debbieahlers

Debbie and Ken's Excellent Adventure – we take off…..

Bodega Bay and Goodbye California, Bonjour France

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Our final outing before we spend the last few days getting things organized/ready to leave for France for 2.5 months. It’s been a wonderful month here in CA and seems to have passed in a flash.

Our destination yesterday: Bodega Bay, where Alfred Hitchcock filmed “The Birds”. In its day, a VERY scary movie, as only “Hitch” could do it. Bodega Bay is on the coast, just west of Sonoma and Napa. We get to Bodega Bay (listed as one of the 32 most expensive small towns in the US, although it certainly did not look like there was any wealth in the town of 950) and discover that Bodega Bay is not where the film was shot, but 5 miles inland in Bodega itself, a very small little town not on any water (the movie seemed like it took place entirely on the Bay…ah, the talents of Hollywood!). There is a short block as the main street with a country store all about the famous film. I took a picture of the “schoolhouse”, which is now a private residence, so you can’t go in.

School house from "The Birds"

School house from “The Birds”

One little piece of trivia I did not know about:
Tippi Hedren, the main character, is Melanie Griffith’s mother. It’s the 50 year anniversary of the film, and Tippi, now in her early 80’s will be coming back to Bodega on Labor Day to celebrate.
Ken with "Hitch"

Ken with “Hitch”

We leave Bodega and go back to the coast, driving north on the very scenic Route 1, which goes up and down the coast. The scenery is breath taking. There are so many microclimates in very close proximity in CA. It is high 50’s and windy in Bodega Bay and then 5 miles inland to Bodega, 80’s and still. Lots
of diversity of the land, very close together, too. Cattle ranches, dairy farms, redwood forests, ocean coast, mountains, rivers, all within a short drive. Beautiful country.

The CA coast Rt.1

The CA coast Rt.1

North of Bodega Bay on Rt. 1

North of Bodega Bay on Rt. 1


After a short drive up the coast, we head inland following the Russian River on the north end of Sonoma County. Our destination now is the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve.
We did some nice hiking and felt humbled by the majestic redwoods. I tried to take some pictures, but the camera just does not do the trees justice. The Parson Jones tree is the highest in the grove at 310 feet, which is longer than a football field. The oldest tree, the Col. Armstrong, has lived 1400 years, so far!! Amazing.
Col. Armstrong tree sign

Col. Armstrong tree sign


Looking up the Armstrong tree

Looking up the Armstrong tree

We head down through Sonoma County to have dinner in a little town that we went through earlier in the day: Petaluma. This cute, historic town was one of the few in the area not affected by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, so its 1860s feel has been preserved (it’s also one of the first towns to exercise “controlled development”). Many period pieces have been filmed in the location, including “American Graffiti” and “Phenomenon”.

I really like how we pick one destination, like we did today with Bodega Bay, and then see what develops. All the other places, we “discovered” along the way. I love how things unfold and how we can be spontaneous. For people like Ken and I, whose lives have been very planned, with a lot of “have to’s”, especially when working/raising children, etc., it’s such a delight to be able to have the time to just see what unfolds. It’s a wonderful time in our life, and I feel very lucky.

Towering Redwoods

Towering Redwoods

So last few days: wrapping things up. Getting haircuts, having long conversations with friends/family by phone (next few months: SYKPE!), making sure all bills/legal stuff taken care of, packing, etc. etc. Used to be easy to go abroad. You worried about the different electricity for your hair dryer (and the plugs for the outlets) and grabbed your passport, travelers’ checks and went! Now you have to worry about your phone plan, your cell phone, your lap top, your data plan, credit cards knowing you’re over there, ATM charges, Euro conversion, etc. etc. The phone/data access has been a HUGE hassle, even though we’re supposedly getting Internet access at our apartments. I worry about using phone or lap top and getting charged a lot of money. Think I have it figured out, but everyone seems to have different advice, in spite of them all having just been abroad. I have spent a lot of time on this and hate to not be connected. We are so used to that. When I used to go to Europe when I was much younger, you were not in touch with “home” unless you made an appointment with an operator at the post office and waited for 8 hours until your “time” to connect to the States was available. How things have changed.

Wednesday night we’re off to Lyon via a plane change in Zurich, Switzerland. I’m glad we know what to expect as we’re taking essentially the same flight/airline as we did last fall and going to Lyon first. We know how to get around there a bit, like how to get from airport to town, the public transportation system, etc. With all the other unknowns (how to work the stove???), to have a small slice of been there/done that to stand on will be helpful to start. An adventure, and will be fun to blog, whether it be the good, the bad, or the ugly! LOL

So, mes amis, au revoir and talk to you later when we’re on the other side of the “Pond”……
Avec amour…..Moi

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4 thoughts on “Bodega Bay and Goodbye California, Bonjour France

  1. Hey Deb, another great update. Sounds wonderful, and yes, you are so fortunate to be able to meander. Enjoy every minute of it. I’ll be thinking of you on Wednesday, and hoping for safe travels! Take care, Bev

  2. Can’t tell which one was “Hitch” in the picture…..haha.

    I’m sure the flight attendant will make sure your flight (and hers/his) will go by smoothly by starting the wine tasting mid-air as”passed out” passengers are best kind!

    Have a safe trip and a lovely time in France – I’ll raise my glass of Three Buck Chuck to you as often as possible!

    Love you guys – Anna

  3. Deb, I am loving all of your adventures. Travel well and safely. Cooking club was last night. We sure missed you. Linda and Joanne will be taking charge until the end of the year. Then we are signing up for a month or two until someone wants to take over. Good luck with the internet and phone abroad. I don’t want to miss out on what comes next! Hi to Ken. Sharna

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