Sonoma Abridged: Day 2 of 3
My second day in Petaluma started much the same as the prior day but I just had the morning to achieve what was not yet already achieved. I spent an hour or so in town but then I found my way into the landscape. For those that read my prior travel blog, Italy for the Ordinary, you will recall that although I enjoy being in towns and cities, I prefer to get out into the countryside.
Let me give a little summary of Petaluma before we depart and venture out to our second destination. I love this town. It is a super cute and a fun place to visit. When you’re exploring Sonoma or even Napa valley, it’s nice to land in a place where you can experience commerce as well. This is a real town, not just a show-piece to attract tourist. There’s industry, a rail system and of course endless places to open your wallet. If you love searching for a unique find in an antique shop or some fine clothing-either new or second hand, and of course fabulous food and drink (there’s a brewery in town too, Lagunitas) Petaluma has it all. I think it would be fun to go there with another couple or even a small group of friends.
To further set this town apart, there’s a rail system right in town called SMART. SMART can connect you to Marin County (and other destinations) and a host of other preferences. Marin county is in the San Francisco Bay area where you’ll find access to the Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Woods, Sausalito and so much more. Petaluma is a fabulous find. It truly is an admittance to so many opportunities: vineyards->breweries, inland farms->coastal farms, land->sea and so much more.
That completes our visit to Petaluma.
Once my husband’s work obligations were complete, we drove for a mere 30 miles to reach our next destination: Bodega Bay on the Pacific Coast.
We arrived at Bodega Bay Lodge quite a few hours before check in, so our room was not ready but we certainly were able to enjoy the grounds and grab some lunch. There was no better place to acclimate to the surroundings then Drakes Fireside Lounge. We sat at the bar, had some hot soup and delicious comfort food as we looked out onto the bay. Despite the cloudy day, it had its own beauty.
We went for a nice long walk to Doran Beach where we met a couple that had recently rescued two horses. Although a little frisky, they were enjoying their new found freedom and life. It was such a beautiful sight to see the horses run free on the beach. Horses are very smart and intuitive creatures. I have little doubt that they somehow sensed that their new life was something worth appreciating. I’m sure they were very happy indeed!
When we returned back to the lodge, we checked to see if our room was available and were told not quite yet. But, just as we were about to leave they called out and said a room opened up and they gave us a very nice upgrade. We now had a lower, ground level room with an unobstructed view of the bay. It pays to be patient!
Our room was lovely with a balcony, fireplace and a fabulous bathroom. Bodega Bay Lodge is a perfect place to unwind and relax, something we’re not very good at. Had the weather been nicer, I think we would have lingered longer, well we actually tried to stay a second night at Bodega Bay Lodge, but it was too late to cancel our reservation at our final destination. Oh well, maybe next time, now we know where to stay. I would definitely come back here again, especially if the weather was a bit warmer. The grounds are lovely, there’s a nice pool to cool off and a hot tub overlooking the bay, basically everything is overlooking the bay.
We decided to go back to Drakes Fireside Lodge for dinner. It might seem a bit odd, but actually it was the right move. The setting was perfect. It’s a warm cozy space with blazing fireplaces both inside and out-hence the name, Fireside Lodge. The food was delicious earlier, so dinner would likely be as fabulous or better, and so it was. Plus we could walk right back to our room without having to drive, home-run!
No regrets in our restaurant decision! The meal was so amazing and we shared a dessert that included homemade shortbread and ice-cream made from water buffalo milk. There may have been a brief moment of reluctance but it was quite smooth, fresh and rather delicious.
In between lunch and dinner, and after our walk along Doran Beach, we took a ride to Spud Point Marina, Bodega Bay. What I found to be so beautiful was the sprawling hills in the background of the harbor. It’s a different backdrop compared to east coast harbors where you typical do not have mountains so close to the water. Both coasts have their own beauty but I’m a bit bias to east coast harbors, although this was quite a lovely setting.
We arrived in California just days after a tremendous amount of rain and subsequent flooding poured down on this region. During day 3 of our trip we saw massive evidence of the effects the mudslides had throughout the local region. I’ll touch on that in my next post.
In hindsight, as I write this, it does’t seem like we accomplished that much during day two. I suppose compared to our days spent exploring Italy, this was a rather dull day but it’s nice not to cram so much into one day. We relaxed, explored, ate and drank some California wine so we actually “accomplished” just the right amount of tourism. And…it didn’t rain as forecasted so all in all it was a fantastic day!
If you click on the hyperlinks above, it will take you to various websites that will give you a wealth of information and beautifully presented.