The sun is still shining folks! Lets enjoy it while we can because I think rain is in the forecast again, unfortunately…
Let’s head on back to sunny California shall we??
Our Monday morning began with a short family run (minus mom) to one of my favorite Sonoma spots, Sunflower Cafe, in Sonoma plaza. Sunflower Cafe is a darling casual spot where people can order delicious, filling food and equally delicious drinks (caffeine and alcohol). The restaurant holds a special place in my heart because this is where Christina and I have always gone after we finished our half marathon when we needed to refuel, (here and here). So of course I wanted to take Tommy and Ava here!
In addition to some outdoor seating in the front of the restaurant and inside, Sunflower Cafe also has a cool outdoor patio – it’s as if you are sitting in an outdoor garden really.
After breakfast mom came to drive Ava and me back home since I didn’t think Ava could handle being in her stroller for the run back. Tommy took advantage of another running opportunity and ran back to the house. (Go Tommy go!)
A little while later the whole gang was ready to caravan to Healdsburg. Katie and Jon drove over to our house to take a look around and then they along with Tommy, Ava, mom, Maryanne, Ely, and me hopped in our respective cars. Healdsburg is a city located in Sonoma County that came highly recommended as a place to visit in wine country, especially if you were looking to explore further than Napa and Sonoma proper. It was about an hour-ish drive from our house. Soon we were pulling into Bella Winery that my friend’s Jennie and Rob had suggested we go to.
Bella was their favorite winery in Healdsburg because it is off the beaten path, the grounds are naturally beautiful, and the tasting room is nestled in a cave! (The winery offered cave tours as well).
Tommy, Katie, Jon, and I quickly got to a wine-tasting while mom, Mary Anne, and Ely (we’ll call them mom and pals from now on) decided to enjoy the cool, sunny weather outside at a picnic table.
After our tasting we all meandered outside to enjoy the weather ourselves and to check on Jon since he, unfortunately, had to exclude himself for a work call during the tasting. No worries, he was able to finish his tasting. He and Katie even ordered some bottles to be shipped back home!
Our wine tasting group decided to swing by another nearby winery, Zichichi Family Vineyard, to do another tasting while mom and pals headed to the Dry Creek General Store for lunch and eventually headed to downtown Healdsburg to go shopping.
Our tasting at Zichichi was great. It was definitely a smaller winery in terms of size, simplicity, and operation if you will. As Katie put it, Bella was more of an experience (seeing the cave and beautiful grounds) where Zichichi was just about the wine.
We were led into the back of the winery where we did our 4 sample wine tasting. This winery specializes in Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. Katie and Jon ordered half a case of this year’s crop to be shipped to their house too!
If you’re wondering if Tommy and I bought any wine on this trip the answer is no, which is very unlike me! While I enjoyed the tastings and Ava was great for both, I just couldn’t concentrate or get into the mode of ordering wine. I also had in the back of my mind that shipments from the two wine country wineries I had joined in years past were sending me my quarterly shipments soon, so I knew we’d have a lot of California wine to enjoy back home.
The next time I come back to wine country, I would like to come back to Healdsburg as I know there was a lot I didn’t see. I’d love to see what the downtown area looks like and check out some restaurant recs that were given to me.
We decided to go to B & V Whiskey Bar and Grille (where mom and pals had gone the night before because they kept raving about their burgers) and we were all craving burgers.
After lunch we said our goodbyes to Katie and Jon – they were heading back to Dallas the next morning. My little family and I headed home and hung out at the house while we waited for mom and pals to come back from Healdsburg so we could go out to dinner a little later.
Tommy was just the sweetest and offered to stay home with Ava while mom, Maryanne, Ely and I went to Girl and the Fig for dinner. While it would have been totally fine for us to bring Ava here, Tommy thought it would just be simpler to keep her at the house and he wanted me to enjoy my last meal in wine country kid-free, especially as this was also one of my favorite restaurants in Sonoma. (I ate here the last time I was in Sonoma).
Well, we all had a wonderful time and enjoyed some yummy food. The highlights are below.
A fantastic day indeed!