Purple Juice

November 10, 2010

I hope my teeth are not permanently stained!!

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I didn’t end up spitting anything out today, but I did take much smaller sips and was more mindful of how much that went in. Think it helped!

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This morning we headed up to Healdsburg and walked all around the plaza for a bit. I LOVE Healdsburg (and Sonoma Town) – be sure to visit them (and stay in them!) if you come to wine country.

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Matt was excited to taste Bear Republic’s beers, so I was a patient wife and went into a bar before noon. I didn’t want to taste anything, but he enjoyed a flight.

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My beverage of choice? A Beet, Kale + Ginger juice from the Healdsburg Cafe Gratitude.

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Purple juice.

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By the way, I have totally broken in my new boots and they are now my most comfortable traveling shoes!

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While on our honeymoon we dined at Cyrus, one of the fanciest restaurants in Sonoma. It was definitely the meal of a lifetime. Somebody was anxious to go back, but it’s just not in the budget this time.

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Most of today was spent in the Dry Creek wine region.

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Our first winery of the day was also our favorite of the day: Ridge.

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WHAT. A. VIEW.

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The guy pouring was also super nice and their wines were fabulous. Nice and bold, flavorful, complex.

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Next stop was the Dry Creek Country Store for a bite to eat! Last time we were here we picked up some cheeses here, and Jenna recommended their sandwiches.

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We settled on one of the freshest packages salads I’ve stumbled upon plus a sandwich special: pork with fontina, arugula and garlic aioli.

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We shared the sandwich and it was fabulous!! And perfect for lunch.

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For dessert: only the best chocolate ever: Scharffen-Berger!

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After lunch we decided it was time to explore the Dry Creek grape juice.

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We winded all the way up West Dry Creek Road to Bella.

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The tastings in Bella are inside a cave in the side of a mountain. So picturesque :)

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Next up was Preston, highly recommended. The property is all organic (grapes and farm) and there are awesome cats everywhere.

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We actually came to Preston on our honeymoon and remembered a cat named Scooch. Turns out she is STILL THERE!!!!

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Reunion!!

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Our next stop was Michel-Schlumberger, the winery where Jenna began her wine country journey. We tasted there a year ago right after she had moved. I had been Tweeting with Judd there all day and was so sorry to just miss him for a tasting. But we still enjoyed all of the wines. Highly recommended for the scenery (and it’s all organic too!)

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The Merlot in particular reminded me of a fresh slice of brie cheese!!

We decided we had spent enough time on West Dry Creek Road and headed back through Healdsburg to the Russian River. I think the Russian River is our very favorite part of Sonoma. The wines are just so lush!!

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We made two final stops: first at Sunce. Here we had the best Zin of the day and purchased a bottle to have with dinner.

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We were also so lucky as to get a slice of birthday cake!!! Happy birthday goin’ on! Mmmm!

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Our last stop of the day was DeLoach, where we loved a handful of pinots and zins. Classic Russian River!

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Sadly the weather turned out to be cold and rainy. Booooooo. But that’s OK because on the inside we were feeling quite toasty!

We headed back to the hotel to freshen up before dinner out with Jenna and Adam at Santi

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We each contributed a wine (so glad we were able to find one!)

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Focaccia rules.

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Apps off the hizzle! We couldn’t decide and Adam was super hungry, so we ordered three:

Gioia Burrata [a cheese] with marinated Delicata squash, grilled baby leeks, farro. LOVED this!!!!!!!!

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Wild Mushroom Crespelle, mushroom besciamella, arugula, parmigiano frico

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Oven Roasted Clams with spicy Santi sausage, garlic, while wine and grilled bread

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Intermezzi Pasta Course: Pappardelle with braised pork sugo, roasted nardello peppers, basil and pecorino. It was super spiced and I loved it! Split four ways –

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For my entree I got the simple Winter Squash Soup with house made Italian sausage, toasted squash seeds and EVOO (the seeds reminded me of Halloween!)

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Matt ordered the Chicken with Figs and Adam the Pork Loin with Farro and Pears and they both shared with the ladies. All i needed was a bite of each – both were so lush and flavored with sweet fall.

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We couldn’t turn down dessert – a Gala Apple Pudding with a Spiced Alcoholic Whipped Cream + Fresh Caramel. A-mazing.

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Come to California for the wine, stay for the food.

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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) November 10, 2010 at 1:15 am

What. A. Day!!! I love your wine-colored veggie juice. Ya shoulda drank it in a wine glass. Last day in wine country tomorrow right? Enjoy!

