The Sonoma Mission Inn

SMI 1A

This is the Sonoma Mission Inn, affectionately known in my home as the SMI. It's a resort owned by the Fairmont. It's northeast of San Francisco about a 50-minute drive.

They have a fabulous spa called Willow Steam. B and I treat ourselves here from time to time and either go up for the day or spend the night. My family has taken a shine to giving us gift certificates here. Let's just they get used. It's the perfect gift for us.

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They have three pools. Yes, 3. This one is just for the adults. It has its own source of thermal mineral water, which flows from 1,100 feet directly beneath the Inn and is 135 degrees. They literally have to cool the water down so people can swim in it. This pool is awesome.

SMI Watsu

Then there's this pool, the Watsu pool.What's a Watsu pool? It's a pool heated to the exact same temperature as your body.The pool usually is situated where a combination of sunlight and shade is available. If you put your head under water, you can hear the music they play. Pretty special.

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This is my favorite sign. No kids under 18. Love kids, just not here (and no cell phones either).

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There is a lot of this around.

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And maybe a little of this with fresh fruit.

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The facility has beautiful fountains like this one around the property.

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When you're done with the spa, you can head here to the main building where you find the grand room. Every day at 4 p.m. the staff offers a wine tasting (not that I know the schedule by heart). At night, there's always a fire in the fireplace, and in the morning there are complimentary newspapers to accompany your coffee or tea intake. This room is spectacular.

SMI 9

This is the largest pool. Kids are allowed in this pool. It's surrounded by comfy chaise lounges and plenty of umbrellas for we fair-skinned folk. And the pool service is great. Good eats, good drinks. They even have an outdoor bar with a TV for the occasional epic sporting event so you don't miss a beat between dips in the pool.

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And if you have the opportunity to spend the night, you'll be treated to a splendid room with super comfortable beds and fluffy linens.

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The grounds are meticulously manicured, and depending on the time of year you go, the gardens bloom in a variety of different colors.

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I love it here. It's a special place for a special occasion. If you're a details person, like I am, and you place an emphasis on presentation, comfort, and service, The Sonoma Mission Inn won't disappoint.

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