Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Travel Diaries Day 2: Adventures in Healdsburg

Welcome to my 2011 CA Vacation mini-series. Each day this week, I'll be recapping a day from our trip!

Note from Amy : I'm so sorry, friends. I meant to press publish on this post on Monday... Re-entry into the real world has been pretty rough, but I think I am finally falling back into the swing of things ;)

I am pleased to tell you, that after our rocky start to the vacation, the following day was absolutely delightful ... As was the rest of the vacation ♥ (Thank You, thank You... :)

Monday (September 19) was our anniversary, and, while we had planned to go on a wine tour with Platypus... since we did not get into town until about 3 am, our plans changed. I cannot say enough good things about the Platypus customer service. I called them (practically in tears) on Sunday afternoon while we were in the Philly airport and left them a message explaining my situation, and when I turned on my phone after we landed in SF, I had a message from Don telling me we were all taken care of. They were able to move our tour to Tuesday morning, no problem. (And the tour was awesome! More on that in the next installment :) ...What a huge weight off my shoulders!

But with our original plans changed, we needed something to do on our first day in CA.

First order of business was, of course, sleep ;) Jon was able to sleep until 11 am... but I was excited (sigh... and I am beginning to think that sleep is not my strong suit, anyway...), and I woke at about 8am. First order of business for me (obviously): coffee! I prowled down to the breakfast buffet and grabbed a newspaper, leisurely savoring my bagel, banana and cup o' joe. (Side note: No joke, I think I ate more bananas on this vacation than I have eaten in the past 6 months. Lesson to me: if I have them available, I will eat them. My legs will thank me ;) Then, I came back to our room and snuck out onto the balcony with my laptop to do a bit of writing.

Once Jon woke, we opened anniversary cards, hugged each other and laughed a little about our trip's crazy start (he said, "I think that should be the worst of it. If we didn't kill each other yesterday, I think that says good things for us." Amen, babe.), and planned our day.

A certain favorite blogger of mine has sung the praises of Healdsburg multiple times... and her gorgeous pictures of a vibrant small town had me hooked. I knew that it would be a good fit for us, and I was right. Jon told me the other day it was his favorite part of the trip ♥

So, after a quick lunch, we were off to downtown Healdsburg (implementing another important lesson learned: I was driving, Jon was navigating!)

The sunny afternoon was spent holding hands and strolling down Healdsburg Ave (map here, if you are interested!); in and out of fascinating, artsy shops; relaxing on a bench in Town Plaza with frozen yogurt from 'Snow Bunny'; wine tasting in the Vintage Wine Estates tasting room; and generally soaking up the beauty of the town. It was our kind of place.

Here are some more pictures from the afternoon:

At the end of the day, we celebrated with a special anniversary dinner at Stark's Steakhouse. Please, please: if you enjoy steak & visit Santa Rosa, check out this restaraunt. It was everything we were hoping it would be: romantic & classy without being uptight... and the food was divine! We went a little wild (I was pretending I was a foodie :), enjoying shrimp cocktail, french fries with truffle oil (sweet. heavens.), DiCisso Broccoli with toasted pinenuts & golden raisins, and, of course, steak. We ate slowly and deliberately, soaking in the atmosphere, reveling in the warmth of good food & good love.

It was a fantastic anniversary ♥

Your Turn: If you have a significant other, what has been your favorite anniversary memory? This is mine, hands-down :) ...What is your favorite way to explore a new place on vacation? Do you plan meticulously, or "wander and watch" like we do? ... Maybe a little bit of both? ;)

Next Chapter of the Travel Diaries: Wine tour with Platypus! ... Coming soon :)