Honeymoon + Texas
In October, before Robbie and I were even engaged (but trust me.... we'd talked about it, I didn't know but Robbie had actually already purchased my ring!) we flew to Texas so Robbie could meet my parents, on that trip Robbie brought with him the Sunset October 2016 issue: Wine Lovers Guide. Inside was a spread about places to stay in Sonoma and we discovered a gem.
This Frank Lloyd Wright inspired resort sits nestled in a cove on the Pacific. About 2 hours north of San Francisco this breathtaking hotel is one part historic route 1 and one part hip boutique digs. To get there you have to drive s l o w l y up a twisty cliff hugging stretch of the 1 that takes you up to scenic vistas and down to sea level where you feel as if you are driving on the beach. Driving north you pass historic Russian settlement -- yes Russian-- Fort Ross. All around is just green rolling hills and cows. Lots of cows. Just a few more miles, you round a bend and to your left sits a hotel that almost blends into the surrounding. The natural wood and rock work, mixed with the classic A frame peak and glass is a treat to see at sunset, just about the time Robbie and I finally pulled in.
Our trek in had been eventful, flying on a small prop plane from Santa Ana John Wayne to tiny Santa Rosa Charles M Schultz airport. Procuring a rental car, almost losing Robbie's work laptop in the process, making a mandatory stop at Russian River Brewery for some Pliney the Elder, Younger nowhere to be found....
After making friends with some folks at the bar who insisted in buying us beer, 3 Pliney's and 1 blonde later we were back in our rental car and off to Timbercove. Just about 45 minutes into our hour and a half drive nature called.... only there was no where to go! We were in the middle of nowhere on a back road so I convinced Robbie to pull over so I could pee. And pee I did ---- in poison ivy, but you don't need to hear all about that. Back to Timber Cove.
We checked into our room around 7 o'clock and since neither of us were hungry we went down for drinks at Coast Kitchen's bar lounge area where a very feisty and salty bartender set Robbie up with a Old Fashioned and me a Mezcal Margarita. For a place that seems hundreds of miles from anywhere they have top notch service and a fantastic bar and restaurant, which we ate at multiple times.
The midcentury modern decor trend is everywhere these days, making a comeback but in a sleeker less shag carpet avocado green fridge more sleek lines and wood details kinda way. Timber Cove is embracing it's history by incorporating elements of it's 1970's origins into the decor. We both loved the cozy fireplace room and the comfy furniture scattered around. They had a library to investigate, as well as a vinyl library - everyroom has a record player - and a telescope in the great room. Just outside the great room was an open air lounge and large wooden patio, with firepits and game tables. Very family friendly.
During the day we did just what you'd imagine in Sonoma - wine tasting! Total we did four tasting around Sonoma.
As I have never been a huge wine person this trip was the perfect time for me to educate myself about what I like and dislike, and hopefully to find some wines that I truly enjoy. Sonoma is known for it's cooler climate making it ideal for chardonnay and pinot noir, of which we had many. Occasionally we got to try a syrah and port. Being more inclined to whites I enjoyed most of the fruity chardonnay's we sampled, but found most of the more dry pinot noirs just okay. I did not like any of the syrah's, but loved the sweet deep port we sampled -- All She Wrote from Meadowcroft wines. We both loved it so much we bought a bottle, the only wine we bought the entire trip!
Our favorite tasting rooms ranked
Both Meadowcroft and Obsidian/Poseidon tasting rooms were located at Cornerstone Sonoma, home of the Sunset Magazine Test Gardens and kitchen, something I was very anxious to see! Robbie and I drove almost 2 hours through the cute town of Petaluma to see the gardens and to experience Cornerstone. The gardens were young but still bursting with life and color, each area of the garden showcasing a theme: a flower garden, kitchen garden, cocktail garden, backyard garden, and a gathering space garden. Each one offering a unique vision and idea, each one making me jealous and angry at our tiny 5x5 patio. Robbie and I spend a good five hours exploring the grounds, tasting wines and eating lunch at a walk up sandwich bar and cafe Park 121, local cheeses and meats on each sandwich. I had drank enough wine to make myself silly so a sandwich and soup was the perfect fix to get us back on the road.
Happy and full we headed back to Timbercove for our last night.
|View from our room, we chose a cove view room|
|Enjoying cocktails while whale watching, firepit keeping us warm|
When we landed in Texas Robbie and I headed north to Denton to spend the night with my cousins and to hang out with my sister and her boyfriend. We had drinks and listened to live music at a Harvest House, a beer garden with 54 taps! While a funk band played we laughed and enjoyed the night and all Denton has to offer. In the morning Robbie and I headed out for donuts and coffee at Hypnotic Donuts. After grabbing an array of donuts we took off to meet my sister at her job, the library at Texas Womans University. We shared some donuts and she gave us a tour of the restricted section, it was nothing like I imaged from reading the Harry Potter books, but still intriguing. Robbie loved seeing the old tomes they keep in their vaults. Our last stop in Denton was Recycled Books. A warehouse sized used book, vinyl, and all other types of media store. It is a sight to behold and Robbie and I spent almost two hours scoping it out and finally settled on 2 books each, some Henri Nouwen and Phillip Kerr begin among them.
|Recycled has a quirky feel and caters to all tastes, as seen with Log Lady|
We headed out of Denton, made a necessary stop at Whataburger, and in 2 hours we'd reached Glen Rose.
Friday at around 5 pm I walked into the gym at First Baptist Church Glen Rose where our reception was being help. Instantly my face lit up and my eyes turned into big cartoon heart eyes. A magical fairy had turned the boring multi-use gym into a dreamy astounding banquet hall with bright pops of color, deep greens, and many photographs showcasing Robbie and I. Who was this magical fairy? It was Mandy Gartell, a long time family friend, and the woman I have looked up to for many years. She absolutely out did herself Her mother and sister helped with everything and the orange leafy green foliage setting they created was picture book perfection.
|Fairy tail written by my sister Joslyn|
|Newspaper, created by Joslyn printed via Newspaper Club|
|Punch recipe can be found here, we had the same punch at our OC wedding|
|Orangy leafy rustic perfection|
|No party in Texas is complete without tea, sweet and unsweet!|
|The table settings were fantastic, more Newspaper Club eye candy!|
Seeing my family and getting to celebrate with the folks I have know all my life was just the best! Plus the BBQ that my dad and cousin smoked was better than anything we get out here in California. After everything was cleaned up from our gathering we all headed to my parents house; earlier in the day my forward thinking dad had set up logs in the firepit making our evening easy. We lit the fire, drank some Shiner's and Lone Stars, watched some actual stars and enjoyed the company of my large hilarous warm and loving family.
After 3 days in Sonoma and then 3 days in Texas celebrating with family Robbie and I were beginning to long for home, but we had one more stop on our trip to make. Check back in two weeks to find out how we ended our whirlwind trip and for a city guide.....
hint hint -- Remember the Alamo?