April 14, 2012

Wine Country

Gold Rush country was a great place to spend some time, but it was time to move on, so we began to make our way back to the coast.  Fifteen more miles on Highway 49 took us to Interstate 80, our first time on an interstate in more than two weeks.  

OK, It's Time to Go
We made a quick detour to visit an RV show near Sacramento and took a look at the new Leisure Travel Vans and Pleasure-Ways.  While there were a few nifty new features, we still prefer our own RV overall.  We even stepped inside a few of the larger RVs, but found most of them not to our liking.  It wasn’t just the size that was an issue, but the décor.  We feel that most Class Bs are far superior in furnishings and finishes.

We bypassed San Francisco, even though we both love the city, since we spent a week there last year.  But, we just had to drive through wine country.  Sonoma Country won out over Napa, and we took the scenic route along Highway 12.  

Welcome to Sonoma County
I love driving through vineyards.  Even though the vines are just now beginning to turn green, they are lovely against the backdrop of the adjacent hills.  It was in Sonoma that California’s modern wine industry began during the mid-1800s.The Sonoma Valley is such a beautiful part of the state, and the pastoral vistas made me want to stop for photos.  It’s too bad that the weekend traffic made the drive a little less relaxing than we would have preferred.

Beautiful Vistas
Vineyards Line the Highways
Soon There Will Be Grapes
A Pastoral Setting
Maybe We Should Have Stopped for a Tasting
We stopped in the town of Sonoma, and it was packed with people.  Sonoma was the twenty-first, and last, of the California missions established by the Spanish, and Mission San Francisco Solano is located on the central plaza.  Wonderful eighteenth century buildings line the plaza.  Sonoma is also the location of the Bear Flag Revolt, where Californians declared their independence from Mexico.  

Mission San Francisco Solano
Around the Plaza
Kitty Enjoyed the View
Our favorite stop in Sonoma was the Sonoma Market, where we acted like kids in a candy store.  I had been looking forward to finding a local market or store like Whole Foods where we could stock up on local cheeses, fruits and interesting prepared foods.  Although we have not been cooking in the RV, we do enjoy ready-to-eat entrees.

We just couldn’t believe the variety at the Sonoma Market, and I wanted to get one of everything.  Tim made me calm down, survey all of the choices and then select a few entrees that we could enjoy over the next few days.  It was especially nice to also find roasted vegetables.  The display of individual desserts was almost sinful.  How to choose?  I made Tim do it!

Tim also selected two wonderful cheeses produced locally, Laura Chenel’s Melodie Chevre and the Mezzo Secco Monterey Jack.  We tried both of them this afternoon with fresh sourdough bread and California dates and couldn’t decide which we preferred.  Both were delicious.

A Little Cheese, A Little Bread


  1. Looks yummy! And the wine selection? :-) LV

    1. LV, The wine selection was just as extensive! It's fun to look at all of the smaller labels that you don't see anywhere else. Sarah

  2. I would love to go to the wine country. I do not drink wine but I still would like to see the area. Love A

    1. A, The nice thing about this area is that you don't have to drink wine to enjoy a visit. We love the beautiful scenery and the quaint towns, the incredible food. I'm guessing the shopping would also be outstanding! Sarah

    2. Oh yes, I would love the shopping. I do not have to buy just shop.