David and Gillian Visit Santa Rosa
July 22 - 26, 2022

Friday, July 22

Shirley and Bob head out early to San Francisco, first stopping at Oliver's grocery store in Santa Rosa, then at T C Bakery on Irving Street in San Francisco, where Bob buys 15 sesame seed balls. Bob will end up eating 12 while David and Gillian will eat a total of three. Shirley stops at a small Chinese store to look at small bowls (Bob munches on sesame seed balls outside the store), then they walk back to the car and head to the San Francisco Airport.

At the airport, after going up and around various parking garage floors, they find a parking space, take a walk into the airport and get chairs to await David and Gillian's arrival, due at 1:54 PM. The plane arrives at 1:35 and David and Gillian come through the door at 1:55. Yay! No baggage to pick up, so all walk to and find in the garage the car. The drive to Santa Rosa goes well. On the way, we stop near the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge at the Golden Gate Bridge View Vista Point. After viewing San Francisco and the bridge, we continue on to Santa Rosa. David is curious whether there are any fires currently burning since the drought has resulted in several in California. Bob tells him no. David and Gillian, whose flight from Birmingham left around 9 AM (7 AM Pacific time) - get a chance to nap some during the long drive.

We all stop at Oliver's and buy some groceries/dinners, then drive to the nearby Airbnb on Benjamins Road. A UPS truck is in front of the Airbnb and Bob goes down the wrong driveway, but the UPS truck leaves, the right driveway is open, and we drive to the Airbnb behind the house on the street (we had thought the house on the street was the Airbnb, but that's where the Airbnb owners live). It is a nice place. David and Gillian stay in the Airbnb and Bob and Shirley drive home. On the way home, a police car is blocking a road, we ask the policeman if there is a fire, he confirms there is, and so we detour and drive home - the fire was only 5 acres and was completely contained, however Oakmont got some smoke impact. Oh my!

Saturday, July 23

Shirley and Bob drive to the Airbnb, pick up Gillian and David, and we all drive to Bodega Bay. We stop first at the Tides Wharf, walking outside to look at the Bay (we get to see seals), then go into the gift shop.

Next we stop at Second Wind Kite Shop, then drive to the Spud Point Cafe and get lots of crab sandwiches and a couple of clam chowders. We had to park in the parking lot at the Marina and so walking back to the car we get see a seal's head (click on pic and look very, very closely) among the many yachts and a seagull feasting on his lunch (probably not bought at the Spud Point Cafe).

Off to Bodega Head where we sit at a picnic table, eat lunch, feed a sea gull and some black birds, and watch 3 deer eat on the nearby hillside. Then we see pelicans fly overhead.

Then we hike on the Bodega Head trail on the cliffs above the Pacific ocean. Although it starts out foggy, the temperature is nice. Then the fog lifts and weather and views are beautiful. We hear the seals barking at Seal island and when the fog lifts we see the seals. Before turning around to head back we get a view of Bodega Bay. Both along the cliff hike and the later beach walk we see many flowers.

After that hike, we drive to Salmon Beach. Here is a video Shirley took of David and Bob getting into the very cold surf. While there: Bob and Shirley walk along beach; David and Gillian walk along beach; David and Bob wade into surf; David dives into surf (water is really, really cold); David gets very badly burned, especially on face and neck (Gillian also gets burned); all four get short naps on the beach.

We drive back, stopping to walk on Florence Street in Sebastopol which has many sculptures by Patrick Aminot.

After visiting Sebastopol Shirley and Bob drop off Gillian and David at Airbnb while Bob and Shirley go to Oliver's grocery store and Ace Hardware (to pick up ant poison). David calls to say he needs sunburn lotions. Bob and Shirley pick up lotions, then pick up Gillian and David and all come back to Bob and Shirley's. Everyone gets some rest, Shirley prepares dinner (and Bob sets table!), and we all eat.

Afterwards we watch 3 episodes of Netflix series Blown Away which David and Gillian recommend, about glass blowing, which all of us find fascinating. David then drives Bob's car home with Gillian. Bob does dishes, Shirley puts away food.

A wonderful day!

Sunday, July 24

David and Gillian visited two wineries and ate lunch with Bob and Shirley at a third winery. The first winery was Ledson.

