Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Friends, Food, & Tea

As I previously mentioned, JulieAnn and Marci came to visit me last weekend.  Their flight arrived at 6:30 Friday night and they didn't leave until 7:30 Sunday night so we had a lot of time together.  It was such a blessing!

We started our food-filled weekend with some delicious wraps and coleslaw from Cafe Zazzle on Friday night.  I'm not typically a coleslaw fan, but this stuff is amazing.  If you live in Sonoma County, or if you ever happen to visit, lunch or dinner at Zazzle is a must.  (It also happens to be a favorite since that's where Sam and I celebrated our first Valentine's Day together.)

The expected weather on Saturday was gloomy with a chance of showers, but around 9am the clouds cleared out and it ended up being a gorgeous sunny day of about 72 degrees with a light breeze - perfect for walking around downtown.  First we headed to the Tea Room Cafe for a breakfast of huge white mochas (they serve them in bowls - not mugs - bowls, and load them with whipped cream...delish), and flaky, melt-in-your-mouth scones (orange-cranberry for Marc, lemon poppyseed for JulieAnn, and currant for me).  The Tea Room is my favorite breakfast place in Petaluma, with lots of fresh and organic choices, so I also highly recommend this local treasure.  We spent the rest of Saturday meandering through the numerous antique shops, sorting through thrift and consignment stores, laughing, talking, and people-watching.  It was lovely.  That night we had chicken fajitas for dinner.  Here's a picture of the three of us cooking away:
 I'm totally kidding.  Sam made the fajitas.  All we did was heat up the tortillas and the black beans.  We look good though, right? (If you click on the pictures they'll show up bigger...that way you can see how good we look.)  Ah, sorry...I'm still kidding...but you really can make the pictures bigger.

After dinner we decided to walk downtown for frozen yogurt.  I love Petaluma downtown at night!  There are lots of people walking around and lovely historic buildings like this:

I have to apologize for my pictures.  I was a photography major once, but haven't really taken pictures with a fancy camera in a long time.  It will take a little while getting used to all the settings on this camera.  For some reason I can't get the images totally clear, even on the automatic setting.  But as you'll see, I enjoyed playing with the different color settings. :)

Sunday morning I drove the girls out to Sebastopol to show them my old workplace.  I forget how beautiful it is out in the redwoods and how blessed I was to work there.  From Mt. Gilead we drove over to Occidental to go to Howard's, the best breakfast place I have ever been to.  Howard's is famous for this:

Eggs Benedict.  Yum.  Unfortunately, the three of us all got exactly the same thing - eggs benedict with avocado.  The problem with that is that everything at Howard's is to die for, so I wish someone would have gotten the banana walnut pancakes or the Coco Loco Belgian waffle so we could have sampled more.  Oh well.  We were all more than pleased with our eggs benedict and potatoes.  I'll just have to go back soon.  Sam will definitely not object to that.

This picture was taken on the "retro" setting.  Love it.  Even if you're nowhere near Sonoma County, you ought to do yourself a favor and drive to Howard's for breakfast.  You won't regret it.
The adorable Occidental Community Church where some friends of ours are getting married in a month.  Sam and I wanted to get married here but it was too small. :(
Um...could this be any cuter?

From Occidental we drove out to Bodega Bay on arguably the most beautiful road ever, Coleman Valley Road.  I wish I had taken pictures along the way, but you really need to see it for yourself, so you all should just come yourselves.  Here's the view we saw once we got toward the end:

This really doesn't do it justice.  But they were pretty excited:
The above picture was taken on the "Dynamic Color" setting.  It makes our faces look a little weird, but makes the picture pretty fun.  Pretty shocking that I'm a fan of fun colors, huh?

Do yourself a favor and click on the above picture to make it big - the colors are amazing!
It's too bad my friends are so shy.  I could have gotten better pictures if they were more comfortable...
Doesn't this look hand-painted?  God is incredible!
Marci told us to jump and we both went immediately into this pose.  It must have been some sort of dance thing we both did...
This begins the photo shoot session in trying to create the perfect album cover for our non-existent band.  I had to teach the girls to try to be more "artistic-looking".
We all agreed this one was the winner.  What do you think?  Clearly Marci is the lead singer since she's looking at the camera.
But this one is fun, too. :)  (And much more representative of how we normally are.)
When you come from the central valley like we all do, you grow up going to beaches like Avila, Pismo, and Morro Bay.  We're not used to seeing signs like the one above.

After the beach we drove down the 116 to Duncans Mills, a tiny but adorable town.  We found the most amazing tea shop called Mr. Trombly's Tea.  They gave us free cups of tea to sample while we shopped, including samples of scones.  Unbelievable!

Mr. Trombly familiarized us with his delectable teas, all of which he makes himself.  He told us that he grew up drinking tea and, as a retired nurse, was passionate about creating healthy, natural products.  It was very hard to choose which teas to buy since they all smelled amazing.  Here's another reason we had such a hard time - look at all the choices:
And that's just one wall!  But Marci and I both decided on the Coconut Creme.  We also got new filters for our loose-leaf tea.  Here we are with our purchases:

The best part about Mr. Trombly's Tea is that they have free shipping on all orders, and a tea of the month club!  That means Marci can continue to enjoy Mr. Trombly's even after she runs out of her Coconut Creme.  If you're a tea drinker, you should definitely check out Mr. Trombly's Tea

Here are a couple more pictures of Duncans Mills.  I can't decide if I like the "Monochrome" or the "Dynamic Color" setting better.  What do you think?
That was my weekend.  I was again reminded of how blessed I am to live in Sonoma County.  And to have friends like this.  And moments like this.


  1. i can't sleep...so i'm looking at blogs. love this post and all the pictures. glad you had such a great weekend with the girls. looks like a lot of fun!! looking forward to the next time we see you. miss you lots.

  2. Love this post!! Love your (Sam's) new camera! Let's have some photo fun next time we get together! XOXOX

  3. Smiles, love and joy are filling my heart. Thanks for sharing my dear - your wisdom has motivated me and I feel like the last few days I've actually (maybe..and just a little bit) been a better wife. More patient, grateful and loving. I know you thought I was perfect, but I actually have faults...but not many =) Love you, love this, and loved our time together.

  4. This is SO cute! I love the "Retro" setting on the camera... maybe you could do some cute pictures of James and I sometime. ;) On a side note, seeing cute things like this makes me kinda sad that I don't have many radtastic girl friends to do stuff like this with. But maybe it's more fun to watch than to actually do, for us tomboys. ;) hahaha

  5. don't be silly, mon...you have me!!! and i can only take so much "girly" things. i'm all for camping and watching you and the boys play video games. :)

  6. I love these K-Swizzle!!!!! Best weekend of the year so far! I am beyond blessed to have you both in my life. Also, you're not allowed to ever move from that cute little town of yours!!


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