When setting out for AZ two weeks ago (more on that later) I knew there was a chance I’d miss the fall colors in wine country.
Last Sunday I headed to Sonoma in hopes of spotting some colorful grape vines.
Maybe an hour away (barely), the route through Petaluma avoids the big highway route. A windy road through rolling hills passes farms and vineyards, providing a beautiful drive. Sonoma’s tucked into the valley famed for CA grapes and wineries. Now…I love a good glass of wine. Admittedly, the label’s illustration usually determines which I choose. I’m pretty clueless.
I do know that vineyards can be beautiful places, enchanting me on my first trip to CA in 2008.
The fall-colored vines were still there. Just a tease:
Oh the splendor!
I strolled around the main Plaza. 8 acres in size it’s the largest in the state and modeled after a Mexican town Plaza . The Mission San Francisco Solano, built in 1823, marked it’s birth. This was the farthest north and last built of all 21 CA Missions.
Though I didn’t enter the Mission or the Museum State Park (saved for next time) I did learn from a kind museum docent at the old hotel that the Bear Flag Revolt occurred in this Plaza, spawning the CA Republic, free from Mexican rule.
Across the street sits the Blue Wing Inn, an old Adobe structure that’s seen many uses including a post-mission era residence, a gold rush saloon, lumber store, a book store, apartments and others.
Saved by the State Park System, it sits all closed up. Much money is needed to repair and restore the building. That’s something the strapped CA State Parks System just doesn’t have.
The local theater, love the colors of the facade:
Speaking of colors, those brilliant fall colors were what my eyes were pulled to all day:
This one’s from my neighbor’s yard so not in Sonoma but it sure fits in with the post:
Red’s my favorite color.
Return to Sonoma this winter, I will. There are pretty hills to hike and hot springs to soak tired feet in. Plus…those museums to check out. All so close!