David and Stephie Visit California and Become Engaged
April 1, 2017 - April 9, 2017
David, Stephie, Roxanne, Frank, Shirley and Bob

Here is a website devoted to Stephie, David and their upcoming wedding:
Dave and Stephie's Wedding Website

Video (Set on high resolution):
David Proposes to Stephie

Click on a photo to get a higher resolution version.


Engaged Couple

David, Stephie and Roxanne flew out to California on Saturday. On Sunday they, along with Shirley, Bob, Roxanne and Frank, went out to Bodega Head, where David proposed marriage to Stephie, who accepted.

Day 1: Saturday, April 1, 2017 - David, Stephie, and Roxanne Fly Into California

Stephie and her mother Roxanne flew into San Francisco airport from Michigan, while David flew in from Alabama. They all arrived in the early evening and were met by Frank. Frank then drove them first to Santa Rosa, where David and Stephie stayed with Bob and Shirley. Frank then drove to Sonoma, where he and Roxanne stayed.

Day 2: Sunday, April 2 - David and Stephie become engaged.

Bob, Shirley, David and Stephie drive from Santa Rosa to Bodega Head in one car. Frank and Roxanne come in from Sonoma in another. The GPS unit Frank and Roxanne use causes some confusion, but after a short delay all meet in the parking lot at Bodega Head. All start walking along the path on the cliff above the ocean, with David and Stephie hanging back a bit.

The four older folks go ahead about 3/4 of a mile until they find a bench all were hoping to use. The bench is occupied, so the four start walking further. Roxanne suggests we turn back and ask the couple on the bench if we can use it for a few minutes. Before we get back to the bench the couple have already gotten up and started to leave.

David had given Bob the ring and a type of music box in which to put it. Bob set this up on the bench. David and Stephie were now in sight and heading towards the bench. The older folks back away some, but stay near enough to get photos and video.

David and Stephie arrive at bench. David hands Stephie the music box, which begins to play when she opens the drawer to find the engagement ring. David takes the ring, bends down on one knee and proposes. Stephie accepts. David places the ring on her finger and they hug and kiss. Then they hug and kiss again at the direction of the older folks who want more photographs.

Seals on nearby Bodega Rock do some barking.

Then lots of photos of everyone.

Bob, Shirley, Stephie, David, Roxanne, and Frank

Frank, Roxanne, Stephie and David

Now with an ocean background

Shirley, Stephie and Roxanne

After the engagement, we walk back to the car, then drive to the Spud Point cafe for the incredible crab sandwiches and clam chowder. Bob and Frank wait for the lunch to be prepared, while the rest walk across the street to a bench overlooking the bay. That is where we eat.

In the evening, Frank and Roxanne return to Sonoma where they are staying at a resort (see below). The rest of us return to Oakmont.

After returning home, we all walk up the block to visit friends Bill and Reenie. We all get to munch on their home made cookies, then walk away with all the remaining delicious cookies. Life is sweet!

Day 3: Monday, April 3 - A Stay at Casa Nueva Vista Resort in Sonoma

Frank's sister owns the Casa Nueva Vista resort in Sonoma. Frank was doing some work to prepare the resort for summer season, so all spent much of the day there. Then Stephie, David, Frank and Roxanne stayed overnight at these luxurious accommodations, including spa and pool.

Stephie, Roxanne, Shirley and David relax at pool

Stephie and David prepare to navigate a slide

Day 4: Tuesday, April 4 - Wine tasting! And sightseeing! And visiting friends!

Stephie, David, Frank and Roxanne begin the day by visiting the Domaine Carneros winery in Napa Valley, where they taste champaigne and caviar.

Bob and Shirley then drive over to pick up David and Stephie for wine tasting in Sonoma County, then sightseeing along the Russian River.

The four of us visit our first winery - Armida Winery - just outside Healdsberg.

Penny won all our hearts at Armida. Penny fell for Stephie immediately - walked right over and climbed on her shoulder.

How can you resist a wine called Poizin!

Then some actual wine tasting and a group photo.

A couple of final views outside of Armida winery - and a last pet for Penny - before we leave.

Our next stop was at Landmark Winery (which in fact purchased Hop Kiln Vineyards in January, 2016), which is constructed around hop kilns from long ago. It turned out that the servers at this winery not only knew, but were close friends, with our server at the last winery.

From Landmark Winery we headed to the park/bridge over the Russian River in Guerneville.

Driving home, we were amused to see this RV carrying The Happys Band.

