Fall 2013.    ~mike gradziel.
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Just returned from our third annual road trip to the north central coast over the winter holidays (2009, 2012, and 2013) we are set for another year, and maybe longer, having taken in our fill of giant redwood trees, wave-pounded beaches, and good food and drink. We bought cider and apples, took 2.5 month old Norman out to nice restaurants for the first time and actually had a positive experience, and did some walks in the woods. I became obsessed with finding a very wide, fine grained old growth wood slab salvaged from a stump or river bottom to hang on our living room wall, but did not have the truck nor the thousand dollars it would cost to bring one home. The hunt continues. I also decided, along the Russian River, that houses among the tall trees are creepy. Ancient redwood forest may be the most peaceful place I know. It is so quiet there, dimly lit and carpeted with ferns and sorrel and ometimes with thickets of huckleberry bushes. I feel calm and safe there and I know that for a thousand years very little has changed. However where people have built dwellings among the tall trees, things are different. I cannot escape a feeling of unease when traveling through a forest where shacks are scattered among the giant trunks and wood smoke hangs in the air. Everything is damp and on its way toward decay. At night, yellow lamp light cuts the darkness eerily here and there. Cars are wedged into parking spaces beside the big trees and shadowy figures slip about. I don't know why I feel this way, but especially after dark I want to get far, far away from these people who live in the woods.
fallen log in Hendy Woods Joy with big tree in Hendy Woods Hendy Woods
Apple Farm stand, Philo, CA Apple Farm stand, Philo, CA dinner at the Booneville Hotel
Booneville Hotel Booneville Hotel cat Navarro River Beach
northern California surf northern California surf Mendocino Coast near Elk
tasty sandwich from the Elk Store lighthouse at Point Arena climbing the lighthouse at Point Arena
atop the lighthouse at Point Arena view from the lighthouse at Point Arena view from the lighthouse at Point Arena
River Road Cottages, Guerneville CA hiking at Armstrong Woods, Guerneville hiking at Armstrong Woods, Guerneville
lunch at Mom's Apple Pie, Sebastopol tasting wine at Harvest Moon, Santa Rosa has Charlotte the dog drunk too much wine?

December: we went on a drive through Sonoma and Marin to our favorite places: tamales at El Molino, wine and olive oil at BR Cohn, bbq oysters on Tomales Bay, Mt Tam cheese at Cowgirl Creamery, plus a new stop at Marin French Cheese where we saw the cheesemaking in progress on the factory floor.
hiking in San Mateo Golden Gate at night Tony's Seafood Tomales Bay
dungeness crab fresh from the pot autumn vines at BR Cohn wine barrels at BR Cohn
red car sculpture Norman sized car tamales and chalupas at el molino central



July through November: the non-baby-photo album.
dessert, thanks Jomay! taco and fixin's eating lunch
roasted squash and corn salad, green salad, pickled carrots and radishes birdwatching from a footbridge walking along the bay
cracked mud along the bay Hayward shoreline marsh at low tide Hayward shoreline marsh paths
SF botanical garden mesoamerican cloud forest, SF botanical garden SF botanical garden
SF botanical garden SF botanical garden SF botanical garden
flowers in the mesoamerican cloud forest, SF botanical garden grass at Crystal Springs reservoir walking at Crystal Springs reservoir
walking at Crystal Springs reservoir finally, Joy can eat sushi! finally, Joy can eat sushi!
whiskey at the Cliff House view from the Cliff House Sutro Baths
ocean beach, san francisco at sutro park baby bump 8 months
orange newt day lily the berkshires
flowers in Massachusetts our cactus blooms in July our cactus blooms in July


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