Our Journey...

Think we forgot to tell you a lil bit about what sort of vacay we're on! Last September of 2011, Dad retired. He and momzers got an RV and decided to plan a trip across the country, visiting national parks on the way to Maine (where's that?) for a family reunion. That's a long trip from northern California! Anyway, this blog is now a record of our travels across the good ole U.S. of A. and even Canada - plus all the things we get to do and see! We started our journey mid-March and hope to be back in NoCal by mid-October - yeah!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Road Trip!

We're using the Sonoma County Farm trails map to help us find some places we want to visit and I'm here to tell you all about it. Since I live in a county that touches both Sonoma and Napa counties, there's lots to see (and sample heheh) as we travel through some pretty countryside. Let's go!

After about half an hour, we are already in vineyard country. These vines run along the Dry Creek AVA (American Viticultural Area), where we hung out, tasted and ate, and later, we drove on down to the Russian River AVA. (Mom and Dad don't really know a lot about enology and all that, but they apparently know what they like.)

Some grapes have been left on the vines; most grapes have been picked - these must be for a late harvest wine. The day was spectacular and I could have done with more off-leash action, but I had to contend with Mom and Dad's schedule. The views are very pretty and made me want to get out all the more.

Our first stop was at a farm called Preston of Dry Creek, after the folks grabbed some coffee and whatnots at the Dry Creek General Store (1881) - you can see a shot of it in the collage above. Then we followed some twisty, windy roads to a dirt road, which we took for a couple of miles til we finally got to the farm. Uh oh - lots of cats greeted us on the store porch, all sleeping in comfy-looking wicker chairs.

Nummy looking veggies! Can you see another kitty in that chair?

And speaking of chairs, look at this one! I bet these taste like chicken, but they wouldn't let me sample these.

This place is very visually appealing and I really wanted to sample all the goodies there. On this entire road trip, mom and dad were extremely worried and vigilant about my snarfing down any of those purple or green little ballie things that the wine is made from. But I got plenty of other stuff like some carrots and pieces of apple!

Mom and Dad got a couple of bottles of olive oil, cause these folks supposedly make the best. Here are a few of their olive trees and some grapes too.

And finally, we left and I got to frolic amongst some (totally picked and picked-over) vineyards. I was so ready to run and smelled all kinds of weird animal scents. Wonder who's been here?

Running here makes me ve-ry happy!

First Mama hid, then Dad went around that row - oh I got so confused, but my snooter picked up on them pretty fast heheh!

There was lots of space for us to play in, so we stayed for quite a while. But soon, we moved on to a hard-to-find, but not remote winery called Michel-Schlumberger. It is absolutely bootiful, according to mom.

Built in the style of early California missions, this place has been around for a while. Once inside the lovely courtyard with plantings of fruits, vines, lavender, roses and other unidentifiable greenery, you could almost believe you'd see monks entering from a secret side door and greeting you.

Instead, there were several pumpkins to greet me. And Lucky.

Is the courtyard, below, to die for?

Of course, I wanted to jump right in, but it wasn't allowed. Bummer. I kept wondering to what other use it could possibly serve. This pool was made for me and Lucky! Outrageous.

So while a bunch of grownups drank white and purple stuff around tables, I laid on the floor (which is just like my own kitchen floor heheh!) and got lots of belly rubs from tourists who came from all over the world and missed their pups! Then why do they leave them? I asked myself.

After bidding adieu to the pumpkins, we went roadtripping down Dry Creek Road towards somewhere called Lambert Bridge Winery. Their tasting room is cool and beautiful and we didn't stay, but just stopped to say hi to their winery dogs - the St. Bernard and the yellow Lab. Nice pups and really cool yard that has a gazebo. I'm allowed offleash here.

A few miles further and we reach a crossroads: West Dry Creek becomes Westside Road. Here sits a magnificent Inn that mom used to take her parents for dinner years ago, when it was more rundown and seemed like it was very remote. Not anymore. Look at this place!

A new "guesthouse."

I hope some of these collages biggify. I always find that sometimes they do and sometimes not. I wish I knew why, and how to fix this problem. Aren't the gardens and manse amazing? After walking around for about 10 minutes, a man told us that I wasn't allowed and would I take myself to my vehicle and leave? How rude. But it was getting later and we still had a few stops left.

Last views of Mount Saint Helena (not to be confused with Mt. Saint Helens) near Calistoga. This mountain overlooks the entire Napa Valley. Climb to the top for magnificent views. But we're having some good ones ourselves as we approach the Russian River appellation.