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2 Alison November 10, 2010 at 1:17 am

I’ve enjoyed looking at all your posts about Wine Country. We’ll be moving to that area next year, so I’m looking forward to exploring Napa Valley.

Here’s a question – I don’t drink. Would the vineyard tours still be interesting for me? Or is it really designed for people to taste the wines?

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3 Kath November 10, 2010 at 10:11 am

I think there are a number of vineyard tours that would still be plenty fun, but I wouldn’t devote days and days to just going to the wineries. I’d pick the ones that have extracurricular activities :)

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4 Amanda (Eating Up) November 10, 2010 at 1:19 am

A foodie’s paradise! I hope I have sweet dreams of being in wine country after reading this post before I go to sleep. :-P

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5 suki @ [Super Duper Fantastic] November 10, 2010 at 1:26 am

Ah, Bella and the Wine Cave! We visited during a barrel tasting earlier in the year, and it was a blast. It was good enough for me to buy a bottle. Of course, we’ve drunk it since then, so definitely time for a revisit. There are way too many good wines up in the Dry Creek region… and that’s just one of several in Sonoma!

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6 Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks November 10, 2010 at 1:29 am

Michel-Schlumberger is awesome. Took the tour there and our guide was informative and hilarious! Some of my favorite wines have come from there.

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7 the salty girl November 10, 2010 at 1:30 am

ahhhhh!!!! burrata makes my heart melt, just like its gooey innards!

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8 Joy November 10, 2010 at 1:42 am

Ooh, you’re making me hungry at work! I love that you post late (well it’s late on the East Coast) cause it gives me something to look at when I’m bored at work, lol. Even with the cloudy skies, the wineries looked gorgeous! Loved the wine cave too! Very mysterious :)

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9 Runeatrepeat November 10, 2010 at 1:42 am

The pictures are amazing. Glad you had a great time :)

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10 Hope November 10, 2010 at 1:47 am

Wow I’m so jealous of your trip! It looks like you’re having an incredible time!

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11 anne November 10, 2010 at 1:49 am

Love Preston! The vines look so pretty too. Will have to head up there soon!

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12 Laura (Starloz) November 10, 2010 at 1:50 am

i cant believe this was one day. you are such great tourists.

incredible photography.

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13 Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] November 10, 2010 at 2:01 am

I love the cowgirl boots – love!!

Would you & Matt ever want to live in Wine Country… or are you an East Coaster for life? :)

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14 Kath November 10, 2010 at 10:11 am

I think we’d love to have a second home here, so ya know, if I win a million dollars or become famous :)

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15 amber's notebook November 10, 2010 at 2:57 am

are you flying out of Oakland or SFO? If you fly out of Oakland you MUST take Matt by The Trappist! I think it is the best beer place in the bay.
http://www.thetrappist.com/

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16 katherine November 10, 2010 at 3:10 am

So fun to read this! I love Santi – it’s about 2 blocks from my house! I would agree…living in Sonoma is all about the food and you all have gone to many of my favs this weekend.

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17 Heidi - apples under my bed November 10, 2010 at 3:12 am

Beautiful vineyard pictures! That pasta looks amazing. Lucky indeed that you could find a wine, seems like they’re hard to come by that way! ;)

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18 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) November 10, 2010 at 4:20 am

:shock: so much to see! The views are beautiful, the food looks amazing!! What a spectacular day. I’m sure this will be one of your fondest memories to look back on. :)

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19 Ravenous Rowie November 10, 2010 at 5:29 am

Glad to see your having such a good time! I think it’s so interesting to see Sonoma County, and Healdsburg specifically, from a tourists point of view. I lived in Sonoma County my whole life, and moved to British Columbia, Canada, from Healdsburg just over a year ago!!! Fun to see some of my old favorite places! Isn’t cafe gratitude the best?!!

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20 j November 10, 2010 at 6:00 am

Alcoholic whipped cream? That’s new to me! Everything looks beautiful, California is a stunning part of our country. Oh, and the food keeps getting better! Enjoy!

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21 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 10, 2010 at 6:32 am

That food just melts my heart… wow.

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22 Lauren November 10, 2010 at 6:40 am

Wow, so many incredible things to see, do and eat! I think I would go for the wine, stay for the wine, and never be able to leave for the food.

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23 Lauren at KeepItSweet November 10, 2010 at 6:42 am

your food and wine all looks amazing, i want to be back there now!

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24 Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) November 10, 2010 at 6:57 am

I want to go!

Everything is so gorgeous. I’m glad you guys are having a fabulous time, while enjoying good wine. Good food. Keep having fun! :D

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25 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 10, 2010 at 7:02 am

I seriously need to go to wine country.