We are now so close to Mom's Apple Pie restaurant, that it is of course impossible not to stop and pick up pies. Much, much discussion of how many pies, what size pies, and what flavor pies. Bob and David are sure 4 small pies are needed. Shirley leans towards 2. A compromise is reached: 3 small pies - blackberry, apple, and cherry. Then the rush for home.

Once home, we get a call from our friend Adele, who agrees to drive over. So she gets to meet the newly engaged couple. And have a piece of apple pie. It's getting dark, so Bob and Shirley drive back with Adele to Spring Lake Village, then return.

Next up - after pie eating - a visit to friends Leyla and Richard, and Miso and Loco, their cats. Richard has just made some stained glass art in a class he is taking. Miso skittishly checks everyone out. Loco hardly moves and accepts petting.

Day 5: Wednesday, April 5 - A brief hike in Annadel park, then off to San Francisco.

David and Stephie were scheduled to fly out early Thursday morning from San Francisco airport (SFO). So after a brief walk by David and Bob into Annadel park in the morning, all four hopped in the car and headed to San Francisco.

In San Francisco, all four of us climbed up to appropriately named Grandview Park. The stairs leading up this marvelous view of the city are painted and very pretty.

Lots of views of San Francisco housing. Out of curiousity, Bob looked up the price of the pretty white house in the center of the photo below on the right. Zillow.com estimates it at about $1.7 million, describing it: "625 Ortega St, San Francisco, CA is a single family home that contains 2,200 sq ft and was built in 1978. It contains 4 bathrooms. This home last sold for $18,000 in February 1976." One wonders how many bedrooms go along with those 4 bathrooms.

And of course the views at the top were magnificent.

We finish the day in San Francisco by being tourists on Irving Street. This includes going to an Asian supermarket with large, marvelous tanks of fish; going to a bakery and buying enough sesame seed buns for the four of us plus for Marian and Rob, whom we meet at Marnee Thai restaurant, where we all have dinner. Bob forgets to hand over the sesame seed desserts to Marian and Rob and is forced to eat most of them himself the next morning.

After dinner, the four of us drive to the Red Roof Inn motel near SFO and bed down for the night.

Day 6: Thursday, April 6 - Stephie flies off to Michigan, rest of us return to San Francisco.

Although both Stephie and David had flights in the morning, it turns out the weather in Georgia and Alabama was quite bad, including tornadoes. David's flight was delayed long enough that he rescheduled it for Sunday (Stephie's flight was delayed a bit because the pilot overslept). Shirley and Bob saw both of them through the security gates and returned to Red Roof Inn using the hotel shuttle.

Later, David returned via the shuttle to Red Roof Inn and all three then drove to San Francisco, where Shirley and Bob had already reserved a room at a motel. Fortunately, the room had two bedrooms with a king size bed in one room, so all fit. Although we intended to do more tourist stuff in the afternoon, it was cool and drizzling, so we just walked around a little bit before coming back to the motel.

Day 7: Friday, April 7 - Return to Santa Rosa.

We all drive back to Santa Rosa, which includes considerable discussion as to which Oliver's supermarket we should visit. Later in the afternoon, Bob and David go to Sugarloaf Park with the intention of hiking about a 1/2 mile to where there is an overview looking across to Oakmont, where the house is. However, we do not stop hiking at the overlook and instead do the entire 2.5 mile hike up to the top of Bald Mountain, which is enshrouded by fog. Furthermore, the wind is the most intense Bob can remember having felt at the summit. Off and on we get hit by rain. Since we are the only ones we have seen on the trail, while at the summit we both yell as loudly as we can. As we are heading back down, we meet a bicycle rider. We did not ask if he heard us.

Day 8: Saturday, April 8 - Muir Woods, then SFO for David.

Shirley, Bob and David drive first to Muir Woods. It turns out Shirley is having some problems with her foot, so hiking is painful. She decides to stay in the car and do art work, while David and Bob hike on trails in Muir Woods, going on a loop of about 3 - 4 miles. They have a wonderful time hiking along Canopy Woods, Lost Creek, Fern Creek and Redwood trails, then return to the car. All drive to Red Roof Inn, but with one fortunate stop at a very good grocery store near Muir Woods which has a hot bar and lots of organic foods.

Day 9: Sunday, April 9 - David catches his plane, Shirley and Bob re-visit San Francisco

All goes well with David's flight after Shirley and Bob accompany him to the airport on the motel shuttle. Bob and Shirley then go back to San Francisco and visit an area they have not seen before where lots of murals have been painted on walls.

Some of them depict the issue of the gentrification of neighborhoods, as the well-off hi-tech crowds move into poorer neighborhoods.

Bob makes one last Irving Street stop to pick up lots more sesame seed balls, this time to give to their friends Reenie and Bill, who have family visiting.

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