Sonoma happenings

Rock Climbing at Sunset Boulders on the Sonoma Coast

One of the coolest summertime activities was rock climbing on the Sunset Boulders at Goat Rock State Beach along the Sonoma Coast. Our oldest grandson, Gabriel, got into rock climbing a couple of years ago and even inspired his Grandpa Clay to join a rock climbing gym here in Santa Rosa. Sunset Boulders provided a beautiful, outdoor spot for all of us to act like mountain goats.

Tasting the Wines of Olivet Road 2014

Olivet Road, our nearest neighbor to the east of our own Laguna Road, is a long road with long views over vineyards that have been around for decades and wineries that are family owned. More often than not, the winemaker will be pouring for you while his dog takes a nap at your feet. Olivet Road is the epitome of welcoming yet unpretentious Russian River Valley. On Saturday, April 12, nine wineries will celebrate their road with the Taste of Olivet. Wine enthusiasts will get a chance to enjoy award-winning wines, food pairings, entertainment and that awesome, laid-back friendliness that only Olivet Road can offer.

Unique Spirits at Spirit Works Distillery

We call Sonoma County “wine country”, which is appropriate. But the national popularity of locally owned breweries and the fanatical following for Russian River Brewing’s Pliny the Younger make a case to call it “beer country.” With the addition of Spirit Works Distillery, in Sebastopol’s The Barlow shopping district, is “spirit country” now in play?

Wells Fargo Center Offers World-Class Entertainment

The scenic and bountiful land, the world-recognized wine and food, and the warm-hearted people make us feel blessed to live in this nook of Sonoma County. Recently, we’ve been enjoying another benefit of this area: we are just three right turns and a 12-minute drive from the world-class entertainment offerings of the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Visit Sonoma County's Spooky Carnivorous Plants

What better way to enjoy Halloween in Sonoma County than to take the kids to California Carnivores, the largest retail carnivorous plant nursery in the United States. We took our grandkids this summer, and were blown away by the alien-like plants housed in a large greenhouse in Sebastopol that doubles as a carniverous plant museum.

Summer Fun in Sonoma with Grandkids

We were again fortunate to have our grandchildren stay with us for several weeks. As they grew into their teens, we were concerned that keeping them entertained and interested was going to be more of a challenge. Once again, Sonoma County came through with more terrific things to do and wonderful places to eat. 

Santa Rosa Farmers Market: A Wednesday Tour

On a recent Wednesday morning, my daughter and I decided to try out the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market. We’re both hitting notable birthdays this year, and one thing we’ve noticed about ourselves as we’ve gotten older is our aversion to crowds. So we were both delighted to find that the Wednesday morning version had all the things we love about a farmers market -- local produce, quality meats, delicious fresh-cooked food and interesting goods -- without the one thing we don’t: swarms of people. 

Russian River Valley Winegrowers and All They Do

the Russian River Valley has transformed from a relatively unknown area only beginning to garner respect for some surprising Pinot Noirs to a world-recognized region making world-renowned wines. No single entity has been a bigger proponent of that perception shift than the Russian River Valley Winegrowers.