An awesome friend made me a fantastic self guided tour to get to know the north a bit better. It was the perfect way to start off the new year driving through beautiful country with tons of places marked out to stop for tea! It also helped me work to really kick this cold as with the house getting ready to ramp back up it may be awhile before i have another lazy sunday to kill in my car.
The adventure started off in Petaluma, off the main drag at a cute little place … Aqus Cafe. Yes i’d only been away from home for 30 minutes, and yes i already needed more tea so i popped in and was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere, range of music nights (jazz to celtic), and super friendly staff. Refilled on tea i wandered the back streets a bit admiring the houses that look like how mine will some day look when there are no longer boards on the windows ;p Now i knew there would be water somewhere on the journey…and there it was! There is something to be said about being level with a boat while standing in the street drinking tea.
While staying on the tour route i took a slight detour through a cemetery with beautiful head posts from the mid to late 1800’s. I really need to go on a dead people in California tour as there have to be beautiful cemeteries outside of Japan and the Yucatán. I found something odd in leaving your departed loved one a pumpkin, anyone able to explain this?
From here a short drive to the town/city of Valley Ford for brunch. The recommended spot was the towns happening seafood place Rocker Oysterfeller's, but i found the most perfect thing on the menu of Carmel Apple French Toast with Fresh Whipped Creme, random! The random vibe was continued when next door to the post office the house had the front windows full of trophies. It was actually kind of creepy come to think of it…
Then to continue to the drive i headed to Occidental, saw a fantastic herb shop i had to go in, found out said shop was super closed for the day, and left pouting a bit while i drove off in the wrong direction to later turn around and find the correct direction without GPS (as apparently AT&T has decided having service in Occidental is not important as there was nothing). The entire drive i kept wanting to get out of the car, and did, to stare at the mossy/lichen covered trees. The camera didn’t quite get the “glow”, but we’ve all seen it, amazing what the sun can do when it’s not burning me.
Once back on the right track i was put onto Coleman Valley Road which was billed as "the county's prettiest road", which i would have to agree with. The sights coming through the hills over looking the valley was amazing coupled with the perfect amount of fog, sun, and just plain old clouds. Unfortunately it was way more than the camera could take so the pictures were really pretty, one of those had to be there to believe it type things. The prettiest road ended by dropping me off on Highway 1 headed for Goat Rock Beach. Here are pretty beach photos! (Are aliens moving on from Crop Circles to Sand Circles?)
And the over sized vegetation on the way to the final destination on my tour, Sebastopol for dinner and beer! I kept seeing these larger than life plants along the river on the road and it was causing a total down the rabbit hole effect, which was made slightly more weird by a quick neighborhood pre-dinner tour finale of front yard art, which began deep in the rabbit hole. So i know i’ve seen his work before…what’s the artists’ name???
A beautiful way to start to the new year exploring places super close to home. The tour was amazing so i will definitely be hitting said friend up again for some of the other mentioned tours, like cemeteries…