A couple of weeks ago, the family took a break from painting and furniture shopping to spend some time in Sonoma about an hour from Berkeley. It was a delightful little break.
We stayed at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa, a sprawling place focusing on a full-service spa which we basically avoided. No. 1 got a manicure on her birthday, but that was the extent of our visit there. Here we are on the grounds:
We had a perfect dinner at The Girl and the Fig in downtown Sonoma, eating outside on the patio that felt like someone's happy back yard—great food and atmosphere with lots of good wine and cheese. The next morning, husband and No. 1 went on an 11-mile bike tour of the area while Eustacia and I enjoyed room service. This is my fruit and bakery plate which I enjoyed on our personal patio:
The grounds of the inn are filled with little nooks and fountains and so many full-grown trees, you forget you're staying at a posh hotel and not in a private hideaway. The plants were allowed to grow naturally and were not overly pruned or shaped—beautiful.
Later, we all got together and had lunch and toured a few wineries suggested by the concierge—Gloria Ferrer and VJB Vineyards. There are so many wineries in Sonoma and Napa, all you can do is pick a few to see. If you tried to visit them all, you'd exhaust yourself, and wouldn't everything start to taste the same?
This is the view of vineyards from the patio at Gloria Ferrer:
We keep remembering that No. 1 will be living in Berkeley for at least five years, so we intend to spend some more time in Sonoma and Napa, an area that is described as "cosmopolitan country." Can't wait for the next wine tasting. Here are the girls enjoying the constant blue skies and sunshine:
And here is a creative shot of the pool that Eustacia took—she's good with a camera: