As much as I love being home, I also love to travel. Traveling gives me time to step away from my day-to-day routines and to let my mind slow down and wander. Our latest little trip was to Bodega Bay, California. Bodega Bay is on an inlet of the Pacific coast in Sonoma County.
We rented a quaint oceanfront Airbnb for three nights. From the moment we walked through the front door, I knew this was going to be a special place. As we walked in, we could already see and hear the waves crashing in front of us. I could instantly feel the stress melt off of me. The ocean has always been a meditative space for me. The sound and view of the waves allow me to easily let go and quiet my mind like no other place. I can sit silently staring at the waves for hours or walk for miles letting the cold water splash my feet. The sand between my toes, my hair blowing in the breeze, and the smell of the salty air are healing to the nth degree.
The weekend was spent eating great food, taking longs walks along the ocean, sipping wine, and playing a few games of cards. A perfect, relaxing time to spend with my husband celebrating his birthday!
We took advantage of the area and stopped at some beautiful places to see, and we could not get enough of the fresh fish. Our first stop was at Lucas Wharf Restaurant and Lounge for lunch on day one. We sat outside overlooking the harbor and enjoyed a salmon salad and fish tacos along with a bottle of chardonnay. The flavors were terrific and heightened by watching the seals nearby basking in the warm sunshine. For dinner that same night, we traveled a few minutes up the road to Jenner and ate at River’s End. The place was warm and friendly, with many delectable choices on the menu. From the appetizer through the salad and main entree, every bite was delicious.
The following morning after our coffee and walk along the beach, we headed to Armstrong Redwoods National Forest. There we walked along the beautiful Redwood Trees in awe of their height. Although it was a bit crowded along the paths, it was well worth understanding not only their size but also their age. If you have never had the chance to visit a redwood forest, I highly recommend you stopping one day and understanding their history and beauty.
Next, we traveled to Thomas George Estates Winery, where we were greeted with smiles and enthusiasm. We tasted a few of their wines while relaxing under the trees in the warm sun. It could not have been a more relaxing spot to enjoy their wines. Following the tasting, we headed to the cute town of Forestville and happened upon a fabulous little cafe. The Backyard Cafe was so delicious, and I continue to think about the warm fig salad I had with endive, blue cheese, and walnuts. After we finished, we drove back to Bodega Bay and spent the rest of the afternoon strolling along the beach, sitting on our deck with wine, and playing a competitive game of cards. We stayed in that evening to celebrate Conrad’s birthday and I cooked us a beautiful meal from ingredients that I had previously packed from home.
Our last full day began with coffee and another walk along the beach, of course. I could do this every day! We then went and explored Bodega Head, walking along cliffs high above the ocean. A spectacular view that took my breath away. After our long walk, we drove to the wharf and ate at the Fishatarian. Not a fancy place, just a small restaurant and fish market with a few tables inside and picnic tables outside. The fish was out of this world! We shared a squid salad, fish tacos, and the most amazing raw oysters. We were in absolute culinary delight.
After lunch, we went wine tasting down the road at Sonoma Coast Vineyards. The people were friendly and the wine was quite delicious. We took our wine outside and relaxed on their couches as we sipped and reminisced about the oysters. Once we got back in the car, we decided we had to go back to the Fishatarian and grab a beautiful piece of salmon and more oysters and head back to the Airbnb. Once there, we took another walk along the beautiful beach, came back, and ate oysters on our deck as we watched the sun go down. Does it get any better than sitting with the one you love, eating oysters, drinking fine wine, and watching the sunset over the ocean while listening to the waves crash? My answer, no!
That evening, we ate our exquisite salmon and talked about how grateful we are to have had this experience. Just a few hours from home, and we are on the ocean — what a treat!
The next morning, we stopped at another beach on our way out. I needed just a few more minutes of the sand between my toes and the salty sea air. We played frisbee, and again, talked about the fabulous weekend we had. I know one day we will return to this special place.