Yesterday, Presidents’ Day, we set off in two cars for the lovely Sonoma area. Parking behind the state park, we unloaded our bikes and took the paved path west toward Maxwell Farms Regional Park passing the home of General Mariano Vallejo, a state historic landmark, on the way. We circled through the park and then stopped for coffee at a Starbucks in a shopping center just south of the park. We headed back along the path, this time going east past the old railroad depot and the cute small restored houses near it.
As the path discontinues, the scenery becomes more rural with vineyards on one side and the Sebastiani Winery on the other. Lovall Valley Rd. is slightly rough but suitable for cycling because it is wide and not very busy. At Seventh St., we turned right; this is a beautiful area with lovely homes in a quiet country setting. We followed Seventh St. until we reached MacArthur East, where we again turned right. Then another right turn onto Second St. East took us back to the parking lot and our car. Seventh, MacArthur, and Second are all streets without bike lanes, but they are fairly wide and quiet and we felt safe on them. I had checked them carefully on Google Earth, a handy resource for checking out proposed bike trips.
We met the shoppers in our party at The Centre du Vin in the Ledson Hotel for lunch. This restaurant in the old hotel is very pretty, and we found the dining experience matched the antique luxury of the surroundings. A table for six had been set up for us by the fireplace, and we settled in for a fine meal with meticulous service. Several in our party started with French onion soup and it was pronounced to be excellent. Also worthy of note are the risotto croquettes and the chocolate mousse.
After lunch we split into groups for a bit of browsing in the shops around the plaza. I got to spend some special time with my teenaged granddaughter who has a real flair for fashion. All in all the whole day was a relaxing family outing.