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26 Nicole, RD November 10, 2010 at 7:06 am

Stunning! I think I would end up going for the wine and staying for the food…yep! :)

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27 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) November 10, 2010 at 7:13 am

What a breathtaking trip! Everything is beautiful!

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28 Michele @ Healthy Cultivations November 10, 2010 at 7:24 am

The beet, kale, and ginger juice looks really good.

I love the photo of the old wagon — brings back fun childhood memories of pushing each other along the sidewalk and down the hill in the driveway! :)

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29 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine November 10, 2010 at 7:27 am

I wish I could be a bird on your shoulder for this trip. It all looks so gorgeous and gourmet!! The California countryside is beautiful. Glad you’re enjoying it so much!

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30 Amy K. @ onehealthypeanut November 10, 2010 at 8:05 am

Spiced alcoholic whipped cream. Yes please! Looks like another amazing day, what a fabulous vacation!!

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31 Felicity November 10, 2010 at 8:10 am

I thought your juice was wine with a straw. : )

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32 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 10, 2010 at 8:12 am

Wow, those look like quite the meals!! I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, I love your boots! :)

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33 Maddie (Healthy Maddie) November 10, 2010 at 8:14 am

I love your boots! Too cute. The scenery is beautiful out there.

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34 Krystina November 10, 2010 at 8:32 am

If I went to Wine Country, I don’t know if I would ever leave.

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35 Amanda November 10, 2010 at 8:32 am

I am visitng San Fransico in less than a month and you are making me more exicted about my trip through your lovely pictures! I used to live in southern Cal but I have never been to San Fransico!

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36 alana (at) the food November 10, 2010 at 8:33 am

deeeelish!
and gorgeous views is right!

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37 Holly @ couchpotatoathlete November 10, 2010 at 8:51 am

The food looks amazing — but I have to say that your juice looks the best to me! So refreshing.

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38 Claire (Low Impact Fashionista) November 10, 2010 at 8:51 am

Ohh my goodness I would go to California for the sights alone! But the food wouldn’t hurt either ;)

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39 Kasey November 10, 2010 at 8:56 am

Your vacation looks amazing! Wine country is on our “travel to soon” list :)
The roasted clams look so good!!!

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40 Shannon @ A Better Me November 10, 2010 at 9:14 am

I love little kittie faces. I would have been loving all over them (well if they’d let me, you know how cats are). :) Dinner looked A.MAZE.ING!!! Yum! Beautiful scenery too…wow.

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41 Susan November 10, 2010 at 9:39 am

You take such lovely pictures! Your trip looks so fun! I can’t wait to go. The husband and I have been planning for next March for San Fran and can’t wait – esp after seeing everyone’s Foodbuzz pictures!

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42 Katie (The Boston Marathoner) November 10, 2010 at 9:59 am

It’s only 10am but you make me want to eat pork with fontina, arugula and garlic aioli! Count down to lunch…

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43 Molly November 10, 2010 at 10:04 am

I didnt spit anything when I was in Bourdeaux tasting once. For eight hours. I was LOVIN life by the end of it haha

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44 Kelli November 10, 2010 at 10:04 am

So jealous that yesterday while I was working in the office you were romping about hitting up awesome places around the area. Sometimes I think I should take a vacation and just stay home. lol. At least you’re pretty much hitting up everywhere good. I know you like frozen yogurt so you should go to Yogurt Farms. It’s not self serve but I think that is what makes it delicious. It’s in Santa Rosa across the street from Santa Rosa High School.

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45 Susan November 10, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I know, huh? I live in Santa Rosa, too and often think the same thing. We get kind of spoiled living here and take for granted all the great wineries & restaurants that are nearby. There’s never the urgency to go places like there is on vacation. I should pick one weekend a month to play tourist!

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46 Dave November 10, 2010 at 10:05 am

Great photography and commentary. You also managed to hit some of the best wineries and restaurants in Healdsburg and the nearby valleys. You must have some great tipsters.

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47 Camille November 10, 2010 at 10:09 am

I love the cave! So cool!
I feel like there are great wine secrets in there :)

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48 hungryforbalance.wordpress.com November 10, 2010 at 10:12 am

Lovely post but I have to confess that the only thing that really stood out to me was your cute mani! I don’t know how many days you’ve had that polish on but mine always chips day two. Anyone know a trick to making manicures last longer?

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49 stacey-healthylife November 10, 2010 at 10:14 am

How fun, love those cats they are so cute.

