Uh, Excuse me...Those Are Not Apples

Sonoma County Travel Blog

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Mel and I - Johnny Garlic's in Santa Rosa

So, today's agenda was going to include a trip up to the Sonoma wine country and lunch at Guy Fieri's restaurant in Santa Rosa, and then off to pick up some wine in Healdsburg, and to eat at the Russian River Pub (another featured place on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dvies. 

We opted to head to Santa Rosa first and do lunch at Guy Fieri's actual restaurant, Johnny Garlic's.  I was excited to be standing in the place where Guy got his start, long before his Food Network debut.  The food was excellent and I really am looking forward to going back again!  We called Julz while we were there...on the hunt for sugar free fro yo or cupcakes! LOL.  Julz found some places so we wrote them down and were on our merry way!

Since we were up in this area, I wanted to stop by Holdredge Winery to get a bottle of his best Pinot Noir for an upscale wine event I am attending on Friday night.

OMG..Look Mel has a wine glass! :D
  We arrived and I instantly realized the guy working behind the tasting room counter was John Holdredge.  I have a review on this winery already included in my Wine Country blog from May that is worth checking out (one of his Pinot was rated top in the world).  John is an attorney who's firm we use at work but I had no idea he owned a winery until  last year and I have never met him before.  I told him who I was and he actually knew who I was (wow, don't I feel special now!)  He pulled out a couple glasses for Melanie and I to do some tasting and he managed to persuade Melanie into actually drinking some! OMG...yes, Melanie had a wine glass in her hand - SHE CHEATED ON THE GOOSE! :D   Of course I had to take a pic! LOL.
John Holdredge with the bottle he signed for me
 

John was kind enough to give me a recipe for a side dish that I could make on Friday night to pair with the wine so I should really be styling at my event now!  I also bought another bottle of my favorite Pinot Noir he has which is the Mazie Rose (90 case production) and he signed it for me.  Mel got a couple pics which I appreciated and will also update and add to the review! 

From here, we were headed to Coppola's new winery, Rosso & Bianco which houses the Diamond Label and Director's Cut wines that Coppola is known for.  What I didn't realize is all the movie memoribilia was moved from Napa but they are still restoring this old winery so the main room for housing all the props and such won't be ready until 2009.

John Holdredge and I
  Right now, there is a small display of Oscars and other movie related stuff behind the tasting bars.  Melanie seemed to enjoy wandering around and seeing the merchandise for sale as well as how themed some of the wines were.  Of course, I had to stop and sample some wine...what would a trip here be without it, right?!? Although I like the Napa location better, I think they will do well here and once the permament location is complete, it will be breathtaking from what the map / blueprints show!

After we left here, it was already time to hit the Russian River Pub and check out their chicken wings.  We made our way back to wine countr windy roads when we thought we better stop and verify we are going the right way before we get too far in the wrong direction!  And what better place to stop than a winery, right?!?! LOL.

Me with the new Director's Cut wine at Coppola
  We stopped at Hopkiln Winery as their building looked amazing and it would seem this is a CA historical site per the plaque outside.  Melanie was in heaven here as they had a ton of sauces and dips you could sample. 

I drank my way through wine country, Melanie ate her way through!  We were headed the right direction so back on the road we go. We only get a short distance and see this white horses who are by the fence looking longingly at people driving by, going "pet me, pet me".  We backed up and stopped, checking them out for a bit.  OMG they were so tame.  We took a few pics when a couple in another car drove up.  The guy works at a winery across the street and he drives by these guys every weekend and said they are the friendliest and tame horses.

One of our horse friends
  He had brought them some apples to munch on which they of course devoured.  He offered to take our pic with the horses so we moved in to get in position when BAM....All of a sudden, one of the horses decides that my chest looks like two large apples! LOL.  OMG, yes, I was molested by a horse.  The guy got a great action shot of the horse nibbling on me from Melanie's camera so I will have to update when she downloads all her pics.  We laughed hysterically for a bit, took some more photos, and back in the car we go. 

As we are driving through wine country commenting on the beauty of all the grapevines and the beautiful scenery when Mel says, "You know Erin, you really love wine.  You should make love in a vineyard.

Mmmmmm, wine grapes!
...just put a blanket down and go for it.  Me, hmm, I am a foodie.  I should make love surrounded in cake batter!"  OMG...I thought I was going to die from laughing so hard.  That is something only Melanie would say (ok, perhaps JillianJ too!!) 

