Olemike's Blog

Archive for October, 2012

North Coast Adventure 2012

Posted by olemike on 10/24/2012

My sister, Phyllis, from San Antonio, Texas, recently came for a visit.  She, Leona, and I took a small road trip over to Santa Rosa and then up the north coast of California to Ft.Bragg.

We hit a number of local sights and entertaining stops along the way.  They were:

  • Putah Creek Cafe in Winters, CA   We started our small vacation by having lunch here.  Trust me,  the food is just as good as they say it is.  Even on a Monday, they were very busy for lunch.
  • Sonoma’s Best Cafe in Sonoma, CA.  We have been to this little store previously but it is always a “must stop” when we are in this neck of the woods.  It has a great little patio out back for having coffee and conversation.
  • Healdsburg, CA. town square  Healdsburg has a great little town square with lots of quaint shops and restaurants.  We weren’t here too long.  We had a cup of coffee at Starbucks and walked the square.  However, we were there a little early and some of the shops were not yet open.  So, on to Boonville.
  • Boonville, CA.  Boonville is a small town of about 1400 in the Anderson valley..  They have a thriving wine community.  The coastal weather is favorable for growing certain types of grapes here.  See the web site for more info.  I am definitely not a wine connoisseur.  I know what I like and that’s about it.
  • Mendocino, CA.  This is a quaint little town formerly known for being the setting for the “Murder She Wrote” TV show.  (I may be showing my age here).  However, people of all ages will enjoy walking around this place.  Lots of nice shops and restaurants with a heavy focus on what I call Artsy-Fartsy.  This is a favorite destination of artists.
  • Ft. Bragg, CA. We spent two nights in Ft. Bragg.  Our main focus here was to take the Skunk Train ride.  We had dinner one night at the wharf.  Had some good seafood and got a terrific picture of the sunset.  I have pictures of both.
  • Skunk train in Ft. Bragg, CA.  This was an interesting experience.  I had never before rode a train.  We traveled two hours up through the redwood forest toward Willits, CA.  We stopped about halfway there, had snacks at a lunch stop, and then returned to Ft. Bragg.  It was much more fun riding outside on the return trip.  It was a bit chilly but a lot of scenic views to see.  There was an entertainer on the train who was very good on the guitar and regaled us with lots of train songs.
  • Jimtown Store in the Alexander Valley This little store is a favorite stop for bicyclists and folks out for a Sunday drive through the beautiful Alexander Valley wine country.  It is always a favorite stop for us when we are in the area.  I especially like the grapes hanging on the back picnic patio.  Check out their “About” page on the web site for detailed information about the store.
  • Taylors Drive In in St. Helena, CA.  No trip through the Napa valley would be complete without stopping for a burger at Taylors (now names Gotts).  It was recently featured on “Diners, Dives, and Drive-in”.  ‘Nuff said!
  • Dean and DeLuca store in St. Helena, CA.  And last but not least, we always enjoy stopping here.  This is a neat store in the Napa Valley with lots of wine and wine accessories – like cheese, crackers, etc.  Actually, they have a lot more than that.  That’s just what I like.

We saw some beautiful country and many intriguing little places.  The drive from Healdsburg to Ft. Bragg is blessed with natural beauty like giant redwoods or the ocean view from the Mendocino coast.  And the ride on the Skunk Train was spectacular.   We saw one redwood tree that was about 300 ft. tall and we also saw what is called a springboard.  This is where lumberjacks used to stand while cutting giant redwoods.  I have one picture of it.  I had to take it as the train went by.

I have added links to almost every place we went.  Please read those for more detailed info about our stops.  My gallery pictures are not in exactly the order in which we experienced the trip but I think you will be able to tell where they were taken.  Enjoy!


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Garden Status – October 2012

Posted by olemike on 10/21/2012

I thought it was about time I published an update on the status of my fall garden.  All in all, it’s doing pretty well.  I hope to be eating new Broccoli by Thanksgiving.  I have also planted Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Kale, Celery, Spinach, and Lettuce.   I still have summer tomatoes growing although they are definitely winding down.  I’m about ready to pull them out and get ready for onions and garlic.  I’ve been fighting a war with cabbage worms.  Any ideas out there for a battle plan? I could use the advice.  I have my helper looking for worms but he doesn’t seem to have the killer instinct.  Oh well, I’ll keep him anyway.

Keep an eye out for my November update.

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Sacramento’s 8th St. Farmers Market

Posted by olemike on 10/20/2012

This past Sunday, we went to the Farmer’s Market in Sacramento.  It was huge and lots of people were there.  We saw tons of fresh fruit and vegetables.  It made me want to come home and work in our garden.

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Octoberfest 2012

Posted by olemike on 10/19/2012

Our local nursery (Green Acres) had a Oktoberfest last weekend.  We went over to check it out.  We were there early so we didn’t eat any food.  The music was to happen later in the day so we didn’t hear it either.  However, we love this nursery and recommend it to everyone.  Here’s a few pictures.

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San Francisco Day Trip

Posted by olemike on 10/01/2012

What a day this was!  For some time, we had been planning on taking Kaitlyn and Zackary for a trip to San Francisco for a cable car ride.  We went via a Ferry Boat  from the Vallejo ferry terminal.

It takes just about an hour to get to Pier 41 which is almost right at Fisherman’s Wharf.  Some of the more picturesque sights we saw along the way were the Richmond bridge,  the Golden Gate bridge, and Alcatraz.   It is a beautiful ride.

We couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather than we experienced.  It was a perfect fall day.

Even though I have ridden the cable cars many times, I always still enjoy it.  We also had a good time talking to others waiting in line (about an hour).  We met some folks from Illinois, Connecticut, and Kansas.

We also happened to be in the wharf area when a cruise ship came steaming into the SF bay.  The thing was huge.  Take a look.

And a day in San Francisco must include some ice cream at the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory.  It’s always a great way to end the visit.

Needless to say, we were all exhausted (well,  at least Leona and I were).  I did fall asleep on the return Ferry ride.  We certainly slept good last night.

I am now waiting for some of my Missouri friends and relatives to come out and take this trip with us.  Yes, you know who you are.  You won’t regret it.

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