The Traveling Steve's

Bye to Napa. Hello Sonoma!

After a wonderful 5 night stay in Napa, it was time to move on to nearby Sonoma for another four night stay. But first, we had a couple errands to do before leaving. The first was picking up our laundry we had dropped off earlier in the week, while the second was having the rest of our Napa wine shipped back to Florida (i.e. the bottles that we didn’t already have shipped from the individual wineries.) We used All American Mail Center in Napa, and it was very convenient and easy. We then had a full breakfast at the hotel and checked out of the Marriott Napa around noon, and headed on to Sonoma.

Well, actually with one more stop! Our Platypus guide from yesterday had mentioned we should meet John, the late 70-ish year owner of Razi Winery; he’s quite a character he said and everyone loves him. So we spoke to John yesterday and scheduled a tasting at 12:30pm as we knew we couldn’t checkin our Sonoma hotel until 4pm. Great excuse for another wine tasting hmm? Anyway we pulled up to the rustic-looking tasting room off the Silverado Trail in Napa and except for John were the only people there.

We met John right away, and later his wife and one of his dogs; his 1 year old puppy his wife said. As John had arranged this private tasting for the two of us, we had a great and casual time chatting with him over the various wines he poured for us in the cozy tasting room.

John was a gracious host owner, and even gave us a tour in the vineyards just outside the tasting room. He had some great stories of his years and wine making traditions, as well as his family and the Valley itself.

We had a very enjoyable visit with John at Razi Winery, and bought a case of the Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, to have shipped directly to our home. We thanked John, and took one last selfie before heading on to Sonoma.

We had a wonderful time at Razi! Thanks again John!

As we left Razi, we stopped at Jack and the Box for a quick lunch, so we could be on our way to Sonoma. Yes, there are just a handful of fast food places in downtown Napa (no where to be found out by the wineries of course), and as we hadn’t had fast food all week, a burger and fries seemed justified.

It was a Thursday afternoon, 2:30pm by now and the drive to Sonoma wasn’t bad, taking a little over 30 minutes. The hotel texted us that our room was ready, so we checked right in a bit after 3pm and unloaded the car. We stayed at The Inn at Sonoma, which is part of the boutique Four Sisters brand.

We had stayed at The Inn in Sonoma once a few years ago, and enjoyed the quaintness of the Inn and it’s walking distance proximity to the Sonoma Square, which was a nice stroll day or night. We had a standard King size room which was a bit small for us, but it did have a fireplace and a small balcony., which was nice to walk out to. We were on the second (top) floor, and it was very quiet (actually all of Sonoma is), and just a couple blocks to the Square.

View from our balcony facing the parking lot looking out to the street in front.
The building on the left is the auxiliary building for the Inn where we stayed on our last visit.

The Sonoma Square was as easy three block walk from the Inn, and if you’re taking a wine tour such as Platypus, you really don’t need to drive while you’re staying at the Inn at Sonoma as everything is so close. The Square has an eclectic selection of shops, tasting rooms, restaurants, boutique hotels, and several historic landmarks, including Mission Solano, which dates back to 1823, although it was rebuilt between 1911 and 1913. We would take a Platypus tour a couple days and have dinner in the Square in the evening.

Quaint alley-way cut through to some of the shops and restaurants near the Square.
I wonder if they sell socks ala-carte? That is, one sock at a time instead of a pair. I’m always losing socks! I could have 10 different socks and none of them match! Maybe that’s a new trend!
Downtown Sonoma. Quiet by day, and shuts down more or less by 9pm, weekends included!
This park is located in the middle of the Sonoma Square, just up the street from our Inn.
Pizza splurge on Super Bowl Sunday afternoon at Mary’s Pizza!
In case you get a bit “wined out” from all of the vino!
Mission Salano – the last of the 21 California Missions dating back to 1823, but rebuilt in 1911.

Our first night in Sonoma, we walked to the Square and had dinner at The Plaza Bistro, which served “Italian Mediterranean Cuisine”. Like almost any restaurant you go to in Napa or Sonoma, the food is fresh and very good, and The Plaza Bistro was especially nice with great service as well. We even had a bottle of Ledson wine, which is from the nearby Ledson Estate which we’ve been to several times over the years; truly worth a visit to this French-inspired Castle, if you’ve never been there before.

Ledson Merlot, with the iconic Tasting Room Castle showing on the label

We had a wonderful first night’s dinner at The Plaza Bistro, and took a stroll around the very quiet downtown (at 8:45pm!) before heading back to our Inn at Napa.

Quiet and sleepy downtown Sonoma seems to shut down by 9pm, even on the weekends.

Welcome to Sonoma!

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