A January 2001 trip
to Sonoma County by Eve Carr
Quote: Most people think of wine when they hear Sonoma, California. And, yes, there's definitely quality wine here, but there's a whole lot more. Let us share with you the treasures that we found in Sonoma on this--and a previous trip. You'll want to pack your bags and go!
For more information, call toll-free 1-888-842-2684
As you enter this stately 1877 example of High Victorian Gothic Revival Architecture, you’ll enjoy its soaring 12-foot ceilings. As you admire the three Italian marble fireplaces and rich mahogany spiral staircase, you’ll come to the same conclusion that we did: they certainly knew how to build homes in those days.
Named for the 15 gables that adorn the home, the Gables Bed & Breakfast Inn has been artfully decorated by Judy and Michael Ogne. Actually, if they didn’t enjoy operating the Gables so much, Judy could easily be a decorator. She has very tastefully recreated a formal Victorian elegance, yet has given it a soft, gentle homey comfort.
For a truly romantic stay, try to reserve their quaint William and Mary’s Cottage. This is a completely separate, self-contained romantic hide-away next to Taylor Creek. It has a wood stove, living room, hospitality bar, a whirlpool tub for two, fluffy bathrobes, TV, VCR, a video library, private phone line, quality toiletries, and, best of all, in the upstairs loft, a queen-size bed, layered with elegant linens and a plethora of pillows.
We toured all of the rooms and, while we thoroughly enjoyed William and Mary’s Cottage, we feel that staying in the main home would be a lovely experience as well. All of the accommodations are so luxurious that you won’t want to leave them.
Judy and her husband, retired policeman Michael Ogne will give you plenty of recommendations for things to do in the area—as well as guide you to some of their favorite gourmet restaurants. But, do save room for Judy’s spectacular gourmet breakfast, tastefully served by Michael with warmth, as well as style and flair to match the elegant ambiance. With food like this, they could open a restaurant as well, but they are having too much fun making guests enjoy their luxurious hospitality.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 7, 2001
The Gables Inn
4257 Petaluma Hill Road
Sonoma County, California
For more information, visit www.cavanaghinn.com
10 Keller Street
Sonoma County, California
Restaurant | "Volpi's Ristorante"
You get a clue that this isn’t going to be your seen-one-you’ve seen-them-all chains as you open the worn screen doors with their metal signs advertising bread. If you are reminded of entering a general store, you’re right because this property at the corner of Washington and Kellar has served as a grocery store for many years.
But tonight we’re not here to buy groceries, but to experience the off-duty world of Swiss-Italian dairy farmers. Local dairymen and their families here have been coming here since 1925 to relax at this restaurant and enjoy home-cooked meals. As a tourist, we know that we are experiencing the real thing—not dining at some touristy chain.
Although Voilpi’s serves a full range of food, the atmosphere is decidedly Italian, with Italian flags, red checkered tablecloths and Chianti bottle candleholders with their typical multi-colored accumulation of candle wax drippings. It’s elegant in the subdued candlelight of the evening, but also casual family and downright homey. Food, served a la carte or family style, is robust—and plentiful. Tonight an extended family ranging from grandma to preschoolers are gathered around three pushed-together tables to celebrate the baby’s first birthday. Mama even brought in the birthday cake from home.
We like to sit in the front room of the old general store so we can dine and still keep an eye on the action in the "back room," where you’ll find the ceiling covered business cards pinned up with dollar bills and pictures of people partying—yet no smoking.
When the dairy farmers were selling their wares when the store was operation, many of them would take a break and go into the "back room" to have a drink. Today, the back room is more of a local tavern, where the locals enjoy a brew, catch up with what’s going on, and, on the weekends, enjoy live, home-grown music.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be around in the evening when patriarch of the family, slim John Volpi, jaunts in, wearing a checkered shirt, jeans, cowboy boots—and a smile that says that he’s enjoying life. As he plays the accordion, you know that there’s nothing that he’d rather be doing.
As you slip a fork into your homemade Tortellini Alla Panna (cheese tortelinni with proscuitto, mushrooms and peas in a cream sauce) or your Eggplant Parmigiana, and enjoy the real-world ambiance of this restaurant, we bet that you’ll smile too.
122 Washington Street
Sonoma County, California
Attraction | "Osmosis Enzyme Bath and Massage"
Osmosis Day Spa
209 Bohemian Highway
Freestone, California 95472
Attraction | "Kendall-Jackson Winery"
Kendall-Jackson Wine Center
5007 Fulton Road