though. They poured several off-menu wines, including some from GIANT bottles (the ones that hold the volume of around 6-8 regular bottles). According to the guy who conducted our tasting (who I suspect was happily tipsy, although that could have simply been his personality), just about everyone who worked there had found other jobs, which was good to hear.
In addition to being generous with the pours, they were also giving away just about everything that was not nailed down, so when we purchased our wine, it came with some glasses, some pencils, and some buttons with the Ravenswood slogan “No Wimpy Wines” in various languages. Translations of idioms are fun.
The French one amused me the most, its direct translation being “No Wines Wet Chickens.” What about wines big metal chickens? I have to imagine that would be acceptable because big metal chickens are not wimpy.
We took some more photo re-creation opportunities while we were in Sonoma.
We then peruse some of the shops in Sonoma and had lunch at the Sunflower Caffe before hitting the road again. Traffic crawled for much of the drive, but we eventually arrived at our destination, the 5th Street Inn in Mariposa. We ate dinner across the street from the inn at Castillos, where, lurking amid the Mexican decor was this little clip koala bear. I had to wonder who put it there and why. There must be a story here. If necessary, I will make one up!
After dinner, we walked around Mariposa and browsed some of the shops, including the Ridgeline Gallery, where an employee gave us very helpful tips for visiting and parking at Yosemite. We also bought some art there, but lest we be to high faultin’, we then bought beer at a gas station–keepin’ it real.
We returned to the inn to retire for the evening. The bed in our room was a murphy bed, and, never having slept on one before, I was oddly excited to use it. The experience itself wasn’t terribly exciting, but then again, ideally, sleep shouldn’t be exciting. Anyhow, using a murphy bed is now one more thing I’ve done in my life.