These folks apparently make some terrific reds. Look 'em up. To get their best wines, dad and mom have to get on a list that takes furever to make. Snobs!

The nice young folks with three kids at Gabriel Farm are definitely not, however! (snobs...) In a tiny room where lavender permeates my scenticles, a panoply of goodies are for sale. They have a great orchard out back! I get to go for a walk in it! There are no apples or pears or berries left though. Drat!

It is almost five in the afternoon, and the navigators are having a fit, cause they can't find "Peter's Chocolates!" (ANOTHER goodie I can't have!) Finally they found a small house across from the Sebastopol High School, knocked on the door, and were greeted by a nice man who was... PETER, himself! He invited us into his very home, where he gave mom and dad samples of what he makes: Turtles and Truffles! These yummies smelled so good - oooooh, wish I could have had some. But I was finally herded into the car and off we went, heading for home and also my SUPPER, which was full of kibble mixed with veggies. It was a long, but fruitful day (hahahahaha!). Hope you had a good weekend! As always, my secretary (aka Ma) needs to catch up - hope you enjoyed the road trip.



Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Oh Sammie!

If it is any khonsolation to woo, I had to listen to my mom OOOOOOH and AHHHHHHH during the entire post!

She started drooling with the mention of late harvest!

Tank woo fur sharing all those great places!

She says woo live in a pawesome place!


The OP Pack said...

You are so lucky to live in a place where you have so many exciting places to visit. Thanks for the great tour of wine country. It certainly was a very full day for you - no wonder you are wanting to sleep.

Tail wags, the OP Pack

Sierra Rose said...

Sammie! That was lovely! A fall farm tour. Spectacular!
What about the pears?!?!?!

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Tucker, Daisy and Leo said...

Sammie, you look so nice in all those pretty places. They set you off so well. Wish we could come and run with you.

Tucker and Daisy.

The Thundering Herd said...

What an awesome day and spectacular views. Our humans love that part of the country, though they have never taken US (so maybe they will scratch your belly one day and talk about The Herd they left behind).

Dory and the Mama said...

WOW...Mama says she couldn't go for a road trip like that without a designated driver (needless to say the loves that wine stuff that comes from those grapes!!)

Looks like you and your folks had a great time!!!


The Bumpass Hounds said...

Hey Sammie,
Dad is harking back to his tour of duty at Alameda. He and a buddy used to go up to Napa and evry other Saturday and stop a a store in town and buy a couple of post cards that had a collage of 5 different wine places on the front and a road map showing each of the five on the back. They would then take a tour of the ten places. They evidently visited a radio station because they bought matching tee shirts and dad still has his. It says W-I-N-O on the front. Dad used to have a really big collection of glasses that he called tasters. Mom got tied of hauling them around and donated them to the Fredericksburg SPCA for one of their yardsales. Dad almost cried. It looks like you had a great time up in Sonapanoma as dad used to call it. It is a very beautiful area.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tour Sammie!

Rocky Creek Scotties and Java said...

Thank you for that wonderful trip - Napa Valley is one of my Mom's favorite places to visit - V. Sattui Winery especially.

Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Java

Mango said...

My human Uncle lives near there, up in the Redwood forest. It is most lovely countryside.


Bruce said...

I'm worn out after seeing you have so much fun too Sammie! What a great trip you had!
your pal,

Cocorue said...

thank you sooooooo much for the wonderful tour.....mumster was 'ooooohing' and 'awwwwwwing' and droooling over the chocs.

belly rubs huh, lucky you and you must have charmed them all


Sue said...

What a wonderful trip! So many cool things to see and smell!

SEDONA said...

Oh Sammie, you are so lucky to live where you do! My humans toured wine country many moons ago and adored it. It'd be even better now with me along to run through those vineyards like you did!
Have your humans done the mudbaths in Calistoga? My human says that was a bizarre (in a good way) experience.
Beautiful pics. Thanks for sharing your day with us!
Your pal,

The 'splorin' Wolfies said...

what a fantastic post! we saw the kitty hiding in that chair--and then the next chair--the one with the eggs in it--oh boy--i hope no one sits in that one! you are lucky to be surrounded by such beauty. thank you for the kind words on my last post!

Elizabeth said...

Ohhh, how pretty! Wine Country is so pretty this time of year!

Elizabeth & Luna

The Army of Four said...

