Not using a true-to-scale map spells, “adventure.”
It won’t give you the quickest route; and it might take you on roads not meant for the feint of heart. And, so it was. Melanie and I headed to Sea Ranch Lodge for our big adventure.
Sea Ranch is situated in Sonoma County on 52-acres of scenic coastal property. It’s located within The Sea Ranch development, which encompasses a 10-mile stretch of beautiful coastal homes, and an 18-hole golf course.
Traveling north on Highway 101, we cut across (east to west) in Cloverdale, and traveled down 128. In Boonville we turned left onto Highway 253 (Mountain View Road) heading toward Manchester. Little did we know that we were going to experience the forest primeval. It was worth the extra time. We came from the north, not the south. From the south, there’s a sense that the coastline has been under development since the Russians arrived in the 1700s.
Coming from Route 253, it’s clear that although the Sea Ranch homes have been under development since the 1960s, their backdrop is a magnificent, untouched forest… So much to explore, so much city left behind, so much peace and tranquility. A little exhausted from not giving ourselves enough time to completely take in the mountainous forest’s magnificence, we just made the winemaker dinner.
Upon arrival, we found a beautiful lodge and gracious hospitality to welcome us. The staff completely surrendered to welcoming us. The attention to detail in our rooms was awesome.
Details, details: A lovely shawl was strategically placed at the foot of my bed, tempting me to immediately wrap it around my shoulders… and I couldn’t resist.
The winemaker dinner was amazing. Not only were my food sensitivities completely taken into consideration, and each course cleverly disguised to replicate everyone else’s, but the Davis Bynum wines that were skillfully chosen by their Executive Chef to match everyone else’s courses, also seamlessly matched what he had individually prepared for me and for Linda, another guest at my table with similar food sensitivities.
Sea Ranch is a gorgeous, Pacific ocean side retreat that beckons your spirit to stay, walk the cliffs, breathe the salt air, indulge yourself in a full-body massage, enjoy the sounds of surf and the sight of wild sea birds in exalted flight, and be pampered by an extraordinary staff who are there to serve your every need.
At the winemaker dinner, we were quickly befriended by the folks who shared our table. Sam and Chillie quickly introduced themselves. We were to find out that if they can’t make a winemaker dinner, they call to take themselves “off” the list, rather than have themselves “put” on the list… Amazing.
Other table companions were Brad and Linda, who shared all the “really high quality,” to quote Linda, “things to do in the area; from art and photography galleries, to local wineries, to luscious cuisine, to the most intriguing farmers’ market on the coast.” Sea Ranch Lodge is just quietly there, waiting for you to explore all that it offers.
My hat’s off to everyone’s extreme hospitality. They’ve done an exceptional job of making guests feel like they’re the most important people in the world. They thoroughly understands the fine art of how to gain visitors’ confidence and loyalty, then forge that friendship for life. You simply must discover it for yourself! As one staff member said to me, “The journey is part of the experience.” I counter with, “The experience was worth the journey.”