Foggy Sunday Drive

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It was a foggy today, in the middle of a three-day weekend, and perfect for a Sunday drive.  I went to the Farmer’s Market and had a walk before we set out, heading for the small town of Graton in west Sonoma County.  It is located between Sebastopol and Occidental.

First stop: Willow Wood Market Cafe.  A friend recommended Willow Wood a few years ago and we had good memories from our first visit. We put our name down for a table then took a look at a few of the sculptures at Graton Gallery, a few doors down.

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Once seated at Willow Wood, it wasn’t hard for me to decide what I was going to have. One of their specialties is polenta.  It shows up on the breakfast menu with butter and maple syrup (yum).  It was even more enticing on the lunch menu with sauteed spinach and coppa, cambazola toast (a creamy blue cheese that is like blend of brie and Gorgonzola), the polenta, roasted tomato and (not very) soft boiled egg.

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I ordered that and went on to say “I’d like some whipped cream” when what I meant was hot chocolate with whipped cream!  It was served in a big bowl.

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After our late breakfast, we strolled around Mr. Ryder Antiques, a shop with a nice variety of art, vintage items and antiques from several different dealers.  It is where we found the star for our Christmas tree a few ago and the beautiful old book that became my first Art Journal.

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This time, the only item I bought was a card of old mother-of-pearl buttons.

To support my renewed efforts to get 10,000 steps in every day, Rem agreed to a stroll on the nearby West County Regional Trail.

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We saw other walkers including several with dogs, a barking beagle in a backyard adjacent to the trail, a guy on a skateboard, a number of people on bikes, a squirrel,  a robin and a woodpecker.

And an Old Crow (bottle) in a tree.

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Next we drove through some pretty scenery and on to Occidental.  We searched unsuccessfully for a geocache, but found this group of turkey vultures.

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In town: more browsing through shops.  Although I saw a variety of beautiful objects, I wasn’t tempted to buy anything to take home.  This striking mural is painted on the side of a building.

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If you’ve ever driven through the Sebastopol area, you’ve probably enjoyed some of the fun and funky metal sculptures made by artists Patrick Amiot and Brigette Laurent.  We saw several of their pieces in Occidental, including this guy on top of a downtown trash bin.

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I surpassed my 10,000 steps* for the day as we walked around Occidental, past several of the Italian restaurants known for their family style dining and extensive menus; the Union Hotel and Negri’s.

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Our final stop before heading home was the Wild Flour Bread in Freestone.  They’d been closed for their Winter Break from December 30 to January 15.  I’m glad they were open today, because their bread is really delicious.  We got some biscotti for the drive home, Herb Goat-Cheese Flat Bread to eat with soup for dinner, and a loaf of Egyptian (Pear, Fig, Candied Ginger) to start the day tomorrow.  They have a wood-fired brick oven and offer generous samples of their goodies so you can try before you buy.

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Thank you for your visit.

* 7-day step total: 74,466

 

 

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