We finally got to the Russian River Pub and wow, yeah, this place was truly a dive and if you blinked, you would miss it. We split a large order of wings - one half regular and one half BBQ.  I am not a huge fan of saucey wings but these were good - crispy but still tender.  They were definitely too hot for Melanie though.  The wings were good but I think they may be known for their homemade offereings every day.  The restaurant basically had graffiti all over with peoples' names and the dates of their visit.

My spot on the wall at Russian River Pub (yes, it's light I know!)
I told Mel we needed to climb up into the rafter area where other people had left names and she actually told me no! LOL. Well, it was time to head on the road and I had to make my usual bathroom stop.    Hmmmm, the bathrooms all had names etched into the walls too - why not, right?!?!  HA HA HA.  I added a permanent momento of our trip and love for Guy Fieri and took a photo or two of it.  When I came back, Mel went to the bathroom and guess what....she did the same thing! HA HA HA.  So there are two momentos in the ladies restroom from "Mellemel8 and Poohstanggt's" visit to the Russian River Pub.  After we were done, Melanie started talking to the waitress who originally took our order and it turns out she's the one who owns the place and has been friends with Guy Fieri for years.
Jenner - where the Russian River and Pacific Ocean meet
.....She also gave us a heads up that there is a coffee table book coming out...OMG, guaranteed Mel and I will be buying that! :D

Now we were off for some more sightseeing....we headed out to the coast and were going to do the Jenner to Bodega Bay stretch of Hwy 1.  Along the way, we stopped to take some other goofy photos and OMG...we found cows!  Cows! John (JPChoi) has been teasing me about living in Cow Town and we still hadn't seen any cows around me so we decided to take some photos of the coastal moos.  Yeah, as soon as we came across the street, they took one look at us and they turned and RAN.  Not sauntered, but RAN. WOW.  I asked Mel, "Why don't they like us?  Why do they run away as soon as they see us?!?"  She says, "ERRRIINNN! They know we are going to eat them!" HA HA.

Sonoma beach coastline
 

Next we hit Jenner and the visibility was next to nothing.  We did stop at a few places I wanted like Goat Rock beach so Mel could see the mini arch that reminds me of the one in Cabo San Lucas.  By the time we got down to Bodega Bay, it was raining and you couldn't see anything.  Ok, that means one thing.....back to Santa Rosa for cupcakes and/or frozen yogurt!  Since it was Sunday and late, that means only frozen yogurt would be on the agenda since the bakery closed early. 

TRE69 says:
HAHAHAHAHAHA! Good times with barnyard animals! Wow Mel is really lagging on the blog/photo upload!
Posted on: Aug 21, 2008
fearlessflyer82 says:
Beautiful blog ladies!
Posted on: Aug 21, 2008
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Mel and I - Johnny Garlics in San…
Mel and I - Johnny Garlic's in Sa…
OMG..Look Mel has a wine glass! :D
OMG..Look Mel has a wine glass! :D
John Holdredge with the bottle he …
John Holdredge with the bottle he…
John Holdredge and I
John Holdredge and I
Me with the new Directors Cut win…
Me with the new Director's Cut wi…
One of our horse friends
One of our horse friends
Mmmmmm, wine grapes!
Mmmmmm, wine grapes!
My spot on the wall at Russian Riv…
My spot on the wall at Russian Ri…
Jenner - where the Russian River a…
Jenner - where the Russian River …
Sonoma beach coastline
Sonoma beach coastline
Holdredge Wines
Holdredge Wines
Crazy sculpture across the street …
Crazy sculpture across the street…
Rosso & Bianco - Coppolas winery
Rosso & Bianco - Coppola's winery
Future home of Coppolas operations
Future home of Coppola's operations
Vineyard grounds
Vineyard grounds
Wine bottles on the parking lot...…
Wine bottles on the parking lot..…
Hop Kiln Winery
Hop Kiln Winery
Mel and I at Hop Kiln
Mel and I at Hop Kiln
Close up at Hop Kiln
Close up at Hop Kiln
WOW..this was a high school in Gue…
WOW..this was a high school in Gu…
Russian River Pub
Russian River Pub
Guys poster in the Russian River …
Guy's poster in the Russian River…
Melanies spot on the wall
Melanie's spot on the wall
In the words of Melanie, OMG that…
In the words of Melanie, "OMG tha…
Russian River
Russian River
Russian River
Russian River
Mel and I at the Russian River
Mel and I at the Russian River
Melanies infamous road shots
Melanie's infamous road shots
Riverfront cows!
Riverfront cows!
That cow does not look happy in th…
That cow does not look happy in t…
Goat Rock
Goat Rock
Closer up of the arch
Closer up of the arch
Sonoma County
photo by: mellemel8