Sonoma County in the fall...the trees and vineyards awash in such vibrant colors. My son brought his family up last weekend and they were just blown away by the gorgeous fall color everywhere. I have a bush by my gate that is spectacular (I think it is an Australian native that normally has a burgundy leaf but has turned almost fluorescent, glowing orange). And the dogwoods I planted a few years ago are completely yellow, as is the catalpa. I can't even post a picture because pictures just don't do it justice. By next week, they will be losing their leaves and winter will be upon us.
Joe is actually doing his family Thanksgiving tomorrow as his family is traveling next week (and his birthday is on Thanksgiving this year- Happy Birthday, Joe!). Chef Stevo in the Farmhouse restaurant is gearing up for the big day...how hard it must be pull off the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner and still be ready for his regular amazing menu on Friday. Our guests will be happy to hear that some of the wineries are actually open on Thanksgiving Day- I posted the list from Russian River Wineroad to the Farmhouse Facebook page earlier today.
So many things to be thankful for in Sonoma County...the wine, the food, the people, the view from my living room window (and the view from my kitchen window), and when I drive to Farmhouse in the morning...looking for the hot air balloons in the sky...from our friends at
Up and Away Ballooning.
Every morning (weather permitting) we see a few floating in the early morning - always a little jealous of the people in the balloons and their birds eye view of the wine country. If you ever get a chance, it is the only way to travel.
But they are mostly tourists and don't get to wake up to this amazing place every single day. When I moved up here from the San Francisco Bay Area my sons thought I was crazy (what did they know?). I had moved to the "back of the beyond" and "how long was I going to live here"? Well, I am afraid they will have to take me out in a box (or urn, actually)!
I always think of family this time of year and coming from a family that doesn't always get along (feelings do run high at our get togethers) it makes me feel nostalgic for those that are no longer with us around the Thanksgiving table. And with the passing of some of our family members a lot of our holiday traditions have fallen by the wayside.
Michele Anna Jordan hit the nail on the head her local Press Democrat column this week...her headline read "On turkey day, it's who, not what" but still I miss the traditions (okay and the people that helped carry them on each year). Since my family has never been a huge fan of turkey (and the mess it makes of the kitchen) we have branched out into other main courses for the holiday; but the cranberry jello relish from my cousin, the yams (complete with marshmallows) was a must have from my mom, the pecan pie (my dad's favorite), were always made to go with the lamb, the roast beef, the grilled steak, even the cracked crab, etc. We have this thing in our family called "Lemon Bisque" that I am in charge of (for our extremely small holiday party) this year...I can't explain it - you have to join the family to find out!
Ahhh...the Romance! We had three of our "tiny" weddings here at the Farmhouse this last weekend ...most of our weddings are just for two people, the bride and the groom. And this is where the romance comes in...these elopements are becoming quite the "thing" here at Farmhouse. We used to do the larger, event style weddings but gave them up a few years back. They were too hard on the staff, the property, and even seemed a little hard on the bride and groom. Then two years ago we started offering our elopement package just for those people who wanted to get married without the circus atmosphere. We've had couples from Paris, from Denmark, from Canada, and even our own backyard- Healdsburg.
We never advertised- just had a package on our website but somehow they found us and made us part of their story. That's the Farmhouse - we are all about celebrating Romance!
Enough said...I have a picture to share with you that pretty much says it all!
These are our new friends, Randy and Marcia, (now Mr. & Mrs. Garrett) from out Texas way. They found each other (it is never too late) and decided by the third date what they wanted...each other! But with 6 grown daughters between them and 15 grandchildren besides- a big wedding just wasn't what they wished. The Farmhouse was happy to host them and be a part of their joyous celebration...of each other. I have some other pictures to share with you but we do have a photo album (a work in progress) on our new website. I will be adding more picures of our romantic couples soon.
Speaking of... the new website went up just 10 days ago; a culmination of an entire summer's work. Take a look...We feel the new site is more reflective of the property and what we are about... we are so happy with the changes and it gives us the capability of adding pictures, adapting and freshening the site as we change, and keeping more in touch with our guests and what is important to them. I was able to put up a whole new page about our Monday Night Dinners coming up soon in just moments yesterday and have a calendar of Wine Country Events up on the home page too. And the video we worked so hard on with Otterrock Films is right on the home page (starring our Miss Charlotte, of course).
Ain't technology grand? Let us know what you think!