Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not Just for "The Birds"

For many of you, the mention of Bodega Bay conjures up memories of creepy seagulls and Tippi Hedren in Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller "The Birds." I'm here to tell you that this quiet little California seaside town is much more than just a movie set from the 1960s.

On our final full day in California, Dad and I headed out to Bodega Bay, and drove up the Pacific Coast Highway (the famed Hwy. 1) to see some of the most breathtaking (could I possibly use that word one more time?) views of the Pacific Ocean.

With the warm sun shining on the crashing waves, and a few sea lions spotted here and there sunning themselves, we wound our way up to the tiny town of Jenner to see where the Russian River meets the mouth of the Pacific. I think we were expecting some grandiose vision, but instead, there is an inlet of about six feet across (give or take a few depending on the tide) where the water gently laps together.

After an afternoon of taking in the salty sea air, we stopped at one final winery, DeLoach, to sample some of the most delicious wines yet. For a little bit of nothing, we were sampling wines that you'd find on the tables of the rich and famous (well, I may be exaggerating, but they were delish let me tell you).

To end our time in wine country with one final hurrah, we got gussied up and headed back into downtown Healdsburg for a nice dinner and dessert on the square. We went casual for dinner at the Healdsburg Bar and Grill, where we finally actually purchased a full glass of wine with our meal. The mac and cheese at this place was to die for.

After dinner, we strolled a few doors down to the posh Dry Creek Kitchen restaurant to cap off the night with warm coffee and sweet dessert. I chose the sugar pie pumpkin cheesecake with mascarpone mousse while Dad had the chocolate baba cake with kahlua ice cream. The description on the menu had my mouth watering from the moment my eyes laid eyes on the page. But...the presentation. Oh, the presentation. It was nearly too fabulous to devour.

Although, I did not seem to have one bit of difficulty.

The final stop on our West Coast Birthday Excursion was to see the Golden Gate bridge (sans fog) in all its glory. It really is quite an amazing site to see.

This trip was so special for so many reasons.

1. San Francisco is just a cool city.
2. Williams Sonoma: need I say more?
3. The food and wine were amazing.
4. I got to see some of the most beautiful parts of our country.

But, I think the best part was being able to share all of this with my sweet Daddy. We've always shared birthdays close to each other, but taking a trip like this - just the two of us - was the best birthday gift that I could have asked for. I'll remember it always!

I hope you are blessed enough to have shared or to one day share such a special adventure with a dear one of your own.

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