Honey's Treasures

Honey's Treasures

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Fun Trip!

Friday morning we went for another hike but this time we took the wooded nature trail leading from the campground which was very close to our site.  At the end of the trail, the path hooked up with the road and we kept walking for another mile down and then walked back up the hill to the camper to relax for a bit before heading south to Santa Rosa and dinner at Bistro 29 with Andy and Donna.  I had Steak Frites, my favorite.  Actually, Donna, Michael and I all had the Steak Frites.  So yummy!
We woke up early yesterday morning, had our routine (not in any way boring) bowl of oatmeal with dates and raisins and got ready for a bike ride along The Geysers Road.  I tucked my camera safely inside my backpack because I just knew that I'd find some beauty along the way.  Michael kept telling me to leave the camera because of the added weight but I told him no way and the weigh only adds to my workout.  Right?  Right!
The beautiful canyon and river on the right side along Geysers Road.
A hilly climb.  Up and down. 
The ground is parched and patiently waiting for the rains.
One day soon I hope to paint this one, so pretty.
I just love how the tree stands out against the blue rocks.
I made it up to the top of this difficult climb first and was able to capture Mike ascending.
I ride straight up and he zig zags back and forth across the road as he comes up the hill.  Hey, this one was steep and pretty much did it for us.  As much as we enjoyed the scenery, shortly after this hill we turned around and went back down and took another less hilly road.  All in all, we did about 20 miles yesterday and most of that was climbing.

The Shed in Healdsburg.
After our bike ride we showered and had a small bite to eat.  Then we took off for the town of Healdsburg.  If you ever get a chance to visit Healdsburg, you must stop in at the shed.  It's really quite interestingly laid out.  Upon entering the building, on the right, there was some live music going on and all sorts of little stations of this thing and that thing.  Cute dishes and stuff for sale, different foods and eating areas all within the same airy open space, lots to choose from and what looked like a small garden shop in the back.  We weren't hungry yet and at this point only wanted to check things out because it looked like a cool place to hang out.  
Upon exiting the building there was a nice lady roasting chestnuts.  I say nice because she patiently taught me how to eat them and in the first place handed me a bag as I was walking past which prompted me to stay, explore and ask questions.  As I've never experienced chestnuts before I decided to give them a try.
First they soak in water.  She said you can skip this step but she prefers to soak them first.
I honestly don't know what I expected but for some reason unknown to me I thought that I wouldn't like them.  I'm delighted to say that I'm now a fan of roasted chestnuts.  They're delicious!
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
One of the many wine shops in town with wine to taste and art for sale.  Mostly the wine around town is from the Alexander Valley and we plan on coming back for some wine tasting with our friends.  Well, I am.  Mike doesn't like wine as you'll soon see below.
It's amazing how something as simple as stringing white cotton balls on string can be effective at prettily decorating a window display.
I think I'm jealous.
The trees in the square are adorned with Christmas decorations.
There were tons of people meandering into the shops and the restaurants were crowded and couples wine tasting in the shops and families were out enjoying the beautiful weather in the park, playing with their children.  It was all very romantic and I long to go back.

Michael is so sweet, he hates wine but he knew how much I was wishing that we had some friends with us to wine taste with me because I won't do it alone.  It's no fun to do it by yourself, at least for me it's not.  Anyway, as we were walking down the sidewalk we came upon a small shop that sells port.  He actually said that he wanted to try some.  My mouth dropped.  I was flabbergasted.  If you knew Mike, you'd understand.  Michael says that all wine tastes like vinegar to him and he cannot see why people drink it and what the fuss is all about.  Please know, he has tasted some very good expensive wines and cheaper quality wines and they all taste like vinegar to him.  I think Mike just did that for me.  That's love isn't it? 

We did go inside to sample the port and Mike actually tried all three of the (free for Sat. only) samples given us.  We sampled Raspberry, Chocolate and Sweet Hazelnut.  They were all good and I ended up purchasing a bottle of the Sweet Hazelnut because it was my favorite and Michael didn't like any of them.  The man said that he makes the port himself.  The name of the winery is Porthouse Winery, which when I looked it up online found the address as; 331 Healdsburg Ave.  I'm not sure if this is the same spot or not as I didn't get his business card and the bottle doesn't have anything except the name as Porthouse Winery.  It's a very small tasting room with only room for about five or maybe six people at the bar.

Shortly afterward we dined outside on the patio at Healdsburg Bar & Grill.  We splurged.  I had a hamburger with fries and Michael had some ribs and fries.  Sometimes you just have to give in to your cravings and I can safely say that I didn't gain one pound over Thanksgiving weekend and didn't miss out on anything.  I sampled everything and even had some pumpkin pie.

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