We left early early Saturday a.m. on Spring Break, hoping to reach Sonoma County in time to go to Bella and some other wineries.  We took the 5, which has to be one of the most mind-numbing highways as it traverses the Central Valley, but we made excellent time, stopping only for gas and breakfast at a Starbucks (the sweet older lady ended up giving us an extra breakfast sandwich they’d made by mistake for free — it later became a small shared lunch between Dave & I).

We made it to Bella by around 3ish and quaffed our pink wine and slurped our Tomales Bay oysters (they were having their “Pink” party in honor of their Rose release).  (We also were able to taste some other wines and had some chocolate cupcakes.)  We picked up our wine shipment, filling out the case with a bunch of Rose (very tasty, refreshing, a nice everyday wine when you want something light but don’t want to drink white wine).

We also picked up our wine futures (!) (I’m still amused by the fact we bought wine futures) at Zichichi but were a little put off — the girl in the tasting room didn’t even offer us wine tasting.  Here’s your wine, now go! was the feeling we got.

We did a quick visit to Talty (which we always love — he does only Zin, but does it so well) and chatted with Mr Talty — he gave us some good recommendations for our tasting the next day.

After that, we stopped at Dry Creek Olive and bought some yummy oil, I tasted at Amphora while Dave rested in the car (no bench for him on which to fall asleep!), we picked up some groceries at the local grocery store in Sebastopol and found our little cottage.

The cottage was great — very cozy, full kitchen, quiet, washer/dryer (critical if you work out a lot!) with little extras from our hostess (Scharffenberger chocolate!).  We’d definitely stay there again.

The next morning (after an early morning run) we went to the Sebastopol Farmer’s Market and I found yarn!  I purchased a pretty blue skein of wool from Bodega Pastures.  We also wandered around downtown Sebastopol before heading to Preston Winery to buy bread (we’d missed out the previous day) and winetasting at one of Mr Talty’s recommendations, Frick (which is now one of our new favorites, delicious Rhone varietals).

Monday morning we started out to Mendocino, going along the 128 through the Anderson Valley.