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Friday, June 13, 2014

International Glamping Weekend was June 7th & 8th

Did you miss it? I found the perfect place to celebrate my first official International Glamping Weekend. My tiny travel trailer (aka The Glampette) and I headed out to one of my most favorite places I've ever visited: Healdsburg in Sonoma Wine Country just an hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge down HWY 101.

The Glampette was ready for a road trip. Though I've been living from her, we hadn't traveled together since January. For over a year I'd envisioned bringing her to Healdsburg. I'm so glad I had the chance to make that dream a reality before moving away.

Of course I visited my most favorite place in Sonoma County. Located in the Russian River Valley on Westside Road you'll find Thomas George Estates winery.

Favorite images from past trips to Thomas George Estates and Baker Ridge

Baker Ridge, one of their estate vineyards, is a place that captured my heart. In the past few years I've spent one sunrise and a handful of sunsets enjoying the views atop this gorgeous ridge. From the moment of my first visit I felt a special connection to Baker Ridge.

It was a very hot day. I think it got up to 99ยบ (F). The heat was high but dry which made it a much more enjoyable day than one with a lot of humidity. I visited both the tasting room in the wine caves as well as the vineyards.

As I left I felt sad but happy to have taken my little abode on wheels to a place that inspired me to want to have a teardrop or tiny travel trailer in the first place so that I could explore places like Sonoma more often.

For lunch one day I stopped at another favorite: Jimtown, a small general store, cafe, and antique shop. Nostalgia hangs heavy in the air with all of the charm you'd expect from a small country mercantile located down a two lane highway amidst rows awash in green, leaf and grape laden vines.

After perusing the menu I opted for an ice cold Lemonade and a baby spinach and artichoke dip Grilled Cheese Sandwich. The pictures tell the story. . . It was fantastic! I ate every bite.

Who did I visit while I was there? Well that would be my friend (and fav wine country concierge) Tracy Logan (and Mr Hobbs pictured on the right) and our friend (and my fav B&B owner) Keren Colsten, now known as K.C. so she could have a name that rhymed with Tracy and Stacie. Keren is the co-owner of the Haydon Street Inn, the only Bed & Breakfast I ever stayed at in Sonoma County. After my first visit there I loved it so much I never even tried another one.

Though she didn't go with me Keren recommended I go to the Healdsburg SHED and try a "shrub." What is a shrub? It's an acidulated beverage. Acidulated. There's a new word for you! At least it was for me.

It's an old drink that's new again. Containing fruit, sugar, and vinegar the shrubs I tried were light, sweet, and tart all at the same time.

Like soda, only better tasting and better for you!

I sampled three different flavors containing strawberry, kumquat, and blood orange paired with vinegars that ranged from chardonnay to red wine. Mix in a little soda water and you'll have a refreshing and refined carbonated soda. I'm officially hooked and will be inventing flavor combos of my own this summer.

Along with shurbs you'll also find wine, beer, and hard ciders, and kombuchas at SHED's fermentation bar.

K.C., Tracy, and I had lunch at Ravenous. It was our lucky day. Tucked into a small space on North Street, I was told it's rare to have the opportunity to walk in and grab an empty table, they're usually quite busy.

While I can't rave about the service (our server seemed a bit disinterested in actually serving us while oddly a guy at a nearby table kept jumping into our conversation LOL) the food was outstanding.

Ravenous is known for both their Crab Cakes and Ravenous Burgers. I can say this about the burgers: They're delicious. Really, very tasty but also messy so not something you'd want to order on a first date.

The fries were extra special. To start with they're crinkle cut. Picture steak-fry styled potato wedges (and by wedges I mean you get an entire potato's worth of wedges, maybe even a little more), fried to a perfect golden brown, and seasoned with just the right amount of savory to not need any additional salt.

After lunch we meandered around downtown Healdsburg for a bit and visited The Mercantile Shop for Wolf coffee, sold in the back corner of the store. They'll even grind it for you while you wait.

If you've never been to Healdsburg I'd recommend a visit. It's quaint, charming, and a wonderful place to spend a long weekend.

This is one of my favorite photos I ever took on Baker Ridge. It seems fitting to share it again now as I close the chapter, a final sunset of sorts, on my last trip to Healdsburg for the foreseeable future.

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