Staycation should be a term that everyone knows: a vacation in your hometown; the opportunity to see attractions and restaurants in a new light.
I have lived in Sonoma County off and on for about 25 years. San Jose during my childhood, my pre-teen and teenage years in Windsor, moving back home to Santa Rosa after college, then Healdsburg and back to Santa Rosa as an adult (because, let's be honest - you are not an adult until you are 30. At least, I didn’t feel like an adult until Ryeson came along two years ago). All these years have allowed me to become immersed in the culture here in wine country.
What is Sonoma County?
Sonoma County’s version of wine country is all about the land. The winegrowers, the winemakers, the chefs, the produce growers, the livestock farmers, the cheesemakers, the brew masters, THE PEOPLE.
Over the years, I have learned which wineries to visit for people that care about getting the perfect Instagram winery photo, vs geeking out on unique wine varieties with the tasting room staff. Or where the best Mexican is (my opinion is Juanita Juanita in Sonoma). And, I LOVE finding new places. Either new to me, or just opened.
Many of the new restaurants and hotels are opening outside of Santa Rosa in places like Sonoma, Healdsburg and Petaluma, but there are a few I am excited about coming to my hometown.
Staycation from the Toddler
When The Astro Motel asked me if I wanted to stay at their almost open hotel for a night (they invited many people in the local media) I said YES! Though, I had no idea when I would be able to stay… if I wanted to be toddler-free with my husband. Finally, we got the chance in late January when Jeff’s parents were in town. They were able to take Ryeson for a night, staying with them in their RV, and we checked in at 3pm.
Originally built in 1963, The Astro Motel was remodeled into a small, urban motel over the past year, with their grand opening celebration in mid-January 2018. The hotel is a colorful mix of retro surfer and cycling vibes with updated touches like outlets with USB Ports and keyless doors.
Downtown Santa Rosa
Since The Astro is just south of downtown Santa Rosa, we walked into downtown for beers at Belly and ramen at Miso Ramen on 4th Street. We have been to Belly at least a million times, but it was happy hour on a Sunday, so they had good deals. :)
Miso Ramen was new to us. I have wanted to go since I saw Heather Irwin's review on BiteClubEats. A Miso Butter Vegetarian Ramen dish? This definitely sounded like something I needed to try. So, we sat at the sushi bar and ordered veggie gyozas and ramen (his: pork. Hers: miso butter).
Loved the flavor of it for the first several bites, but then the butter coated my mouth a little too much and overwhelmed me. I brought the leftovers back to the motel and will definitely add the ramen noodles and fixings to a different broth. My husband loved his and inhaled it within minutes. We both agreed the serving staff was great. Very friendly, and helpful—especially when I asked if Miso Butter Ramen was common. It is.
We walked back to the motel just as the sun set. Everything seemed to glow in a new light. Downtown Santa Rosa was filled with people that Sunday night. It was a great site.
We sipped on Belden Barns Sauvignon Blanc (given to us by The Astro) and watched the replay of the Grammys while sinking into the pillow top mattress and soft pillows. Definitely my kind of bed, but not a favorite for my husband.
The Next Morning
We woke up at 7am to grab Spinster Sister muffins and coffee from the lounge and checked out so we could go back home to real life. Opening the front door to our home only 5 miles away from downtown Santa Rosa made us sigh with relief. Sometimes it is good to be reminded of how much you love home. <3