Sonoma County: August 2006 Archives

By M.L. Hilton

(BODEGA BAY, CA) -- Just yesterday I found myself sitting on the warm deck of Gourmet Au Bay with three tastes of wine waiting to be explored beside me and the edge of the Pacific Ocean in front of me. I zoned off (for like three hours) looking into the horizon. The bay was glassy and grey blending almost seamlessly into the light layer of clouds that colored the sky.

It was a monochrome world, interspersed with black birds and dark grey-green trees that display the nature of this sometimes harsh environment in their gnarled branches and tight small leaves. The trees have learned a balance, a symbiosis that we as humans mimic on our best days and flout on our worst.

Briefly the clouds attempted to burn off, giving glimpses of a warm blue sky that made the already calm ocean seem even more benevolent.

Sitting Thursday afternoon (sans hordes of tourists) and rolling my wine slowly around my tongue, the day was definitely a guilty pleasure . . . just hanging out on the deck, listening to the snippets of conversations between the locals coming in for a moment of gossip and a glass of wine, or dipping deeply into my own thoughts.

That was the afternoon; the morning hadn’t started out too badly either.

I rolled out of bed (Bodega Bay Lodge and Spa) spent a few minutes with the newspaper, grabbed a bottle of water and did the sweat lodge thing in the sauna for 20 minutes before ordering breakfast to be brought up to the room, after a shower, and a salt scrub (the Bodega Bay Salt Glow), I bit the bullet, pulled on the blue jeans over my freshly oiled skin, and headed for an afternoon watching sea birds and trying local wines.

It was a recipe for relief. Bodega Bay and its surrounds are a respite from urban sprawl and time pressures. If you are going to be pampered, you may want to pick a resort to visit. Here the locals are happy to share, and give you the tools to help you make yourself content.

Gourmet Au Bay, 913 Highway One, Bodega Bay, CA 94923. 707.875.9875