While David and Gillian sampled wine, Bob and Shirley walked among the Ledson vineyards.

All of us then went to VJB Vineyard & Cellars where we had pizza for lunch. After lunch Bob and Shirley dropped Gillian and David at Kunde Family Winery and drove home, later picking them up.

All four of us returned to Shirley and Bob's and watched TV - episodes of the Netflix series Blown Away, which is about competitive glass blowing. Bob then drove Gillian and David back to the Airbnb, returned home, and watched more episodes of Blown Away with Shirley.


Monday, July 25

Bob picks up Gillian and David and goes to Oliver's, where Shirley is also shopping. Then Bob, David, and Gillian drive to Jenner Headlands Preserve, stopping briefly just before the park to look down on where the Russian River enters the Pacific Ocean - a lot of seals and pelicans are either in the water or lying on the beach.

At the Preserve the fog is intense. Although the three of us start hiking the usual Sea to Sky trail, intending to then connect and come back down on the Raptor Ridge Trail, we decide to reverse course after first going about a tenth of a mile, and go up Raptor Ridge Trail in the fog, hoping the fog will clear by the time we come back down the Sea to Sky Trail. Here's a video of Gillian and David hiking in the fog down the Sea to Sky trail.

As we approach the highest part of the route, the trail becames a road, we pass the buildings where the park ranger resides, then see eucalyptus trees followed by flowers. Then a grove of trees that Bob takesoff for, bumping his head on a branch hard enough (he discovers later) to scrape and draw blood - not serious or painful.

We head down the Sea to Sky trail which is now a wide dirt path and as we near the bottom we reach the telescope and many cows.

As we are taking photos of ourselves and the cows near the telescope the fog does in fact begin to clear enough for us to see the coast, including where the Russian River meets the ocean. It was a very nice ending to the foggy hike.

At the parking lot we change into our walking shoes, get in the car, then drive a very short distance to a pull-out where David and Gillian walk on a trail through brush to get photos nearer the shore.

Then we all begin driving home. Since it is now near lunch time, David attempts to find a pleasant restaurant with a view of the Russian River in Guerneville. Perhaps it is because it is Monday, there are few restaraunts open. We park in front of one, check it out, and decide instead to drive back to Santa Rosa and go to Oliver's to pick up lunch. We then drive to Bob and Shirley's, are greeted by Shirley of course. David and Gillian eat on the table in the backyard.

Next on the agenda is visiting the Community Garden, where Shirley walks among various garden beds talking about the plants and care and work (including of course her own garden bed which is doing so well). Then we all go to play ping pong in Oakmont. (Bob believes David and Gillian are kind to let him win, then David beats Gillian both of their games). Shirley and Bob drive Gillian and David back to their place and returned home.

After a bit over an hour, Bob and Shirley again pick up David and Gillian and all drive to Salt and Stone Restaraunt which has a reserved outdoor table and umbrella that is quite pleasant. Better yet, the food is excellent and the service perfect. Service is so good that Shirley and Bob return before getting in the car, find the waitress and thank her profusely. When Shirley mentions David and Gillian are from Alabama, the waitress enthusiastically says her best friend is from Alabama.

We then all drive back to Bob and Shirley's, stopping briefly at Reenie's front porch where she gets to meet Gillian and talk with David. Then we finish the drive - Shirley had prepared two fruit bowls (strawberries and blackberries) and, for David's early birthday celebration, a Gizmo with candles in it. Shirley, Bob and Gillian then sing Happy Birthday, David blows out the candles, opens a present from Bob and Shirley, then we all scarf down the desserts.

That was followed by a game of Bananas, which involves Scrabble-like pieces and that neither Shirley nor Bob had ever played. David won. Bob then drove David and Gillian home.

Tuesday, July 26

Bob and Shirley pick up David and Gillian at 6:30 AM and drive them through San Francisco to the airport. All goes smoothly. We park at the Delta entrance, take out the bags, give hugs, and David and Gillian go into the airport.

Bob and Shirley drive to San Francisco, walk in Golden Gate park, get lunch at Whole Foods Market, eat in Golden Gate Park, visit a gift shop, then return to the car and drive home.

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By Bob:

Bob Phillips [phillips bob 27 at yahoo dot com - no spaces]
Santa Rosa, CA
April, 2022