Ursus americanus is among us!

Here we are, last chance to see a bear for the season and we see four of them- Score!

And the best way to see a bear is as it dines on Kokanee salmon in Taylor Creek.


Bob and the bear have a 'moment'.


The second bear was very focused on dinner.
Until this third one came down the path and encouraged him to move along.

Our last bear was the most timid and stayed the least amount of time, but was still a marvel to watch.
We are a die hard bear brigade.
We ended our exciting night celebrating Bob's birthday. What a night!

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Petaluma for Seeds & Beer...

We headed south on Highway 101 for two stops in the darling town of Petaluma.

I have been wanting to stop here forever, but we normally visit Petaluma on Saturdays, when the store is closed. Today was our lucky day. The Sonoma County Bank building, constructed in 1926, is home to the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company's west coast location.

The “Seed Bank” store is a beacon for gardeners, foodies, shoppers, and tourists alike. Offering over 1,500 varieties of heirloom seeds, garlic, tools, books, and hundreds of local hand-made gifts and food items.
Bacon Magazine? Awesome!


There was a very special feeling that came over me when I entered this magnificent building. Maybe it's the history or more likely the promise of new life and the hope for beauty and nourishment. I really can't explain it.

Lunch was a truly unique experience.

The Lagunitas Brewing Co. was not so much an act of ordinary ‘foundling’ as it was willed into being by the unspoken desire of supportive beer-lovers in Northern California after which they continued to nurture their creation and urged us forward to fulfill the unifying needs of that same beer-loving diaspora from coast to coast and beyond. It is good to have friends!
Dining was an outdoor community experience.

BananaGrams® and Corgies... It doesn't get much better than that!
“A fine beer may be judged with only one sip,
but it’s better to be thoroughly sure.”
-Czech Proverb

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A Santa Rosa Sojourn...

A weekend in Santa Rosa with the kids, means new scenery and great fun.

Lunch was in Davis but not here. I had to laugh at this restaurant. It took me forever to get over the psychological horrors of "The Shining" and now they're promoting it as a place to dine. Hmm.
Breakfast was C's famous homemade coffeecake. Yum!

While the girls thrift store shopped, the boys did some chores.


Our evening ended with a complete game of Monopoly and then a movie. Simple family fun- just what we needed.

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SUP to SoUP...

Winter is coming! Here's a great indicator...

The owners of SUP (Stand Up Paddle) Tahoe realized that they needed a winter business.
So they added an 'O' to SUP and are going to open a SoUP restaurant. I can't wait. I love clever!

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No Bears in Sight...

Our 2nd Annual pilgrimage to Taylor Creek with Gene and Joanne resulted in no bear sightings but it was a lovely, warm Fall day... perfect for an explore.



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Rainbow in the Morning...

While I saw this beautiful spectacle, it was our friend, Bob, who captured it so incredibly well.



“Rainbows apologize for angry skies.” 
― Sylvia Voirol

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Zuppa Italiana...

The weather has turned chilly and this soup is the perfect accompaniment to a stay-inside day.

This Hearty Italian Sausage Soup comes from the Premium Saltine Cracker box. Prep Time: 10 min. Total Time: 40 min.

What You Need:
1 lb. Italian sausage, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. olive oil
2 cans (14.5 oz) fat-free chicken broth
1 broth can of water
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (14.5 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed
1 1/2 cups rotini pasta, uncooked
1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Saltine Crackers

Make it:
Cook sausage, onions and garlic in oil in a large saucepan, 10 min. stirring frequently.
Add next 4 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Stir in pasta, cook 8 min. or until tender. Remove from heat.
Stir in spinach, cover. Let stand 5 min. Top with cheese. Serve with crackers.
Buon appetito!

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The Long Way to Genoa...

With the ultimate destination being dinner in Nevada's first settlement, we took the opportunity to do a little leaf peeping on the way.


Hope Valley continues to impress with its brilliant Fall palette.


Dinner was with Bill and Kristi, as they visited from Pacific Grove, gathering some friends together at David Walley's 1862 Resort & Spa.
Dining with friends, yet again in a historic setting, is a pretty cool experience. This lavish hot springs spa was built in 1862 for $100,000 and has been the host to many dignitaries including President Grant, Mark Twain and Clark Gable... and now us!

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SLT Fire Department Open House

Cyndy, Jenny and I embarked on a morning explore in honor of National Fire Prevention Week. What an opportunity to tour all three of our fabulous Fire Stations, each offering something unique. We delighted in it all.


We learned a great deal of safety information. From how to use a fire extinguisher...
...to proper 'Hands Only' CPR.
And we got to play in the station house. Awesome!

We were thoroughly enthralled with the new ladder truck.


This trailer was one of the most interesting tools to me. It travels throughout the community to educate. The window, Jenny is climbing out of, is part of an interactive bedroom which fills up with smoke, has a smoke alarm sound, and gets a hot door, simulating a fire. The audience learns the proper way to get out of the room. There is a kitchen and a living room, each with fire elements that help children and adults learn, firsthand. 
There was something for all ages. We walked away incredibly impressed... and grateful that these firefighters are here for us.

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