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Wine Country Blog: Innsights to the Wine Country

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Clo poster

BY NOW I GUESS YOU KNOW THERE ARE OFTEN TIMES JUST A BIT OF WACKINESS GOING ON IN THE WINE COUNTRY... remember the post about the Wacky Art in Sebastopol  from Patrick Amiot or last year's post about the Burma Shave signs along the road here in the Russian River Valley.  And don't forget our famous local cow "Clo" and some of her wacky posters.

We survived Bachelor Ben and his Sonoma County dates and Miss Charlotte here at Farmhouse Inn always gets lots of attention what with dressing for the holidays and her very own mug (she's the Farmhouse cat, remember?).


Amgen tour 2012

May 13th- mark it on your Calendar- The biggest and baddest cycling event- first stage starts and ends in Santa Rosa (our backyard here at Farmhouse Inn).

The Amgen Tour of California  (this is the seventh consecutive year for the race) has definitely put California on the world biking map.  Here in Sonoma Wine Country there have always been the avid cyclers - you see them on all our backroads and bike trails every weekend but this event features elite professional teams and athletes from around the world.  With the scenery of California as a backdrop this race from it's inception in 2006 is bound to soon rival the Tour de France.

The first day of the race starts and finishes in Santa Rosa, the city that helped establish the race and home to three time race champion Levi Leipheimer (our local hero).  His GranFondo event in September is a well known charity event and is also known as "the greatest day out on two wheels".  The GranFondo event in 2011 raised more than $250,000 to support various charities  including Sonoma County Elementary Schools,  Sonoma County Emergency Responders, and the LIVESTRONG foundation.  Three amazing routes for different levels of expertise-  I will see you at the Piccolo Route...32 miles for recreational and beginner cyclists. no big hills for me...just keep me in the flat valleys through the gorgeous redwoods and vineyards.  (No way on that 103 mile Gran route no matter how beautiful.)


Safari west baby

I was reviewing some of the previous Wine Country Blog posts and you must think we do nothing but eat and drink...and eat and drink in the Sonoma wine country. Here at Farmhouse Inn we do seem to focus on those activities but there is quite a lot more to do in Sonoma County. The Russian River (canoeing, kayaking, fishing) runs right through the valley out to the Sonoma Coast.  Armstrong Redwoods (and trail riding through the park) is right down the road. Farmers Markets and farms galore, museums (Charles Schulz, anyone?), skydiving, ziplining...what is your pleasure?

Spring is just around the corner (after we get through the St. Patrick's Day celebrations) and that brings Easter - my grandgirls are coming to visit.  I bribed them with a trip to one of Sonoma County's most precious treasures...a visit to Safari West - maybe even on Easter Sunday for the Hunt for the Hare"Every once in a while Danielle (age 12) expresses an interest in being a veterinarian and is interested in all things scientific.  And Jessica (age 10) is an extremely good student and curious about everything- I think they would both get lot out of a Safari Adventure at the animal preserve. It may not be Africa, but it's close! The animals are running free around your safari jeep allowing for a certain amount of interaction with the animals.  These pictures will tell the story.

Baby flamingo for the flamingo exhibit
Brand New baby monkey
Mom & baby Zebra
Baby Ibex
Love that baby giraffe
Baby crane? or?

Can you guess what some of the babies above are?  Some are obvious but for better pictures and descriptions you should visit the Safari West Facebook page (and become a fan while you are there).
 In case you are wondering how close you can get to the animals...when you go out on the Safari Adventure tour you actually drive around looking for the animals and almost anything can happen.


Farmhouse Inn Charlotte


Have you met her?  She is well known for greeting each and every guest and following them around the property...We have bellmen to help acquaint you with the property but she obviously does not think they are totally up on all things Farmhouse.
Also, supposedly an outdoor kitty but known for finding her favorite guest of the evening and inviting herself in for a pet and a cuddle.  Unfortunately, she does not seem to know when she is welcome or not. And you know cats...they are attracted to those that are not true fans. 


Joe's new puppy "Cookie"

Last week was all about the very unique Patrick Amiot sculptures sprinkled around Sebastopol...this week a bit more elegant with a lovely Sonoma County Sculpture garden at one of our favorite wine country hangouts.

Paradise Ridge Winery has a very interesting sculpture garden but even better they are perched up on the hill above Santa Rosa with a view over the city that is just amazing.  In summertime  (May through October) their Wines and Sunsets is just the place to be on Wednesday evening. Pick up a picnic and head up to catch the amazing western sky with a bottle of wine available for purchase after 6 pm on those evenings.  A few things this week brought our focus to Paradise Ridge. 

One- Joe got a new black lab puppy (yet to be named- see the Farmhouse Inn Facebook page for the scoop on that).  He and Catherine are good friends with Sonia and Dan Barwick over at Paradise and they had some wonderful puppies available.  Sonia is an old friend of Cath's (and part owner at the winery) and Dan is her husband and the winemaker. 

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