Saturday, March 15, 2014

Day Trip To Sonoma, CA

Sonoma's Corner Stone parking lot!

I cannot understate how important it is to get out and away with my spouse on a regular basis.  I think the past year has been very hectic for us.  We had that lovely, lovely trip to the east coast that lasted 5 weeks in May 2013.  Then came home and have been like two ships passing in the night with our noses to the grind stone ever since. This has been due to his very intense work on the wood shop for many months and lots of obligations and commitments that have put our Day Trips on hold for way too long.  All work and no play makes Jack and Jill pretty dull.  So we have vowed to get away at least 2 times per month ALONE and I know it will be better for us in all ways.

My bouquet!

So when Jim brought me flowers, just because he's sweet, the other night and asked me if I wanted to go out on Friday for the day I was thrilled.  I changed my schedule around and it happened!  It was a spectacular day!  Neither one of us could tell it if it was truly as sublime as we thought or it was just so special because it had been so long!  I think it was both actually.

Driving over was so beautiful. 
 The land looks like velvet.  
The rain has been been very gracious to the entire area. 
 This is my favorite kind the green, 
all the shades as only God can make them.

We happened upon our first stop quite by accident.  It turned out to be a delightful serendipity experience.  It is called Corner Stone and is a nicely appointed shopping area and gardens that are quite secluded from the roadway giving it a feeling of being in the countryside more than in town.  There is some amazing art out in the meticulously manicured garden.

This kinetic sculpture is absolutely amazing 
as it twists and turns in the breeze.  
There are two of them.
They are almost hypnotic.

Strange Fishy Bench!

 The mobile sculptures we really liked for their large scale and uniques qualities.  We need a large scale in our yard so it was very inspiring to see what they had done.  There is also a very nice gallery of sculptures inside and we stayed in there quite awhile looking at the different art pieces.  Here are a few we found intriguing.  Both of these are so wonderful and done by very talented sculptors.  I am sorry I neglected to capture their names.  Just go see them if you can.  Of course they are for sale as well.

This is some kind of a resin sculpture that
has depth and texture and you almost
have to touch it (but don't) to realize it is not a stack
of terry cloth towels.
They had a white set as well that I loved.

Although I do have to ask why someone would
want fake laundry laying around 
when inundated with the real thing?
Is it just me?
That is part of what makes art super 
fun as accessories though!

This is a bust (no pun intended)
of a swimmer just getting out of the water
She is life size.  The thing that is fascinating
about it is she looks so real and has
acrylic water droplets all over her.
The eyelashes really make it perfect.

They also had a few shops, all high end and very unique.  Again scale was emphasized.  Lots of larger than life accessories and yard decor.  Lots of rustic and mostly one of a kind items and they are lots of fun to look and and be inspired by.  The whole place had a special museum quality, even the shops.  And all items were for sale for the right price.  Here is an example from one of the shops.

Huge Urn

Who doesn't love these beautiful urns and other pottery pieces from Italy?  This is the biggest and grandest one I have ever seen.  It was nearly 5 feet tall.  Great scale for a large space and grande scale price as well.  $2500.00.  We have one that is about 3.5 feel tall that I bought at a garage sale for 10 bucks, painted it black and it looks great.  But that is not the point.  These lazy day trips are not necessarily for shopping (although they can be...just sayin') but for browsing, imagining and dreaming.  This one is just purely awesome to look at and I am satisfied having a photo of it to remember it.  And if you really love it...they have a four foot matching one for $2300.00 just for the taking.

Through out the grounds they had great art for gazing upon and for sale everywhere.  I have a pear collection so thought these were quite fun.  I thought of Jim when I saw the art piece below the pears.  Check out the galvanized big planters behind the pears.  We love those and they would be fabulous in our yard.

Poor James, an avid cyclist, with his bum hip
 to be replaced in the next couple of months!

We thought the most elegant store was this one below.  It had a big salvage inventory outside in the back and Jim entered heaven there so we spent quite a lot of time here.  They had the coolest things out there really and they made them into these amazing accessories for your life.  We had a ball finding things that would be just perfect in our yard for this and that.  Day dreams are free.  Found these gianormous rusty springs that we thought would be great for the deck steps in lieu of a hand railing.  The coils were about the circumference of a soccer ball.  Should have snapped a picture. Price prohibitive, but really cool.