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50 Caitlyn (A Spoonful of Life) November 10, 2010 at 10:17 am

Vineyard hopping! Now that sounds much more enjoyable to me than bar-hopping! Plus, you have the benefit of enjoyable the beautiful countryside.

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51 jenna November 10, 2010 at 10:18 am

yoga! yoga! yoga!

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52 Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes November 10, 2010 at 10:20 am

beautiful!
love,
cathy b.

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53 Christin L. November 10, 2010 at 10:21 am

I LOVE that dog painting! Super cute! :)

It’s so funny that I had never heard of farro before, saw it at Costco a couple days ago, and now I’ve seen it mentioned here and on Emily’s blog!

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54 Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) November 10, 2010 at 10:21 am

What a great trip! Can you believe that I live in Ca and have never toured wine country?! The hunmanity! Must do this!!

Love your boots … I have them in black ;) …and I agree. VERY comfy :D

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55 Rebekah@ Rebeltarian November 10, 2010 at 10:22 am

I am having major food and wine envy…

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56 Felicia (a taste of health with balance) November 10, 2010 at 10:24 am

So glad you got to enjoy a fresh juice in between all that tasting! Such gorgeous photos, what a perfect time of year to go

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57 Natalia - a side of simple November 10, 2010 at 10:28 am

I want to be in each of these photos. And what a perfect adventure to break in those new boots! :)

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58 Susan November 10, 2010 at 10:29 am

So fun!!! I actually ate at Cyrus last time I was up there as well. To die for! enjoy the rest of your trip :)

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59 brandi November 10, 2010 at 10:33 am

Did you eat those leeks?!? How did you like them? Just wondering since you don’t enjoy onions :)

The trip looks fantastic!

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60 Kath November 10, 2010 at 11:00 am

I did not eat the leeks!

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61 Maren November 10, 2010 at 10:35 am

So much wine in so little time. Looks like such a blast.

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62 Mary @ Bites and Bliss November 10, 2010 at 10:46 am

Stunning photographs!! It’s all so beautiful.

I never would have though I’d ever hear that boots are the new most comfortable travel shoes!! I’ll have to find a pair like those.

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63 Allison K November 10, 2010 at 10:51 am

No going to lie. These photos make my breakfast of a green monster and eggs seems SOOOOOOOOO boring!

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64 Wine Girl @ Kitchen Doesn't Travel November 10, 2010 at 11:02 am

I J’ADORE Bella Vineyards and Healdsburg! I’m reliving our trip vicariously through you! So jealous! Sonoma County is definitely a foodie’s paradise. We are headed back there next fall. I can’t wait!

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65 Clearly Composed November 10, 2010 at 11:09 am

I have lived in this area for 30 years and it’s always such fun to see it through a tourist’s eyes. Thanks for sharing my part of the world in such a beautiful light. :)

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66 Alaina @ The Jogging Concierge November 10, 2010 at 11:42 am

Oh that all looks heavenly!

I love wine caves too. When I went on my honeymoon, I knew I wanted to go to a wine cave and drink wine straight from the barrel. I got to do that at Del Dotto winery in Napa. So much fun; can’t wait to go back! :-)

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67 Clare @ Fitting It All In November 10, 2010 at 1:04 pm

I am DYING To get to wine country, but I don’t think I’d ever leave. Not that that would be a bad thing.

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68 Laurab @ foodsnobstl November 10, 2010 at 1:11 pm

We went to Sonoma for our honeymoon and loved Healdsburg too! Also of note is the restaurant the Girl and the Fig and the place we stayed, the Gaige House.

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69 Sarah @ going on goals November 10, 2010 at 4:29 pm

I love your cowgirl boots!

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70 Angela (the diet book junkie) November 10, 2010 at 5:13 pm

wow, looks like an incredible trip! we were in Marlborbough (New Zealand) this last weekend and it was absolutely beautiful, but i do prefer the big, bold reds. can’t wait to see Sonoma one day!

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71 andie November 10, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I don’t understand this whole bear thing….

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72 Dee November 10, 2010 at 8:45 pm

This post has just re-solidified my determination to visit NorCal!

Lovely, Beautiful Pictures Kath!

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73 Diana November 10, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Bella! I loved that winery…hope you guys enjoyed it. Looks like you found some other great ones to visit! :)

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74 Amanda November 10, 2010 at 11:32 pm

I want to travel with you. I read this post with my mouth open because I am so jealous!!!!! I love Bear Republic. The Racer IPA is a favorite for sure. The squash soup looks absolutely amazing.

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75 Hannah November 11, 2010 at 12:00 am

Ooh, it’s been a while since we’ve seen the bears! They make me almost as happy as the chocolate ;)

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