Family travel tips to share and how to master hotel stays is one of the most important.

Sonoma County, California – Vacation, Gravenstein Apples, Redwoods … and More Vineyards!

Vacation Time!! Thanks goodness for vacations! Especially after a three-week business trip to the Middle East, this respite could not have come at a better time! The same family who invited me to stay at their home in Sebastopol, California (located in California’s Sonoma County – a.k.a. “Wine Country), did so again this year and so I was blessed with another week in “Paradise”. (For a glimpse of my vacation visit here last September, 2008, click here.)

I arrived on August 22. Although I had to depart this past Saturday, Aug. 29, I was still able to cram in as much as I could handle in six restful days of apple hunting, wine tasting, sightseeing and pleasantly cool daytime temperatures and even cooler nights. (I had to wear my sweater and jacket every morning much to the chagrin of my hosts!) Now that I have returned home, I will endeavor to post as many of the photos I was able to capture (using a Canon 50D digital SLR camera) over the past week. For now, however, I will leave my Loyal Followers with these preliminary photographic treats and will add more comments and pictures as the work week progresses:

On Wednesday (Aug. 26), I drove the 50 miles to Muir Woods Redwood Park and also managed to visit a park overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge – probably THE most photographed bridge in the world (and why not!).

While in Sebastopol, I had a successful scavenger hunt for the world’s BEST apple – The Graventein Apple! I collected over twenty pounds (10 kgs) of the most ripe Gravensteins I could find from two major apple growers in Sonoma County. By the way, not only are these apples great for eating right off the tree, but they make excellent apple sauce! There is a lot I feel I need to say about this little humble little apple but will leave those comments for later this week. Trust me, there is a story to tell about the Gravensteins that I believe my followers will appreciate!!

Muir Woods – perhaps the best known of the redwood parks in California. Located in Marin County, this park is just a few minutes drive north of San Francisco and well worth a visit. (Caution: arrive early in the day as the tiny parking lot quickly fills up to capacity!!)

What makes Sonoma County what it is today more than anything else, are the hundreds of vineyards. I love visiting wineries and tasting some of the finest wines Northern California can produce (rivaling those of France in my humble opinion). Turns out there is a connection between these grape vineyards and the apple orchards that is worth a brief telling and I shall do so in a few days.
Enjoy the pictures … there are many more soon to come!
(PS: This post marks my 101 posting for The Traveling Chemist! Many thanks to all my Loyal Followers!!)
Replies to COMMENTS:
John: Wow!! Finding that quote about the Gravenstein apple was really cool! Many thanks!! By the way, there is a Luther Burbank museum and farm in Santa Rosa, CA (population: 155,000).