Monday, July 21, 2014

Sonoma Co Day 2 | The Pre-Race


Our first full day in Sonoma County was all about race preparation.  Got up around 6:30am, which meant sleeping a lot!  (We went to bed at like 9pm due to getting up at 3:30am for the trip.)  We got dressed and went over to Hole In The Wall down the street for breakfast.  They were supposed to open at 7am.  We got there at 7:10 and we were one of three parties waiting outside for the waitress to unlock the door.  It was a nice little place.  

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I got the mushroom & potato scramble with poached eggs and a biscuit.  

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It was all good, but the biscuit was really good.  Todd got some sort of apple cinnamon special Belgian pancake that was super-thick.  The coffee was very good.

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After breakfast we hurried and showered so we could leave at around 8:50 to go to Winsor High School for the Vineman course overview talk at 9:30.  We got there with plenty of parking left.  We waited to get into the gym for the talk.  Once we found seats in the bleachers, we saw Mick, Cat, and Steve so we waved them over to sit by us.  

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The course talk and video was very entertaining.  Then we went out to the packet pickup line.  We met Cat's family.  We chatted while waiting for them to pick up their bibs, and then their tshirts.  It took a while but finally everyone was good to go.  

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The boys went over to Transition 2 to set up their bike-to-run gear.  


Todd forgot his towel in the car so he went to get it.  Vineman has 2500 participants and sold out in under 4 minutes!  We went to the Expo and Todd bought a Vineman bike jersey.

After the Expo, we met up with the gang at old town Winsor.  

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We walked around a bit, then we went to eat lunch at KC's Downtown Grill.  We all sat at one big table.  

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The food came really fast. I had crab cake salad with avocado slices.  

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Todd had steak salad.  It was decent but not super great.  

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After lunch, we parted ways and Todd and I drove to Siduri Winery for our 1:00 tasting appointment.  Nora was our salesperson and hostess.  She was very nice and explained where each wine's grapes came from.  It was fascinating.  Somehow the only photo we took at the winery was this one!  :(

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The wines we tasted.  Don’t worry, she only gave a very little bit of each wine, plus we poured most of them into the discard container after a sip or two.


Todd liked the Zinfandel and the mixed Pinot Noir (extra pouring that wasn’t on the list).  I liked the dessert wine.  So we bought 2 Zinfandels, and one each of the other ones.

After the winery, we went to get gas and found out where the nearby O'Reilly's Auto Parts was.  It was only a few blocks away on Mendocino Ave in Santa Rosa.  This really nice guy named Tony helped us a lot.  He called around different Subaru-specialized mechanics to see if they were open, but they were not.  He called another contact and she said Subaru makes all the dashboard lights come on so you don't ignore it.  Tony thought it was a voltage or alternator problem, which we feared.  He got a voltage tester and we tested the battery.  It was normal and nothing wrong with it.  Then he told us that we could go down the street to Oilspot Oil Change and this really nice guy named John helped us with reading the diagnostic code on the car.  He did it all for free.  He printed it out and told us that it was minor gas evaporative leakage.  Just what Google and the Subaru forums told us when we googled it on the road yesterday!  We went back to O'Reilly to tell Tony and he was surprised.  He gave us a gas cap to try on and Todd started the car 11 times to try to get the lights to go away.  It didn't happen.  But we were confident it was nothing serious and bought the gas cap for $10.  Tony gave us phone numbers for a couple of auto repair shops if we need to go on Monday.  Big shoutouts to both Tony at O’Reilly and John at Oilstop in Santa Rosa.  Couldn’t have met nicer guys willing to help a possibly stranded road-tripping tourist!

After that we went back to the hotel and relaxed.  Then we had to find a place to eat for dinner.  There weren’t very many good places to eat in Sebastopol.  (Very small town.) Todd found a place called Woodruff's that looked good.  We walked over and it was closed due to family wedding.  :(  It took us a while to Yelp and find another place to eat.  We ended up at an Asian fusion place called Eight.  We had pork potstickers for appetizer.  Todd had Mongolian steak with brown rice.

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I had chow mein with shrimp.  It was rather good.  


After dinner we just hung out in the hotel and watched "Friday Night Lights" movie on TV.  Had to go to sleep early for the Ironman race the next morning!

PS – If you wonder how I can remember all the details of our trip… I ALWAYS type up notes in Evernote every night while on a trip, so that the details are fresh in my mind still.  I find that even the next day or two days later, I’ve forgotten a lot of the details.  The details are what I relish when I go back and read my trip blog posts, so I don’t skip them when I’m typing it out every night while on the trip.  :)


  1. Gosh do I hate Blogger - it ate my very long comment.

    Love your travel reports, Christine. We had a private tour of Siduri a few years ago and were amazed at what goes into the winemaking process.

  2. Wow, I was exactly wondering how could you remember all this details... It will be great, a few years from now, for you to be able to read and remember everything!
    Looking forward to the next post!


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