Category Archives: Hook and Ladder

Wine, Artisan Bread & Babysitting

I had a great day yesterday.  Larry and I drove up to Santa Rosa for my weekly babysitting gig with my granddaughter Elli.  Larry came up with me because currently I have a bad back, so I can’t lift Elli quite yet.  When we arrived nearly at noon Elli was just waking up from a nap.  Kim had already made Asian spiced meatballs and put them in the crock-pot to be ready for dinner.  We had a little bite to eat, a nice turkey sandwich, and then got our day moving along.

Kim went to work at Arista Winery.   After Elli got fed and cleaned up we left and drove to Forestville where we had heard about an amazing bakery there.  The bakery is called Nightingale Bakery , and if you blink too many times you will miss it and the whole downtown area.  The bakery is known for their Artisan breads.  We came out with a loaf of rye bread, sliced whole wheat with oats, and a sweet mini baguette.  Afterwards we made our way to Guerneville and found the Guerneville Park, which has a few parking spaces, walking trails that lead to the Russian River, and picnic benches amongst the redwood trees.  We parked there and walked along a passenger bridge over the Russian River to the small downtown area.  We stopped at My Coffee Bazaar and had a nice coffee drink and sat outside in a little garden area.  My Coffee Bazaar was a nice little place with fantastic coffee drinks, baked goods, breakfast and lunch items.  Halfway through our drinks, Elli decided that she was thirsty too.  So Larry fed Elli her bottle of milk.

                 Larry and Elli, 5 months old with a full belly

It was a very leisure afternoon.  The sky was blue, it was about 70 degrees outside, and there was a light breeze that blew the downed leaves around.  After we were all done with our drinks we walked back over the bridge to our car and went off to our next location.  

As we were driving west on River Road we decided to take a right hand turn onto Olivett Road.  Along this road the wineries are known for good Gewurztraminer, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir.  We stopped at Hook and Ladder Winery .  We have passed by this winery several times but never stopped there.  Their vineyards and wine making facilities are there as well as the tasting and barrel room.  We sampled their Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Zinfandel blend and their Tillerman, which is a Burgundian blend.  There was another couple there when we arrived.  Elli was in her stroller and when she woke up we gave her a cup of water with a hint of grape juice.  Their tasting room is in their barrel room.  What they have decorating the tasting area are t-shirts from different firehouses from around the country.  They also have a board with patches from different firehouses as well.  They sell t-shirts and sweatshirts and a few earrings.  Outside they have a well landscaped yard with a number of picnic benches.  If you sit on one of the benches you will have a nice view of their vineyards and the surrounding hills.

We then got in the car and went back to our son and daughter-in-laws home.  Larry and Kim prepared the vegetables and the rice sticks to compliment the meatballs that were smelling very good.  I got to feed Elli Squash and oatmeal for her dinner.  She is 5 months old and has been eating solids now for about 3-4 weeks.  She really enjoys it and had a big wide mouth open for each spoonful.

After dinner we got into our car and went on our way back home.  So, another 12-hour day with Elliana in the books.  We didn’t get to see Brandon as he was literally knee deep in grapes at Armida Winery , as the bulk of harvest has finally started to come in.