This post has nothing to do with food. Well, kinda, but no recipes. Purely vacation bragging and photos!
Last Friday was my dad's 50th birthday. Happy birthday Dad! For awhile now, he's been wanting to plan a family get away, but it was hard to get everyone to commit to a date (yes, my family is indecisive). Plus he has SO much vacation time he does not know what to do it all, so this was the perfect time to plan something so we all could go. Hawaii was out - too far and too expensive, and everyone can't just drop everything and go for a week. The whole family got together and decided, why not rent a beach house here in California. It's close and everyone can come and go as they please. My sister found this awesome site, www.vrbo.com, where you can rent vacation homes by owners. There are great reviews, and lots of beautiful homes across the country. After hours of looking, my family finally settled in on a huge property in Bodega Bay. Right on the water! What could be better? Not much!
I drove up late Friday night after work to meet my family. It was a long drive, but well worth it. After getting slightly lost about one street away from where we were staying, my dad had to come get me to lead me to the house. Embarrassing! Darn GPS lead me to the wrong area. Ryan showed up that next morning and we all went for a long walk on the beach. We even ran into his brother and his family too. Always good to see them! Since my sister and Jeffy were going to go horseback riding that afternoon, Ryan and I set out on a trek to some of the areas he used to go as a kid (and his dad too - hi Dean!). It wasn't too too far from where we were staying and the area was so pretty. I had never been out by the Russian River before. The best part of our multi-hour trek was our blackberry picking. Ryan pulled over on the side of some random road and picked a few berries. I was nervous to try them (not sure why I thought they could be poisonous), but they were the best blackberries I'd ever had. No joke. Luckily, I had packed snacks and had a little Tupperware and my water bottle with me, so we parked the truck and picked away for a good hour. Our hands look liked we had killed someone with all the blackberry juice all over them and we were a little scraped up, but it was well worth it. I had never picked them before!
That night we had a nice family belated bday dinner for my Dad. It was so nice everyone could get together.We opened gifts, played card games and dominos and had his favorite cake for his birthday - Carrot Cake! Recipe and how to's for this cake to come later this week!
The next day, we made a trip out to the other side of Bodega Bay for lunch at Spud Point Crab Company (you've got to try this place if you are out there!). Now, if you have ever had clam chowder (chowdah!) from Splash Cafe in Pismo or San Luis Obispo, you might be a bit biased when you try this. At least I was. Splash is probably the best clam chowder I've had. And in a bread bowl. YUM! So horrible for you, but SO yummy in the tummy. Back to Spuds. They only have a handful of things on the menu ranging from crab sandwiches, to clam chowder to crab cakes. I think I even saw a little girl with a hot dog, so I guess they serve those too. I had the shrimp sandwich and had a few bites of clam chowder. The chowder was good, but not anything like the one from Splash. This one was thinner and had lots of herbs and spices. Super yummy and definitely good to warm you up on a foggy day in Bodega Bay. After we were all full, we went up the hill to see if we could see any whales. No such luck. Guess it was not that time of the year.
That evening Jess, Jeffy and Ryan headed back to reality and it was just me and my parents and their friend John. We all had a great time and I even got to go explore Sebastapol for a little bit with my mom. Such a cute town. Even better, on the way home, I spotted a little general store that had a "fresh pie today!" sign. I debated on stopping, but I did. They had fresh pies delivered daily from a bakery that grows their own fruit in Sebastapol! They only had a few left, so we swooped on a strawberry rhubarb. OMG, SO GOOD. I could have just eaten the filling with a spoon. Too bad they don't make that flavor of jam. I would seriously eat the whole jar. No joke.
It was cool and foggy most of the time there, but Monday night, the fog cleared out and we had a beautiful sunset. It cleared out even more as the night went on and the starts were literally twinkling. You could even see the milky way. I had never seen that before. So beautiful!
|run, the sun is out!|
|beautiful sunset on day three|
|the day I left, this is what I woke up to. Foggiest day yet!|
On the way home Tuesday afternoon, I thought it would be fun to drive up to Healdsburg (which is only an hour away give or take) and go check out my boss' family vineyard - Seghesio Family Vineyards. It was beautiful and everyone really liked the vino. Thanks dad for buying me a bottle! The drive through Napa was even more beautiful, minus the traffic. Better than taking 101 and weaving through highway 37. Glad I decided to take the detour and make my way home through wine county.
The trip was great and a good break from reality for a few days. Even though I love my job and being back home, I still wish I was back in Bodega Bay waking up to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore.