That time when I tricked the boys into fishing in wine country.
We headed out early Friday morning for Healdsburg and one of the best things about a pandemic is less traffic! We made it into town early afternoon and the boys headed off to check out some nearby fishing spots. I headed to the downtown square for some shopping. There are several cute boutiques and gift shops open. Must wear a mask everywhere, but all merchants were happy to have customers back. A few hours later we checked into our hotel, Hotel Trio. A great Residence Inn complete with bocce court, open pool and grab & go breakfast. They were having a wine tasting when we pulled in and why yes, I will have some rosé.
The rooms here were spacious, which is what we need these days with 2 giant boys in our room. A full kitchen, pull out couch and 2 queen beds. And they have a contactless robot on staff for towels, ice and other deliveries to your room, named Rosé.
We got settled and cleaned up, then headed to dinner downtown at Dry Creek Kitchen. (FYI downtown is about 1 mile from the hotel and usually they have a shuttle that takes you down and back, but due to COVID it wasn’t running. Ubers were also not running in the area.) We had a lovely dinner al fresco that started with my favorite wine, Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc and DCK skillet focaccia bread with rosemary and sea salt. We had to try the Lobster Corndogs and Tater Tots which were delish BTW! My boys had the Smash Burger. I had the Miso Glazed King Salmon and Jim had the Blue Cheese Crusted Filet Mignon. Everything was absolutely delicious and the service was impeccable, especially for outdoor dining on a large patio away from the kitchen. While we finished our wine, the boys walked across the square to grab dessert at The Noble Folk Ice Cream and Pie Bar. They both had the Homemade Oreo ice cream and of course we had to sample. The best Oreo ice cream we have ever had! But I was so mad they didn’t get the waffle cone! Back to the hotel for our first night of the family bocce tournament- Kids vs. Parents and then up early for our fishing adventure.
An hour drive north (30 minutes of very winding, steep roads) to Clear Lake and we made it to Disney’s Boat Rentals by 9am. We tried several shore fishing spots without luck prior to launching our fishing boat at 11am. Clear Lake is beautiful, but not so clear right now. They are having an algae bloom and I definitely didn’t want to get in the water.
Per the Lake Country Website, “The algae in Clear Lake are part of the natural food chain and keep the lake fertile and healthy. Because of the lake's relative shallowness and warm summer temperatures, the algae serve another important purpose. They keep the sun's rays from reaching the bottom, thus reducing the growth of water weeds which would otherwise choke off the lake. Nuisance blue-green algae, however, can be a problem. From more than 130 species of algae identified in Clear Lake, three species of blue-green algae can create problems under certain conditions. These problem blue-greens typically "bloom" twice a year, in spring and late summer. The intensity of the blooms vary from year to year, and are unpredictable. The problem occurs when algae blooms are trapped at the surface and die. When this occurs, unsightly slicks and odors can be produced.”
It was a hot day of 95 degrees and luckily our boat had some shade with the whole algae bloom situation. We fished for 4 hours and caught 2 fish, a bass and a catfish. We came to Clear Lake because it was touted the best bass fishing in California, but we didn’t get super lucky. Oh well, back to wine country we go!
Saturday night we grabbed dinner across the street from our hotel at a fancy grocery store, Big John’s Market. We actually had bought sandwiches and snacks for the fishing boat the night before too! Such a cool market with ready made or build-your-own deli, burrito bar and full dinners like salmon, tri tip and meatloaf. We took our finds back to the fire pits at Hotel Trio and enjoyed another lovely dinner outside with a bottle of wine, of course. Game 2 of Parents vs. Kids resumed. Parents 1, Kids 1.
Sunday morning we woke up early once more to find the fish in the Russian River. Boys all grabbed the breakfast items at the hotel, but me being the picky girl I am, I stopped for a latte and scone across the street at Plank coffee shop.
We stopped first in Guerneville and then made our way along different spots to try shore fishing. The boys waded through the river as well and I found spots on the shore for sunning and reading. No fish caught yet in the RR, but we were getting hungry and thirsty. On our way to the next stop I spotted Korbel winery and deli. We had a lovely lunch on their patio. I had the Korbel Cobb salad with their homemade dill ranch and a glass of bubbly. Boys all had sandwiches and were very happy. We found a few more spots to fish, but next time I go back I will definitely rent a tube or kayak to float the river. Everyone looked to be having such a relaxing time, tubes all tied together with floating ice chests.
After a rest by the pool, we cleaned up for dinner at Campo Fina. I would go back to Healdsburg just to eat here again. Such a fun place with a relaxed vibe and amazing nibbles! We were seated on their bocce court and you can tell they are serious about their bocce. There are annual champs listed on their wall. We started with the Crispy Fingerling Potatoes, Honey Roasted Carrots and Fennel Glazed Baby Back Riblets. Second course was Roasted Beet and Caesar Salad. We finished with the Pizza Jersey Shore and The Old School in a Skillet (4 homemade meatballs in sauce, served with bread)!! Everything was scrumptious and the service was very attentive. They serve wine in jars due to COVID-, but had them adorned with their cute stickers. If you prefer a little bougie, you can also purchase your own Riedel glass to take home.
We strolled the downtown square because we were so full, but the boys had to hit Noble Folk for more Homemade Oreo ice cream again before we headed home. We sat in the park, enjoyed the warm breeze and watched all the kids playing. Bocce tournament results were not as I had hoped, Kids 2, Parents 1 and the fish count stayed at 2, but we had a great getaway with our boys. Fun to have their full attention for a few days and share in the silly inside jokes that happen with travel. Until next time Healdsburg and the beautiful wine country I love!