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California Cycling Vacation - Day 1 - Lake Tahoe & The Market

Ten days ago, we began our California Cycling Vacation.  We planned the adventure as soon as the Tour of California route was announced.  We hadn't been back to California since Dec 2011 and hadn't taken a week off work since July 4th, so were past due.  We booked a cottage on a small vineyard in Glen Ellen (between Sonoma and Santa Rosa), loaded up the bikes, and headed west.

We cycled for 8 days, attended the last 3 stages of the Tour, watched the Giro d'Italia in the mornings, stretched in the evenings, and fell asleep to crickets and woke to a rooster.  We didn't see a drop of rain the entire trip and only had cloud cover the day we rode along the coast.  It was the perfect California vacation and the reason why we continue to visit the Golden State to get our cycling fix.
Visions of how Day 1 would end - which came true!

Our 1st day began in Winnemucca (we drove a few hours after work on Friday) with an early start in order to have breakfast in Truckee and then do a ride along Lake Tahoe.  We were able to stream the Giro the entire morning which made the drive across Nevada tolerable.  My own vegan menu at Squeeze In was a sure sign that this stay in California was going to be delicious and full of options.
Vegan Menu - Love California Food Options

With full bellies, we drove to Lake Tahoe and found parking on the beach.  We had no idea that this was the 1st day of 8 that we would search for parking (paid and free) in order to ride our bikes.  After a fun ride along the lake and a skillful parking lot clean-up and clothes change, we were off to find our home for the next 9 nights.
Lake Tahoe

We made a trip to the Santa Rosa area several years ago for a similar cycling vacation that included the Tour of California, but stayed closer to the coast and dealt with rain almost every day.  One thing that we both remembered was a speciality food market in the Napa/Sonoma area that we chanced into to on our way out.

We planned to do our shopping for the week and grab a late lunch before heading to our cottage.  Terry was pretty sure it was in Napa and I couldn't recall, so that was the GPS destination.  After surviving traffic jams in Sacramento, we got to Napa later than expected and drove right into the middle of BottleRock. We were hot, tired, hungry, and couldn't find the Market.  We went to a couple but they weren't the same, so we called it quits and got out of town.
Self Portrait at Lake Tahoe - we weren't this happy in Napa a few hours later

As we were leaving Napa, Terry realized that the infamous Market was actually in Sonoma!  We could have skipped the entire Napa diversion, but then we wouldn't have the Market story to rehash all week.  We did stop at the Sonoma Market for additional supplies and happily arrived at the cottage 10 minutes later.
Terry exiting the Sonoma Market - mission accomplished

We found the cottage on VRBO and although the pictures, description, and reviews were great, we've been burned in the past.  Until you arrive and at least spend a night, you can never tell.  We drove down a mile long gravel driveway (hence all the parking for our daily cycling trips) and turned the corner into a beautiful piece of property.  Vineyards on rolling hills, a wine tasting building, a few smaller buildings, and a large home.  We were in a cottage between the wine tasting area and the family's home and it was perfect!  We had survived Day 1 and had found a home for the next 8, it was really starting to feel like vacation.
Vineyard Cottage

Day 2 - Sunny & Bumpy Sonoma County


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