By now, after reading about Lou’s adventures in Whistler, you must be curious to know how Harper spent her summer vacation sans her BFF bitch-buddy, right? Well, sit tight, you’re about to hear all about it! A long-awaited break from our work-a-day world finally arrived in mid-July for my significant other, David, and me, and we caught an Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle, then took a Horizon Air turbo-prop plane over to Bozeman, Montana.
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Heading up and out to the Pacific Northwest – this time without my BFF Harper – for a trip to Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia. Thanks to my ever-so-generous brother, my hubby Lance and I got a free week at a timeshare anywhere in the world we wanted to go. The only problem was we had to book it by June 15th…and it was May 15th, which meant that all the popular spots were already reserved. So, after pondering what would make Lance and me happiest – he’s a city guy, I’m a mountain girl – (you know what they say about opposites) flying into Vancouver and driving up to Whistler sounded like the best of both worlds!
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With Northern California’s breathtakingly beautiful Wine Country less the an hour’s drive away from our doorsteps, Lou and I — on a spur-of-the-moment whim — once again pointed the car north to go explore the town that some consider the very heart of Napa Valley: St. Helena. Located 65 miles from San Francisco, Napa County is a tourist magnet with its abundance of vineyards and tasting rooms that draw wine enthusiasts from all over the world like bees to nectar.
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Some of our fave BRB road trips take Harper and me on scenic adventures through the rolling countryside, but on a foggy Sunday morning, we opted to go urban and stay close to home, heading to the East Bay to explore the hip, cool, artsy town of Berkeley.
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For our final BRB road trip of 2014, we hit the highway heading north to the town of Healdsburg. Truth be told, Lou and I just can’t seem to get enough of Wine Country – which is kind of funny because we’re both total lightweights when it comes to wine! But we do love to “drink in” the scenery of Sonoma County, which is always awesome and ever-changing, depending on the season when you visit.
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The Napa Valley is arguably THE most popular wine and food lovers’ destination in all of Northern California! Napa attracts close to 3 million visitors annually, and we feel lucky to live just 40 miles away. Lou and I had postponed our trip here, originally scheduled just two days after a 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit Napa on August 24 and jolted most Bay Area residents awake in the wee morning hours.
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Harper and I may live and work in the sprawling metropolis of the San Francisco Bay area, but we’re really country girls at heart. So, when we heard about an all-day harvest festival happening in the Capay Valley one sunny weekend in early October, we put on our gingham shirts and straw hats, jumped in the car and headed out.
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Lou and I originally chose downtown Napa as our next BRB destination, but Mother Nature had other plans with a violent 6.0 magnitude earthquake that hit the quaint city of Napa at 3:20 a.m. on August 24th – just two days before our scheduled trip. So, with our Napa plans dashed temporarily, we headed for an East Bay waterfront town that neither of us had ever visited before – Benicia. The city’s slogan is “A Great Day by the Bay” and our day trip certainly lived up to that!
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Sticking to our plan of exploring interesting towns closer to home first, before venturing to, say…Hawaii, Harper and I drove north from Marin up to the town of Santa Rosa. We had a couple of specific areas in mind to check out, and totally lucked out on our morning trek up Highway 101, somehow missing the typical car jam-up!
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With Lou in the driver’s seat and me riding shotgun, we embarked on another of our BRB adventures, this time heading up to Petaluma, a quaint town that sits about 33 miles northwest of San Francisco. Although you can take Hwy. 101 all the way, we forked off on a scenic route that took us through miles of rolling green pastures, home to herds of happy cows, sheep and goats. We actually ended up doing three day-trips because, besides having power shopping and eating on our itinerary, we also wanted to tour a few of the nearby farms.
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For our latest BRB excursion, we pointed the car north to visit the crown jewel of Northern California’s Wine Country: the historic town of Sonoma, just a 45-minute drive north of the Golden Gate Bridge. True, it’s a favorite destination for wine lovers with its awesome array of world-class vineyards, wineries, and tasting rooms…
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When you last took a ride with the BackRoad Bitches, we were sweeping through the seaside town of Bodega Bay. Well, we didn’t come all this way just to turn around and go home after a little shopping and a great lunch!
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On a cool, overcast Saturday morning, Lou and I set the GPS for a fantastic backroad destination: Bodega Bay. As you’ve probably figured out, we both love getting out onto country roads, and half the fun of going to Bodega Bay is the road trip getting there.
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Ahhhh, Larkspur! It’s the place Harper and I call home. Just 15 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge or a 30-minute ferry ride from San Francisco, this historic community is a popular destination for foodies and “shopanistas” like Harper and me.
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Lou and I charted our course to the neighboring town of Mill Valley for this relaxing BRB adventure. Okay, maybe we should be called lazy bitches on this one cuz Mill Valley’s not that far a drive for us – but, hey, we’re stoked that we conserved fuel on a spare-the-air day in Marin!
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Adopting the “shop locally” mantra for the holidays, Harper and I kept close to home for our Sunday excursion, venturing out to the town of Fairfax, a 40-minute drive from San Francisco. We’re both familiar with Fairfax, but hadn’t spent much time actually looking under the hood.
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The oh-so-picturesque town of San Anselmo is an easy day trip from anywhere in the Bay Area, and is the birthplace of BackRoad Bitches co-founder, Lou Scott!
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The town of Sebastopol, 52 miles north of San Francisco, was once named Pinegrove, but was renamed in the late 1850s. The 1906 earthquake leveled the town, turning most of it into rubble, but it rose from the ashes and rebuilt itself. Once the center of a thriving apple industry, by the second half of the 20th century the town had to diversify into other industries due to competition from other apple producing areas.
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Just an hour’s drive from San Francisco, the 71,000 acre Point Reyes National Seashore draws visitors from all over the world with its eye-popping scenery, challenging hiking trails, pristine beaches and diverse wildlife. Half the fun of our Saturday excursion to Point Reyes Station was getting there.
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Working for literally peanuts, Knuckles has proven to be a valued team member and contributor to the BRB family.
His dedication and sense of design is seriously impressive.
“With skills like his, it’s easy to see why he’s the
Chief Technology Officer.”
we only wished he’d take a less casual approach to his attire around the office.
Knuckles declined to comment for this article.
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