Posted in Let's Get Visual, Travel

Sonoma County: Freestone and Bodega

I don’t always trust what I read on TripAdvisor, but I do consult it when traveling.  The Scout is busy in Sebastopol, CA this weekend, and I was curious what TripAdvisor would say about this bastion of all things local, organic and yummy.

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We drove out to Wild Flour Bakery in Freestone, and yes, the scones are well worth the short and beautiful drive.

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The town of Bodega (not to be confused with Bodega Bay) is a few miles down the road from the bakery.  Both towns were principal locations for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.

Here’s the school:

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The church adjacent to the school:

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Bodega recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of The Birds, and the Bodega Country Store was well equipped with all things Hitchcock and bird-y.  (I guess they didn’t want to call it Bodega’s Bodega.)

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My favorite Hitchcock is Rear Window, but The Birds gets full points for being enduringly creepy.  The homage to The Birds carried on by the Bodega Country Store has it’s own creepy factor, but tinged with humor.  Tippi Wine, anyone?

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Posted in Grindstone, Let's Get Visual, Travel

O California!

Or to be more precise, O Santa Ynez Valley!

I have a new job working for a large bureaucracy, but I can’t tell you more than that because I signed something or other swearing me to secrecy.  I haven’t worked in many large institutions, and my head is spinning with wonder.  If you take the one bureaucracy I’m in and multiply it by the number of bureaucracies worldwide…well, don’t do it.  Your head will explode.

The Scout is carrying on without me—most recently in the Santa Ynez Valley.  One of my favorite places evah.

When The Scout called me from The Hitching Post, I groaned out loud.

He had a pork chop, but I have a paycheck.

Posted in Let's Get Visual, Travel

The Magic Kingdom

If the genus is Walt Disney World, then the species is The Magic Kingdom.  The Scout worked there the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, the time of year when the park swells from its typical 35,000 visitors a day to 70,000.

Needless to say, it was hard to avoid people.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

About the third day into the job, I was talking to The Scout and he said in a tired voice, “Well, I have to go back to the Magic Kingdom…”

I began to fixate on that word couplet: “magic kingdom.”  Just what is a magic kingdom?

The sheep-like ability of people to herd themselves into The Magic Kingdom at the busiest time of year at $82.00 each (one-day ticket) amazes me.  It’s not that I detest Disney, it’s that I don’t understand going when it is so busy.  Here in SoCal, many of us have learned to go places at ‘off’ times.  Were I to go to Disneyland here, I’d go on a Tuesday in October.

My favorite thing at Disneyland is the first few seconds of the Peter Pan ride where you fly out of the window of the house and swoop over London on the way to Neverland. Since I’d prefer to swoop over the real London, I’m saving my magic pennies for that.