Just 50 minutes northeast of the Golden Gate Bridge is the town of Sonoma, the namesake for the county it's also part of. Whereas many tourists head to Napa for wine tasting and vineyard hopping, B and I have taken a shine to Sonoma. It's smaller, quieter, and closer to where we live.
On this spring day, B and I drove up here. The sky seemed to be confused. The fog was trying to clear and the sun was trying to break through, all at once.
A few more minutes and we hit blue skies. When you approach the Sonoma Square, you come face to face with the City Hall, a really pretty stone building.
Like many places in Northern California, Sonoma is flush with great restaurants, like The El Dorado Hotel. It's both a hotel and a restaurant. And during the annual Sonoma Film Festival, the hotel is a popular place that books up early.
One of the most well-known restaurants here is The Girl and the Fig, offering exquisite food from Provence.
We had just walked past when this man drove by, almost on cue.
Across the street is one of my favorite stores, Summer Vine. I have a weak spot for linens, candles, and dishes, and this store delivers.
Sonoma's Summer Vine
Down the street is the Mission San Francisco Solano, founded in 1823. The Mission is named for St. Francis Solano, missionary to the Peruvian Indians. It’s part of the Sonoma State Historic Park. It’s not an active church. The white is bright and stark.
We popped into one of my favorite stores, another home decor store. The Corner Store.
It was here I did a little damage. This bed made up with lovely linens was facing the corner. It took all my energy not to crawl in. I could have sat there all day long and watch the cars and people go by. But we had places to go.
We got back in the car and drove around. Sonoma offer rich materials for a photographer, even an amateur one.
The cherry blossoms were in bloom and lined this entire roadway in pink.
We finished the day off here at Estate on West Spain Street. We split a pizza, a green salad, and enjoyed a glass of wine. Then it was time to head home. In 50 short minutes, we were back in our house.
Estate in Sonoma