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Nikki Santoro
Deep thoughts and mindless ramblings
All about me

Age. 47
Gender. Female
Ethnicity. see for yourself
Location Seattle, WA
School. Other
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Thursday. 8.21.03 4:07 pm
What can I say about Andrea’s Hidden Cottage? This was to be our place of residence in Sonoma. My grandmother used to say, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Speaking of grandmother’s, Andrea’s is run by a friendly old Italian grandmother lovingly called Nonnie. The cottage was billed as a private hideaway nestled in the center of a vineyard. While technically this is accurate, it was not what we expected. The cottage was in fact a one room outhouse behind the Tommasi’s home. The winery was the family winery that took over their backyard. The cottage was decorated with furniture Nonnie obviously moved from her house sometime in the mid 70s. One look inside the cottage and I knew two things for certain, 1) there would be no fooling around in that place and 2) we could not stay there for five nights as planned. Tomorrow we will have to tell that sweet old lady that her accommodations were not suitable and that we would be moving on much earlier than expected. While not an enviable task it was very necessary.

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Ravenswood winery
Thursday. 8.21.03 2:05 pm
Our visit to the Ravenswood winery was very pleasant. They had a ton of Zinfandel wines. We really liked the spicy reds we tasted. We bought the Pickberry 2000 and the Carignane 2002. We also liked the Zinfandel from Amador County but did not buy it.

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Mary's Pizza Shack
Thursday. 8.21.03 12:30 pm
Mike is obsessed with Mary’s Pizza Shack. As soon as we got into Sonoma, we headed to Mary’s for lunch. We discovered Mary’s Pizza Shack on our honeymoon a little over two years ago. Ever since then Mike has been talking about their food. He loves Mary’s so much because the serve good pizza and simple, hearty pasta whose main ingredient is meat. I had the spaghetti and meatballs for lunch and it was very good. Technically, there was just one huge meatball but who cares. I ate as much of it as I possibly could. I am sure we will be back a few more times while we are in Sonoma.

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Pull up!
Wednesday. 8.20.03 5:00 pm
The strangest thing about our cabin is the toilet. While it looks like any other toilet, you flush it by pulling the handle up. While Mike loved this system, I never got used to it. Mike tells me the key is to pull up on the handle while still sitting. He says it makes him feel like a pilot ejecting from a fighter jet. Disturbing image, isn’t it?

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Cows on the beach
Wednesday. 8.20.03 12:00 pm
I was rather amused today to learn that right here in Marin County there are cows on the beach. While hiking around Point Reyes National Seashore, we spotted several large groups of cows grazing rather contently alongside the train we were hiking. At the time I thought, “only in California.” Later while having lunch at the Pine Cone Diner I noticed a laminated flyer explaining the benefits of the local style of raising cows. According to the flyer these cows have a great life. They graze in a variety of scenic locales while chomping on their choice of fine grasses. This traditional style of ranching apparently produces the best tasting beef. I have to admit, my 100% Marin County beef hamburger was quite tasty. One more note on hiking at the Point Reyes National Seashore, always wear a hat. The breeze whipped my hair around so much that I couldn’t see a thing.

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Hot tub at Manka's
Wednesday. 8.20.03 9:00 am
While I struggled to put on my very wet and very cold bathing suit this morning I realized this was an all too familiar feeling. Growing up in Florida, summer vacations meant one of two things; the beach or Disney World. (For those of you who live on the west coast, that’s pronounced WORLD not LAND.) Morning is the worst time of day to be wrestling with a wet bathing suit. The only upside to this experience is the anticipation of things to come. As a kid this meant body surfing and laying out on the beach. This morning, I enjoyed an extremely relaxing soak in the hot tub.

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