Tag Archives: Glen Ellen

An Afternoon at the Park

Jack London State Park to be exact.

Oh and before we go any further, these photos were all iPhoners, so please excuse the meh quality.

My day included a trip to the doctor’s office, aka my second home, for a weekly check-up. The baby is doing great, and we are just playing the waiting game at this point! I think I am 39 weeks? Its getting hard to remember!

After the visit I was in the mood for some outdoor scenery. I took our handy state park pass along and made the drive into Glen Ellen, about 20 minutes from the center of Sonoma. Glen Ellen is like the even quainter small town answer to Sonoma. I love visiting there. Great wineries (Benziger!), one of my favorite restaurants in the area (Glen Ellen Star, an oasis), and its all surrounded by parks and nature.

So here we are at Jack London State Park.

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Part of the fun of visiting here is seeing where Jack London lived, worked, and spent his life.

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The entrance of the trails.

I really love this park. It has miles and miles (I think about 20) of hiking trails. You can’t bring dogs, but horses are welcome. So watch out for horse poo.

I’m really looking forward to visiting here for some trail runs post-baby.

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Today I made it for about an hour’s hike. I would have liked to have gone longer, but lunch was calling my name.

The rest of my day includes cleaning and CHILLING OUT. I think I may even watch a movie DURING THE DAY, that’s how crazy its going to get.

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Quarry Hill Botanical Garden

Here’s your soundtrack while reading this post: Eyes by Rogue Wave and These Days by Nico.

I had been meaning to visit Quarry Hill Botanical Gardens for some time now, and I’m so glad I did. The gardens are located off Highway 12 in Glen Ellen, so about a 15 minute drive from the Sonoma Square.

I started my morning off slowly, with some extra time under the covers just soaking in the quiet and stillness. After a sufficient snooze, I roused myself, got dressed (yep, remembered to do that), and headed over to the Barking Dog for a decaf coffee and cinnamon bun the size of my face. I didn’t think there was any way I could finish that bun, but I did. It was pretty tasty, but that was a lot of dough. Good thing there was a good amount of walking in my near future.

Getting to the gardens was easy and there are signs pointing in the right direction so its not difficult to figure out where to park, pay, etc. Once you do all of that good stuff, the entrance is up an incline, and off you go…

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I recommend wearing some sturdy walking shoes, as there are paved sections as well as plenty of trails. I wore a pair of Merrel boots that worked well.

What surprised me the most about QH was the expanse of it! I expected more of a quaint, picturesque sort of garden. But really this was a series of walking/nature trails with plenty of hills to keep you working. You also really choose your own adventure, there’s not a course you have to follow. That makes it really fun, because you can wander off in different directions, down tiny trails, and do your own discovering.

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This little area seemed to be a meditation or area of thoughtfulness… it was beautiful and one of my favorite parts of the gardens. I didn’t see details about this at the entrance (probably because I didn’t grab one of the brochures), but people had written their wishes on these cards and hung them on the beams of the structure.

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I walked for about an hour and a half total, and kept stumbling upon beautiful surprises.

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At the top (or what seemed to be the top) of the trails was a lovely sitting area with Tibetan prayer flags, a stone offering area, and a nice chance for a bit of reflection.

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I headed back and around, and found my way to the exit. Before I left I had to snap a few pictures of the vineyards at the entrance. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that there are vineyards here, this is Sonoma after all. 🙂

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