A Travellerspoint blog

Day 184 - Marin & Sonoma (Photo's Added)

Another Frank Lloyd Write masterpiece, then lovely wine country for a bit, and more birds.

sunny 68 °F

Woke up this morning, the weather is just to die for! But the pollen is also way off the charts (may even be worse than San Antonio, if that's possible?)

I stopped by the Marin County Courthouse to take care of a couple emails since there hadn't been any internet signal at the campground - how did I ever get through life without email? Unfortunately, it is only open for tours on Wednesdays at 10:30 AM - so maybe we'll come back this way after visiting my brother...

For those of you in an architectural fog, the Marin County Courthouse was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW) and is to blame for my closet obsession with his work. I remember seeing it as a kid and just falling in love with it...


While I worked on email and admired the FLW architecture, Mom found some friends on the nearby pond...


I also made reservations in a nice campground (membership type, so no $$ outflow) - we've been staying in lovely state parks so long and they're great, but we really need to do some Laundry & Vacuum!

So we had a few hours to kill (can't check in too early), and I thought it would be nice to drive up to the Napa/Sonoma area. I'd grown up in the SF Bay area, but don't remember ever visiting Napa or Sonoma. Mom graduated from High School in Petaluma, her Aunt Evelyn lived in Glen Ellen, and Mom also lived in Sonoma for a time, so she enjoyed the drive.

On the way to Sonoma, we started passing through a lot of vineyards. I decided to stop at this one, the Jacuzzi Winery, since they advertised that they had olive tasting as well as wine tasting. Mom & I went into the Olive section first, but we should have read the sign more closely - it was olive oil tasting, not olives. That's OK for me, I like Olive Oil, but Mom doesn't. I think she enjoyed the building however and looking at all the neat, but expensive stuff in the gift shops.


This is actually one of the newest wineries in Sonoma Valley, but they've built a really nice place. The courtyard is all done up as Spanish style early California, it was very nice and had Mexican music playing in the background.


While I was out back admiring their vineyards, a Harrier flew by. Then, knowing it took me a while to set up the camera, he just kept circling and circling just above the vines - of course that's actually the way they hunt but I can pretend he did it for these shots?


After spending a little more than I could afford on some wine and olive oil, we drove on into downtown Sonoma.

We got a TON of great ideas at the Sonoma Visiter's Center, but didn't have time to try them today - so maybe we'll head back here after visiting my brother, I'm not sure. We did eat at a really nice little shop, they sell pastries also so we picked some up for later.


I also walked around the town square a bit and took some pictures of the old Mexican Army Barracks and Mission (didn't take the time to tour these today however). They also had a nice mural in one of the alley's (which are all full of shops by the way).


We finally headed off towards the campground, which was quite far south still. On the way we passed a dairy that Mom actually remembered from when she was a kid. It was still in business and still had dairy cattle, but they now share space with grape vines!


After crossing I-80 a little farther south, we drove through a giant wind farm - don't remember this sort of stuff when I was a kid?


We finally found the campground. It is located along a levy in the Sacramento River Delta, about 20 feet below the surface of the river.


We got the laundry done. Tomorrow we'll do some visiting of an old friend, then who knows. In the meantime, one advantage of staying around the Sacramento River Delta is the birding - we saw lots and lots of birds - some of which I've identified?


(I'm working in a KOA clubhouse to get an internet signal, so don't have my travel log handy, will add the logistics later - not that anybody reads that. I just keep it since it's part of the whole Lewis & Clark style travel experience, to log our journey!)

Posted by jl98584 22:53 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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