We're two sisters who are craft book publishers and found ourselves in the midst of an avocado grove. We bought this house where we planned to conduct our publishing business and in the deal got 4 acres of avocado trees thrown in. Now we're not only publishers but ranchers as well! This blog is all about avocados and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Monday, September 6, 2010

trip to sonoma county

hMy daughter, Megan, has a company called Hello Super 8 . She films weddings (among other things) using old super 8 cameras and super 8 film which gives the film a kind of 1950s retro look and feel. She lives in Brooklyn, but on a weekend in August, she had a wedding in Healdsburg which is in the northern California wine country. She invited me to go along so we could have a mini vacation. So we packed up the car and headed up highway 5 and had a super fun weekend.

Our first stop was a place I've always wanted to see - just a blip on the map, but a place with the cutest name in the world - Buttonwillow. However, it's not very cute - especially not the part that's just off the highway - just gas stations and fast food joints. But we noticed this place and knew we had eat here:

It just seemed so odd to have an Indian restaurant in this wasteland of fast food places. We entered the restaurant under a welcoming, yet ostentatious canopy:

Our lunch was spoiled by my bickering about the prices of the food which annoyed Megan no end. "Mom" she said, "not in front of the staff". God, mom's can be so irritating. But really, $9.95 for a tiny bowl of curry and then you had to pay extra for the rice!! Cmon.  But I learned to keep my mouth shut for the rest of the trip. The curry was just O.K. but the treat was the mango lassi. What a tasty drink.

Back on the road and next stop Guerneville where we would be staying at the very nice Boon Hotel and Spa. The refurbished loggers cabins were nestled amongst the giant redwoods. What a beautiful, peaceful spot. Our room was nice, very modern - all white with touches of orange.

After unpacking and settling in, we headed out to find a restaurant for dinner. The Boon has their own restaurant, not at the hotel but in the town. It was completely packed so we remembered a place that we had passed coming into town and headed there.  We got to the The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant and noticed the sign outside said "Michelin". And I was worried about spending too much for the curry!!
Luckily the restaurant was open and we were in for a real treat. Fabulous food, fabulous service - worth every penny. I started with the trio of Heirloom Tomato soup which was so tasty and check out how arty it looks:

I then had the wild alaskan halibut which was done to perfection:

Megan had the corn ravioli. Good thing she wasn't very hungry because it was the tiniest amount of food you've ever seen. So tiny, I didn't even get a photo. But she said it was delicious and in the defense of the Inn, it was a starter. But to make up for the tiny serving, she had this for dessert, the Farmhouse rendition of S'mores. It was a lovely dinner and were sure glad we had found the Farmhouse. We would definitely return.

On Saturday we drove to Bodega Bay - where The Birds was filmed.

We were surprised that the town didn't capitalize on this. Not a bird store to be found, no bird souvenirs, not a mention of the film anywhere, until we spotted this sign. It's kind of hard to read (you can click on the photo to enlarge it) but it says that Tippi Hedren, star of The Birds will be appearing at The Inn at the Tides on Sept. 4. So there still must be interest in the movie in Bodega Bay.

We drove into Healdsburg to get our bearings and had lunch. What a cute town, loved it.

We had lunch at a French bakery with delicious sandwiches and then I dropped Megan off at the Madrona Manor where she would be spending the next few hours filming the wedding.

And went back into the town and was able to shop at all the great antique and gift shops.

I wanted to go the famous farmers market that's held every Saturday, but alas it closed at noon so I was a bit late and this was all that was left. But aren't these bowls gorgeous? They're from Architectural Ceramic Design in Cloverdale, Ca:

Megan finished shooting the wedding and we went back to the hotel all ready for a dip in the hot tub only to find that it was broken and the water was freezing cold. We were so disappointed. But what can you do?

Sunday was our day to explore so we headed to Sebastopol where we heard there was another farmer's market. This was a spectacular one.

We had read an article in the LA Times about Sonoma County being the current foodie getaway. And the article had recommended having tamales from the Yucatan Tamale truck. So that's what we did. Really, really delicious.  I couldn't find a website for them, but I know that they also sell at the Healdsburg Farmers market as well as the one in Sebastopol.

Sebastopol was a very interesting town. Lots of nice shops where we did some window shopping. We went to a winery just outside of town and did some serious wine tasting. We were welcomed by this big giant dog that seems to lord over the vineyard. It was the largest sculpture, almost Claes Oldenburg size. Megan bought a bottle of wine which she's cheerfully displaying in the beautiful gardens of the winery:

I have a few more photos that I will post on tomorrow's blog. Didn't want to get carried away with too much for you to read.  All in all it was a fabulous trip up north. Would love to do it again some time and spend a few more days. It's another world up there.


  1. your trip sounds great. love the food from the Michelin restaurant. the tomato soup looks amazing. yum. did you go up hwy 1? There is a wonderful inn on the cliffs on the open road of Hwy 1...wait...I cannot remember the name. aaaarrgh! we stayed there many years ago. Okay, I think I've got it. Timber Lodge or Timber Lodge Cove. Every room had a hot tub. It was very 70s tho' I've heard they compoletely renovated. The restaurant had superb food.

  2. I've always wondered about that Indian restaurant. Don't think we'll stop there after reading your review. Farmhouse Inn I've added to our list of
    places to visit. It must have been great to spend the time with Megan doing all those fun things. That yellow hat is splendid. It would be great to wear to Major Market.

  3. It was such a fun trip. Gotta go back SOON!