Wednesday, March 15, 2023

San Francisco and A Bike Trip: The Biking Trip Part I

Monday February 27

It was a rainy morning in San Francisco. I finished Rossi’s sweater. It came out cute and she enjoyed wearing it. We tried to take her for a walk when the rain let up for a minute but it started raining again so we had to cut it short.

Daniel drove us to the rental car place at 11. It was pouring, but it stopped just long enough for us to get our rental car. Whew! We headed north on 101 to San Rafael. We ate lunch at a Peruvian place called Sol Kitchen. Their specialty was roasted chicken and it was delicious! Instead of fries I tried their plantains. I got both the garlic and the sweet ones. I liked the sweet ones better. I got a cafe con leche too, which was fabulous!

Sol Kitchen Lunch

Then we drove the rest of the way to Healdsberg. Such a cute little town in the Russian River Valley. We stopped at Getaway Adventures to check in and get oriented. So far I am not impressed, although my bike is nice. They are kind of freewheeling, which some people might enjoy but I like structure, especially when I’m biking around an unfamiliar area. He showed us in a general sense where to go and suggested some wineries. We had trouble getting the directions into Google maps, but finally got that figured out. 

Tomorrow morning is probably going to be rainy so we’re not planning on starting until the rain lets up around noon. Unclear if we will eat lunch along the way or before. They gave us water bottles for tomorrow but no snacks. And their itinerary says we have a guide the first day but there was no mention of that today. 

I know I need an attitude adjustment. I wasn’t in charge of organizing this, so I really should try to chill. Maybe after tomorrow I will have a completely different feeling about it. I hope so.

After that we checked into our b&b, The River Belle, right on the Russian River. It’s nice. Our room has a beautiful view, even if it’s small. Breakfast is included but the earliest we can get coffee is 7 am. Ugh. Maybe I’ll sleep til 6. We can hope!

Tuesday February 28

The b&b has a happy hour every afternoon at 5:30, so before dinner we went to that for a bit. There was a nice plate of snacks and I had a small glass of wine.

Then we walked the 1/2 mile to dinner at Lo and Behold Kitchen and Wine Bar. They have an eclectic menu. We got a few small plates and then split an order of their noodles with kimchi. The hostess here at the b&b recommended it. Sounds weird but it was really good! The noodles were perfect, the kimchi was fresh and tangy and the water chestnuts added a nice crunch. We got their eggs rolls and a pea shoot salad for the small plates and they were very good too.

In the morning I almost made it to 6, 5:45 anyway. Then I patiently waited until they brought coffee to our room at 7. At 8 we went downstairs for breakfast which was delicious. It was raining off and on, but Lee looked at the radar and said we’d have a window with less rain between 10 and 1 so around 9:30 we went over to the bike shop, got on our bikes, and off we went.

First we stopped at Oakville Grocery and got sandwiches and other snacks for lunch. Then we rode about 12 miles up Dry Creek West to Bella Winery. It was a very pretty drive, but hardly flat, as the bike tour said! I guess maybe by local standards it was flat, I don’t know. It rained off and on, briefly fairly hard, but never a real downpour.

We reached the winery around 11. They let us sit inside their wine cave and eat our lunch and then we did a leisurely wine tasting, about 8 wines. I bought 2 bottles. All day it rained, off and on. By 1:30 we were ready to head back into town. We could have gone a different way but we were wet and kind of cold and didn’t want to risk getting lost, so we just rode back the way we came.

We stopped in town for a coffee and then went back to the b&b. A hot shower felt really great!  Now we’re relaxing until it’s time for happy hour and then dinner with George and Lori.

Wednesday March 1

At happy hour yesterday we chatted with a couple from Europe that were also doing a bike tour but they were going from one place to another, spending each night in a different inn. That would be fun too, more like what we did in Italy.

We met George and Lori at Sweet T’s in Windsor, a little town about 10 minutes away. It was still raining when we got there. It was so nice to visit and catch up. The restaurant is known for their bbq.  Got a small plate with smoked brisket and Mac and cheese. Very good. I didn’t have any alcohol, I had enough thank you! But that meant I got to drive back to the b&b. It was dark but at least the rain had stopped. It’s getting harder and harder to drive at night. Sigh.

This morning I managed to sleep til almost 6. The coffee came at 7 and I had an energy bar too. Then we went to breakfast at 8 and I had a Belgian waffle. 

We waited to get started riding til almost 10. It was pretty cold, but sunny and bright! And windy. Like really really windy. The wind was out of the north and all morning we rode straight into it. It was very tiring. I felt like an old woman. It was a beautiful route, not very hilly, with lots of flowers and snow capped peaks in the distance. 

By the time we got to Geyserville for lunch I was hungry and worn out. We got a pizza and a beet salad and then I felt much better!

It was about 15 miles to Geyserville but only 10 miles back and we were riding with the wind. It probably took half as long! We got ourselves another coffee and then headed back to the b&b to rest.

View From Our B&B Window


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