No clue what this stuff is but it 
warranted a photo on Jim's camera.

Right here is where Jim's world and mine collide! 
 Haha!  Same place but on the inside!

So eclectic, colorful and enjoyable.

I love this!

Funky wire chandelier that looked so elegant from afar.

These pillows are the size of beach balls.  So fun!

This was a salvage item for sure and a wonderful old piece
 for storage in a mud room or any spunky place really.
It is from an old swimming pool changing room.

The flowers around the grounds were so pretty!

You just have to go to Corner Stone, it is so much fun!
And they have some lovely restaurants
 and an outdoor cafe. 

However, we didn't eat there.  Usually we enjoy bringing a picnic.  Not always, sometimes we will eat out but mostly we love a little gourmet private picnic in a secluded spot.  Our specialty is finding secluded spots in a big metropolitan area.  If we eat out we like to go to a fancy little bakery and share a pastry early in the morning but we got a later start yesterday.  There is something about Daylight Savings Time when it first starts that precludes getting up in the dark and taking off.  When it is warmer in the summer it is a lot better, but not just yet.  

Now here is a big hint when you go exploring in a new place or where you are not a frequent visitor.  At your first stop ask about a great place to picnic or have lunch dining in.  The locals usually have it down pretty well. Yesterday was no exception.  We were directed to the Bartholomew Winery for a free, private and drop dead gorgeous picnic area.   The picture that you may have seen me post on Facebook is the entrance to the winery.

One of the buildings called The Villa on the winery grounds.

Right across the way from our picnic table. 
 Eucalyptus Trees are synonymous with 
vacation time to me. 
We only see then when we are
 out having fun someplace.

We have decided we have to bring some fancy tablecloths in our future adventures.  We do bring stemware so it only makes sense.  We are cheap date...what can we say?  Ok and yes a little weird! But we are use to each other!

There are some nice flat pathways for
 wheelchairs and strollers. 
 It is easy navigation for all ages.
Nice grassy areas for kids.

Permit information for large groups.
Note no BBQs or Fires allowed!

And when you turn around 180 degrees this is what you see.
Acres and acres of rolling hills and vineyards. 
Can you even imagine how beautiful this is in the fall?
Just before the grape "crush" is the time to come here.

We stayed here quite awhile and enjoyed the privacy, the quiet and the birds chirping like crazy. They were ecstatic; intoxicated with spring.   Our last stop for the day was the town of Sonoma.  We had never been here before which is very odd since Jim graduated from Sonoma State University.  However, it is in another town nearby and we never came to Sonoma perse.  It is an amazing little town.  It has an old white New England style church with  wooden steeple, a town Square like the ones in Savannah, some architecture like Charleston, and some aspects of Europe all here in one little place and an art deco theatre to boot.  The shops are plentiful, unique and fantastic and the atmosphere, clean, healthy, and good.  We enjoyed being outside most of all.  It was just one of those stellar days from beginning to end.


Fountain ala Savannah!

Classy Town Square

Creme Brulee Gelato

And this pretty much summed it up.  
This is the cutest bug ever. 
 All cherried out and a little bigger
 than our claw foot bathtub!  They could have 
sold rides in this on such a perfect day!

Total Cost of the day...Gas, bridge toll,
 free parking, free lunch, free fun and 
two small gelato cups=negligible!


Deanna said...

it was truly an enchanting day for you and Jim. the sculptures are amazing and I love the park like feel of the winery.

I'm glad that you and Jim got a chance to get away together. Doing things together, that is a very important thing to remember!

Deanna said...

it was truly an enchanting day for you and Jim. the sculptures are amazing and I love the park like feel of the winery.

I'm glad that you and Jim got a chance to get away together. Doing things together, that is a very important thing to remember!

Sister Susie Says said...

My favorite picture is the fish bench! The artist should sell them to the Florida Beach coast!

I always love the nature pictures! GOD's beauty in the plant world declares His glory just as much as the heavens!
Thank you for sharing! Susan