Our Trip to California

We are home again, from a trip to San Francisco and Sonoma, California. (map)

The trip was for April’s wedding (Anita’s sister) to Billie one of our best friends from our three years in Columbus, OH.

We started out by going to Salt Point State Park and camping. We were able to hike to the beautiful (but cold) cliff-lined-coast and watch seals and waves alike. On our way back from camping we visited Fort Ross, the oldest establishment on the west coast, and old Russian trading post.

Then we drove down highway 1 and stayed a couple of nights at Stinson Beach in a hotel 3 doors down from the beach. The water was too cold to do more than wade in, but we had a great time doing so and playing in sand and feeding the birds.

Stinson Beach was really near Muir Woods (one of the reasons we choose it) and we went to visit that one morning. It really was one of the highlights of our trip. An amazing preserve of redwood trees, protected starting in 1908. There was a tree cross-section which had labels on the rings, starting in ~900 AD and ending in the ~1960s, very impressive to see.

Then we went to Napa California for the wedding and festivities.

We stayed in a pleasant rental house with most of Anita’s family in Napa California for the rest of the trip.

The whole wedding party and all guests (~30) went for a private tour of the Benziger Family Winery. Some people were excited about this and some were not (myself falling into the “not” camp, not being a wine drinker) but it turned out to be quite interesting and impressive. They use bio-diversity farming to improve the quality of their grapes and the other crops they grow there. They also process grapes and we got to watch the crushing and go into the storage caves they had dug. Very neat.

The wedding and reception was held at the Sonoma Secret Gardens, which is part of the Sonoma Academy of Dance & Arts. It was a wonderful event, short and personal and sweet. The bride and groom read their own vows and then got hundreds of photos taken.

And back to San Fransisco

We finally made it into San Fransisco and visited the Golden Gate Park… Just got a taste of it though, it’s huge. We also swung by the Fisherman’s Warf and walked through what seemed to be a permanent fair. We got to see old WWII ships at dock and sea lions who took over pier 37. And of course we had to see Japantown. We ate at a couple of places (though we probably didn’t pick the best options).

(map of our trip)

DFW, Aug 31, 2009

(more photos coming)