I'm going to be spending the next two weekends in Sonoma County and it makes me get all nostalgic-like thinking about my time there...
In 1997 (holy cannoli I'm old), after a year at the lovely JC, I transferred up to Sonoma State to continue my higher education (aka get the heckfire outta my parents' house.) I still worked at the video store (best. job. ever.) and met awesome people I'm still friends with. So much fun, random, exciting stuff happened the years I lived in Rohnert Park and I still to this day get the warm-and-fuzzies when I go there.
Rohnert Park is a planned city. Not shocking to anyone who has been there. Everything is divided into sections...I lived in B section first, then two places in A section. As you can easily guess, all of the street names in each section start with that letter (they were a little lenient with it, or lazy, considering I lived on Alden then Santa Alicia. Not sure why they didn't just name it Alicia. Whatever.) Most people don't think highly of RP, but man, I do. I loved how close we were to Bodega Bay, Goat Rock and anywhere we could go on the coast, I loved how I could walk pretty much everywhere (and did!), I loved how easy it was to get to Santa Rosa (now, not so much), and how that town holds hilarious and awesome memories of my life back then. Given the choice these days, I'd rather live in Santa Rosa than Rohnert Park, but RP will always hold a special place in this here little heart of mine.
After RP, I moved to SF with Wenis, then back to SR, then up to Sonoma. Somewhere in there, I dated a guy who lived in the Sebastopol area and everytime I go out there now, I realize how much I miss it. There are great restaurants, fun bars, cool people and again, great memories. He lived in a sweet place west of Sebastopol that used to be the scale house for the apple orchards. Of course, all of these apple orchards are now vineyards (except for the Christmas Tree Farm which is rad) but the history of his little place gave it all the charm in the world. We spent almost every weekend out at Doran beach with a huge group of friends, playing volleyball (I didn't, they did. Volleyball hurts my arms. Oh and I suck.), BBQing and just watching the water...my favorite part.
My place in Sonoma holds good memories for the most part except for the very end and pretty much now (long story.) The beginning was great though! Sonoma Square is such an awesome area of town and holds the most fun. Good times had there for sure...
Having been in Santa Barbara this weekend and having lived so close to the ocean gives me that feeling again...the feeling that I need to be a beach bum and sell necklaces to tourists. Oh wait, not that one. The one where I think I'm meant to live on a beach somewhere...(photos and Santa Barbara posting coming soon.)
Good question to ask someone you don't really know...Do you prefer the beach or the mountains? My answer is always "I love the mountains - the way it smells, the clean, crisp air, the views, the snow, the trees - but there is something about the beach that just makes me stop, stare, and relax. There's an inexplicable feeling I get when I go to the beach...one that makes me want to live there, work there, and be there all the time."
Cheers to memories, nostalgia, Sonoma County, the beach and all y'all!