So, after spending much of yesterday on our feet and on the move, today we experienced a relaxing change of pace. It was time to "visit with the locals" and pick their brains (gently, of course) about all things North-Bay-Area...ish. The Californians in our sights were a colleague of Husband's, and her spouse, who reside in a city called Petaluma, a few miles south of Santa Rosa. In the interest of showing off their little hamlet, they took us downtown for a (delectable) lunch, then strolled us around for a while so we could soak in the atmosphere. While window-gazing at all of the unique and interesting little boutiques and coffee venues we passed, (memo to me: Golden State denizens appear to L-O-V-E their java...my people!) we also learned from our friendly tour guides that Petaluma was founded in the 1850s, and used to be known as..."The Egg Capital of the World" (Trust me, I couldn't even begin to make this stuff up...) due to the preponderance of (you guessed it) chicken farms back in the day. While it undoubtedly seems to be a thoroughly modern suburb nowadays (they have a Target, for goodness sake, it MUST be hip and happening), it definitely has retained its rustic charm and small-town feel. Absolutely adorable.
Then our fabulous hosts led us back to their abode for an afternoon of chatting, sampling their selection of local beers, swimming in their backyard pool (and by that I mean "the children", because I still wore my fleece jacket...yeah, I don't see myself EVER stepping into any kind of water--other than a hot shower--in Northern California...), and of course the Quiz Portion of our stay. During the course of a very pleasant several hours, Husband and I asked all kinds of questions about climate, traffic, outdoor activities, places of interest...etc. (All of this information will be duly stored away and utilized in the engineering and implementation of my Master Relocation Plan, not to worry...) By the time we took our leave, we had absorbed quite a lot of enthusiastic description of the region...more food for thought, that much is certain.
Finally, it was the moment we'd all (okay, maybe just me) been waiting for: checking into our Home Away From Home for the rest of the week, a condo in Santa Rosa. At last, we'd have luxurious accommodations--well, for us this isn't really all that complicated...give us a little bit of space to spread out, so the boys can stop rampaging in a tiny hotel room, and we're utterly ecstatic. (And if you think I'm exaggerating about the rambunctious behavior, let me just tell you, this morning they were so wired that they created a game that evidently consisted of throwing a stuffed animal across the room, and tackling the receiver onto one of the beds. Oh yeah, it was time to get the heck outta Dodge...) In our new digs, we are spoiled by two bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, bathroom, living room, and not one, but TWO patios. (I swear, it's like we died and went to...the Ritz, or something...) In the interest of immediately acting like this is our actual house, we spent the rest of our exhilarating evening laundering all of our accumulated dirty clothing...and grocery shopping. (Um, it might not sound particularly exciting, but trust me, we smell better, and we're not grumpy from skipping dinner...)
Most importantly, everyone should sleep well, in our separate adult/kid rooms, with the nice big comfy beds. And in the morning, we already have breakfast items at the ready, so that after our relatively lazy Sunday, we can hit the ground running once more. Day 4 of Operation Sonoma, here we come!