A favorite quote of mine is from George Moore, “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it”. For many years I sought out adventure in far corners of the world but in 2007 life landed me in Petaluma. As a Bay Area native I thought I knew my way around but, in my almost 40 years, I had somehow missed Petaluma. In fact, my knowledge of the Bay Area’s northern counties was almost nil, except for the odd wine tasting excursion. Now, with my eyes widened by overseas perspective, I find myself enthusiastically exploring a corner of the world that is rich in history, people, food, and geographic beauty: my own backyard.
We do indeed have a rich backyard here in Sonoma County. From Petaluma I only have to travel a half hour to the west to take in the beauty of Tomales Bay and eat delicious fresh seafood. Less than an hour to the north and I am in the Russian River tasting some of the world’s best wines or floating down stream in a kayak. Twenty minutes to the east and I can soak up a bit of Bear Republic history in Sonoma plaza. And along the way I am endlessly discovering the nooks and crannies of this region; local farms, quirky shops, tasty tidbits, adventure sport spots, rich wildlife, scenic views, and some of the friendliest and most interesting people anywhere.
How did I spend so much of my life not knowing very much about this beautiful patch of earth? I have explored the boroughs of Tokyo, wandered the mountains of the Himalayas, and traveled overland through Africa in search of new experiences. It turns out I really didn’t have to go that far. I have found what I needed right here and traveling locally is so much more comfortable!