Driving in this morning there were 3 hot air balloons hovering almost directly over the Farmhouse Inn...
made me think of all the wondrous things we love to share with our guests every season in the Sonoma Wine Country. But summer...aah...wonderful summer. So many things to do and see and new experiences around every corner. You know that old Porgy and Bess song..."summertime and the livin' is easy"- that is summer in Sonoma all over.
Very rare heat waves and they never last more than a couple of days (sorry to the whole rest of the sweltering country- don't mean to rub it in). So most of the time that perfect warm temperature of 75-85 degrees during the afternoon so you know it is really summer but then it cools down nicely (at least 20 degrees) once the sun goes down. (And no humidity and NO big bugs either.)
So with all this perfect weather and gorgeous scenery goes some great activities to enjoy:
10 Ways to Celebrate Sonoma Summer
1. Amazing views of the wine country in our hot-air ballon with a champagne brunch after with our friend Mike at Up and Away. He can also perform weddings aloft (ah...romance) and has a basket that is wheel chair accessible.
2. Tubing, kayaking, or canoeing down the Russian River (Burke's Canoes is just 2 minutes from the Farmhouse) with picnics and swims along the way. A different look at the flora and fauna of the river...and great people watching too! The Farmhouse concierge team can fix you up with a picnic and some bags to keep your valuables in and tied to the canoe- just in case, you know. Bring your Ukelele and sunscreen!
3. Spend a Spa day at the Farmhouse... Ginger Honey Massage followed by a custom facial perhaps, and then hang by the pool with some wine and small plates from our poolside menu, maybe pick a few plums off the trees by the fence. Better hurry though...either the birds will get them or they will fall to the ground. And don't leave your chaise lounge unattended for too long. Certain Farmhouse kitties have been known to commandeer them the minute your back is turned.
4. Relax on the patio with a glass of wine and watch the quail babies run lickety split after Mom and Dad.
I told you the "livin' was easy". These are the small joys...I don't have a picture of the quails and their stunts at my house but mom and dad will hop up on one of the redwood logs (I have them framing part of my meadow) and run down it like a highway with their 14 babies trailing along behind them. Amazing how fast they run! If that seems a little too busy for you...just sit back and watch the hummingbirds or watch the grapes grow.
5. Oysters...and champagne (Chris' preference) . Head out to Hog Island for some oysters, might have to stop by Iron Horse or Korbel on the way to pick up the bubbly. Or my personal preference a very nice Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris. Farmhouse can loan you a cooler if need be!
6. Live Music under the stars or in the afternoon sunshine...lay back and listen to the tunes while checking out the music at Healdsburg Plaza on Tuesdays, or Windsor Town Green on Thursdays, or Wednesday Night Farmer's Market in Santa Rosa on Wednesdays, or Montgomery Village in Santa Rosa on Saturday and Sundays, or...you get the idea. There is free music and concerts somewhere in the county every day of the week.
7. Cycle the wine country on the GranFondo or follow the Amgen route. Oops- too challenging for our "the livin' is easy" theme? Sonoma County is becoming well known for their world class biking...How about a leisurely bike tour through the vineyards, stopping at a couple of wineries on the way, and a picnic lunch with our friends over at Adventures in Biking?
We have a great special at Farmhouse Inn for the month of July only - We have combined our spring Sip 'n Cycle biking package with our Free Tuesday midweek summer special for the brand new, amazing, Bike Like a Local Wine Country Getaway. And then you can follow that with a special Muscle Melt massage at the spa and dinner at the Farmhouse restaurant . Then cap off the evening with s'mores out at the firepit...the livin' is soooo easy! So if you can get away for a few days midweek - this is the month to do it. Free Tuesday and the bike tour is on us!
8. Farmer's markets all over the county and the produce this time of year is truly amazing. Just hang out and talk to the vendors...some markets have food trucks and music to entice. Apricots are almost over and cherries are on the way out...they are never around long enough for me to get my fill. Lavendar is everywhere right now but soon to be gone. Nectarines, peaches, plums are all coming in strongly. Some leafy Greens, fresh pastured eggs, summer melons soon, all kinds of berries and I just saw some early heirloom tomatoes the other day. And the seafood...can't get enough of salmon this time of year! If the markets aren't enough for you get out and meet the farmers themselves - check out Farm Trails for a map and guide.
9. Go to the beach either on the Russian River or we are only half an hour from the coast. Sonoma's Pacific coastline is very rugged and picturesque - I am still discovering it. But Goat Rock Beach is a favorite- even when we get that summertime fog. It takes on a different look with the seasons but in the summer you can actually put a toe in the water. Just be careful, rogue waves have been know to sweep people out...I almost lost a camera once trying to escape a wave. I was standing on wet sand too- how stupid could I be not to think about how the sand got wet?
And lastly # 10 ...
You know what, I don't have a number 10...
(actually I have about 50 more but I think this is one you are going to have to fill in yourself).
Let's just sit in a chair and think about this one!