Wow! What a great road trip! Those are GORGEOUS pictures! (Especially the ones of you... woo!) What a great adventure - so much to see and smell! Woooo!

Maggie and Mitch said...

What a wonderful adventure you had, Sammie! We love all of the pictures!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Paco,Milo, Maya and mommy Simona said...

Wowowowowoooooo dear Sammie and humans!!!
What a great great road trip you had!!!
So many vineyards!!!!
We feel like home watching you running through them!!!
We LOve wine!!!
Mommy sometimes let us taste a little bit of it!!!!
Waaaawaaawawaaaa...we have a wonderful and crazy mommy!!!!
Your pics are great and you look soooooooooo happy going in vacation with your special mommy and daddy!!!
Our mommy said she can't wait to meet you and them!!!
We're soooooooooooo sorry can't come....but pleaseeeeeeeee...give to mommy tons of licks and cuddles so she won't feel our absence too much!!
Take care of her and daddy ok????!!!!
They are in your hands!!!
HAve a wonderful day!!!
WE LOVE YOU A LOT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tons of love and kisses

Honey the Great Dane said...

Wow! what an amazing road trip !can't believe you did that all in one day ! so many beautiful places - you are really lucky to live there , Sammie! that chicken eggs chair was hilarious !

Scout and Freyja said...

Sammie, not only did you have a wonderful day with your momma and dadda, you got to run and play and make some new furends! Way cool!

Tell your momma and dadda you need them to make a punkin' that looks just like YOU!

NCmountainwoman said...

What a wonderful, fun-filled day. I can just imagine the fun of running through the vineyards. Lovely photographs.

Kasha said...

I love the pumpkin pictures. Ah I sure love Fall! Dearest Samantha. Please send me a picture of you on Halloween if you dress up. A genie? That is so awesome! I can't wait to see what you come up with.
Kasha and Africa

Farley said...

That looked like a wonderful adventure Sammie :)

LouPeb said...

OMD what a fantastic road trip!!! We're all so very envious here. especially mom. heheh :o)

Piappies World said...

Hi Sammie!
Thanks for taking us to your winery trip. So many beautiful places. And truly a FRUITful day.
Mommy's favorite part was the when you found those yummy chocolates. Those yummy looking treats top her list.

You look so great in those photos too. Thankies!

-Fudgie, Princess & the Piappies

Dog By Nature said...

That's it Sammie, we're going to hire you as our tour guide next time we're up that way! You know all the coolest places in the county.

YD, sometimes with Samantha & June said...

You are so lucky Sammie. That's a nice place and they even allow us dogs to visit!
Thank you for sharing!


Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Sam you sure had a nice time.. Off leash is always so much fun. Who is the little Blueman twin? He/She sure is cute. Did you 2 get to play?

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Brownie said...

Samantha, you are so lucky to have such a cool roadtrip! I loved all the pictures, though I agree that a picture of you in the pool with Lucky would have been the best shot!


Will you please adopt me and my mom??? PLEASE! You go to the best place. And LUcky a cute lil heeler. I'm a cute heeler mix and mom doesn't make much of a mess. You'll find us a combo package on petfinder...


Hi Samantha,

What a beautiful tour of Sonoma County. Our mommy has been there many times and loved it. She liked the wine too!

Riley and Star.

Martha Basset said...

Hi Sammie, what a very beautiful place you visited on your road trip.
We just loved the pictures of the vineyards.
We hope as well as olive oil your parents got some wine!
That just looks like the most amazing place and we can see how much fun you had running in the vineyards.
The collage with the guesthouse and gardens did bigify and was wonderful.
We were a little worried about all those eggs that seemed to be place inside the chair - what if someone sits on them!!!
Scrambled eggs we guess.
love and kisses
Martha & Bailey xxxx

Tracey and Huffle said...

Wow Sammie. Are you tired out after such a big adventure?

Hi Ozzie!

Huffle Mawson

SGR said...

Woof! Sammie What a pawsome road trip. You are very lucky to join your family on such a FUN weekend trip. It my blog anniversary - just want to say thank you for your friendship. Lots of Golden Thanks, Woof Sugar


I came back Sammie to take a trip thru the vineyards again. I saw that kittie sitting in the chair... You were lucky to run free in that first vineyard.. I wouldn't know what to smell first. And a pool you can't swim in? What's the point. Now mom wants to know about that wine. She was really interested in that part. Yummers.

Sam said...

What a wonderful trip! Tell my Samantha, what do you have hanging from your collar? The large white tag?