Day 10 Pacifica to Sonoma

Another surf check, another day of onshore southwest wind and small waves.  LindaMar looked fun, but there were 100 people out and if I wanted to surf 2-3 foot waves with that many people I could have stayed home at San Onofre.

I decided to take advantage of the light and the small swell to take some pictures of the houses at the south end of LindaMar Beach.  I’ve always found the setting their idyllic.

I packed up, said my goodbye’s to Greg and his kids Holly and Justin, and headed north towards the Golden Gate Bridge and beyond.  I planned to pull off on the vista point and get a picture of the bus with the world’s most iconic bridge in the background, but the crowds were amazing. As usual the bridge was shrouded in fog, making for a dramatic scene.

I stopped in Novato to meet with one of my new online friends for a cup of coffee.  Paula was getting ready to take her own trip to Bali as part of an art trip.  I really enjoy meeting fellow adventurers and travelers on the road.  Don’t be shy if you’re reading this.  Reach out via email or on Instagram.

I pulled into Ross Halleck’s estate vinyard.

Ross grows some of the best Pinot grapes in the world, and turns it into an amazing wine. Halleck Estate Pinot Noir.  Dan Berger, who writes a nationally syndicated wine column as well as contributes to Robb Report, LA Times, Decanter and others, said about the 2009 Halleck Vineyard Estate Grown Pinot Noir

I would challenge any reviewer who rates wines on a 100-Point Scale

to take a single point away from this wine.

If you consider yourself a wine lover, you owe it to yourself to join Halleck’s Wine Club.  Ross sells almost all of his wine directly to his club members, with the exception of some carefully selected restaurants.

Ross and I have been friends since he helped me with some branding work while I was at Ecast more than 10 years ago.  In addition to being a great vintner, Ross is one of the smartest and most creative brand consultants I’ve ever known.  As his wine business has exploded, he doesn’t have much time for marketing consulting any more, but we still love to talk shop when we are together.  I’ve had quite a few late nights over a bottle (or two) of his wine, some great food, and even better conversation.

In fact, it was Ross who first opened me to the idea that I had work to do on myself.  I stayed at Ross’ house 5 or 6 years ago while I was in town for something or another.  Upon setting my eyes on him for the first time in several years, I noticed something very different.  When I mentioned to him that he seemed to be at peace, with an zen-like  aura about him, he told me about his journey into Jungian psychology.  We spent hours and hours discussing his self-realization.  I was left with a burning desire for what he had.  And while fear held me back from embarking on my own journey for a year or two, I clearly credit that evening with setting a fire within me.

This time Ross was getting ready for some wine club members who were coming in for a tasting. I tagged along for the journey as we picked up some cheese and fresh strawberries right from the source.

On the way back we stopped at HopMonk brewpub.  It’s a fixture in downtown Sebastopol.  They have a great beer garden, and a small live music venue in the back too.

One thing I love about Sebastopol is the amount of public art.  It’s seemingly around every turn.  But it’s not pretentious in any way.  The combination of agriculture and art is really appealing.  This place is a gem in Sonoma.

We ended the night checking out a new dive bar called Lucky Star.  It’s under the proprietorship of some friends of Ross.  One is a classically trained chef and the other a true mixologist.  While it has the trappings of a dive bar great CD jukebox, coin-operated pool table, and Karaoke on Thursdays, the menu is anything but traditional.  We enjoyed a Boulevardier made with Sonoma Rye, and dined on Fried Rabbit Nuggets and a Savory Pear Tart.  The five items on the menu change daily, and the prices are quite affordable.  Definitely highly recommended.

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