Sunday, July 20, 2014

Road Trip to Sonoma County | The Drive There

20140711-2014-07-11 12.36.40_blog

We’ve been on a road trip for about a week and now we’re back!  Back a few months ago Todd decided to sign up to do the Ironman 70.3 Vineman race in Sonoma County.  He’s been training months for it (swim, bike, and run).  The night before leaving on our trip, Todd laid out all his gear.  It is our tradition before each triathlon, that I take a photo of him with all his gear laid out.


On Friday 7/11, we got up at 3:20am so we could leave for our trip at 4am!  It sure sucked to get up that early.  Why leave so early?  We wanted to beat morning traffic in Los Angeles (driving through LA at the wrong time could add an hour) and beat afternoon traffic in San Francisco.  We got our stuff together and Todd put his bike up on the roof.  We were able to leave at 4:09am. We brought a protein drink and yogurt for breakfast and ate that.  There really were no cars on the San Diego freeways at 4am.  We encountered more cars as we approached LA County at about 5:40am.  We were able to get through LA by 6:30ish.  At about 7am we made it to the Laval Rd exit at Grapevine, CA to the big travel center with all the fast food and gas stations.  We got breakfast #2 at McDonalds there.  Todd even ate a Sausage McMuffin!  He hates McDonalds and breakfast food, so this was quite a sight.

20140711-2014-07-11 07.17.19_blog

I got an egg mcmuffin.  They didn't have iced coffee there, boo!  But a few exits later, Todd stopped at a Jack In The Box for me so I could get my iced coffee.  Yay!  We were making good time on the I-5 North.  Check it out, a Newman exit!

20140711-2014-07-11 10.30.47_blog

By 11am we were on 580 through the Bay Area.  We stopped for lunch at 11-something in Livermore, at Wendy's.  We drove 580 all the way through Oakland, Berkeley, across the San Rafael bridge to 101N.  From there it was about an hour to Sebastopol, because there was actually Friday afternoon "getaway" traffic from SF.

We arrived and checked in at the Fairfield Inn in Sebastopol at 1:30pm, which made the trip 9 hours 20 min including all the stops.  It was great to start so early so it didn't feel like we drove all day to get here.  

20140711-2014-07-11 16.26.35_blog

Oh, somewhere in the middle of the trip, the check engine light and the stability control light came on.  The cruise control light flashed and the brake light was flashing too.  Cruise control turned itself off.  We pulled off an exit because we were concerned.  But we googled on our phones and it seemed to be an issue with the gas cap gasket not sealing.  We felt better and kept driving.  The car was fine.  Todd's bike also made it all the way up on the roof rack.  The hotel was not fancy, just very run of the mill hotel, sort of like a Holiday Inn Express.  However, I don’t know if it was due to Vineman or what, we could not find any hotels closer to the race in Guerneville that wasn’t over $300/night!  (And we looked MONTHS in advance!)  We had to pay $250/night just to stay at this very basic Fairfield Inn in Sebastopol, which was still 30 minutes driving to the race!  It was CRAZY!

After we got there we rested at the hotel for a couple of hours.  We were so excited to watch ESPN Sportscenter because we found out the LeBron James has decided to go back to the Cleveland Cavaliers!  How exciting!  

At about 4:20 we went to dinner at Papas & Pollo down the street.  Yes, it was early for dinner, but we did get up at 3:40am, lol.  It was this organic "Seb-Mex" (Mexican food with a Sebastopol twist?) restaurant.  

20140711-2014-07-11 16.41.36_blog

Todd had the Funky Chicken burrito and loved it.  

20140711-2014-07-11 16.45.24_blog

I had shrimp tacos with spanish rice and black beans and it was good.  There was a bunch of flies bothering me and my food though, which was super-annoying.

20140711-2014-07-11 16.45.16_blog

We walked back to the hotel and played on our iPads and watched the Giants vs Diamondbacks game.  We planned out our day the next day (Saturday 7/12).


  1. We are driving up this Friday. My plan was to get up at 3am and leave by 4am. Glad to hear you didn't hit too much traffic. Food options on the 5 are terrible :o(


Thanks for stopping by! I love to hear from you!

[feedly mini]