Happy Anniversary to Us
For the first part of our anniversary celebration, we decided to drive to Healdsburg (where we got married 11 years ago) and go for a bike ride. I was able to find a good map for a fairly easy 12 mile ride through Dry Creek Valley.
We were both a little apprehensive. Michael not knowing how his knee would do because he had surgery for a torn meniscus a while back, and I just plain haven't been riding in I don't know even how long. But since the map and directions said the ride was suitable for recreational riders we decided to give it a try.
We started out our ride from the public parking lot behind the Bear Republic Brew Pub on Matheson Street. Wine county air and sun on my face had me smiling. As we headed west on Mill it eventually became Westside Road. I was so excited when we passed Dragonfly Farms! What a wonderful surprise.
I had totally forgotten the location, but when I saw it I remembered it. They did the flowers for our wedding. Way back then, Michael and I went to the farm with my dad, and selected what we liked that was in bloom. From there, Bonnie created the gorgeous arrangements for the wedding. Looks like they have opened up the property to the public since we discovered it then. Check them out if you need flowers for an event in the wine country. They did a great job for us. It also looks like you can just stop by, hang out on the grounds and have a picnic there if you want to do that. Gotta love the fact that they are now running an organic farm stand now too.
A few more turns of the pedals had us rounding the corner and passing Madrona Manor, where we had our rehearsal dinner. Again, not planned but very fun to see. This excursion was literally becoming a ride down memory lane. As we started to head up West Dry Creek I was starting to huff and puff. The release from the exercise was bubbling up and I was panting from the peddling and hooting and hollering from the excitement. What a rush of emotion!
I have to admit. I am out of shape. I needed to stop a bunch of times along the next 4 miles. One of our breaks was with two adorable horses that Michael named Shiloh and Buttercup. I was so mad at myself for not having a camera. I wish I had a picture of these two sweet brown horses looking at us and batting their eyelashes. After I cooled down a little, we bid them adieu and headed back down the gorgeous country road that overlooked row after row of vines full of grapes. Did I mention I love the smell of Alexander Valley? Bike riding in the wine country is so therapeutic!
We pressed on along West Dry Creek Road and then took a right onto Lambert Bridge Road. At the intersection of Lambert Bridge Road and Dry Creek Road we came to the Dry Creek Road Store. Dry Creek Road Store was established in 1881. We stopped to buy water and have a little snack. We bought two local peaches from a bowl on the counter. We also bought some water and had a seat in the store. The peaches were sweet and juicy and the water was cold. The atmosphere of the store is cool, old, and funky. This is the stuff I live for. I kept looking to Michael to see what his reaction to all this was. He just keeps plugging along without much fuss or fanfare. He says he was enjoying it and I believe him. But me, I loved it.
We had another 4 miles or so to go as we peddled along Dry Creek to Grove and back to the lot on Mattheson Street where we started. After we completed the ride we put the bikes back in the car and changed our clothes (in the car!) We headed over to Ravenous where we had a yummy dinner. We got there around and 5:15 and didn't have a reservation but they were able to seat us anyway. We ordered a half bottle of Seghesio Zinfandel --we initially wanted to try a Shiraz from Australia but they were out. The Zinfandel was a big and lovely wine. We had passed Seghesio Winery on our ride so we took it as a good omen and drank it with comfort knowing the grapes had come from just up the road.
For an appetizer I had the smoked salmon, black and gold caviar, corn cakes with Crème fraîche. (Finally at this point Michael helps me realize I can take a photograph with his camera phone.) Yay! Photographic evidence! Although I slip into a food coma after taking this picture and have no more of the night! Isn't it beautiful?
Anyway, Michael had a salad with pecans that he really liked. For dinner, I had the poblano pepper stuffed with potato and hominy. It also had queso fresco and grilled vegetables served around it. It was super flavorful with avocado and several layers of spices. Michael had the steak with chanterelle mushrooms. We had no complaints. We finished off our meal by sharing a vanilla bean creme brulee that was delicious. We paid the bill and completed our evening with a stroll around the square and a visit to the bookstore. I got a wonderful new book called Simple Sewing. I cannot wait to try some of the projects.
It was a pretty great day, I wont be forgetting it anytime soon.
We slept well that night.