Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds"

Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" is considered a classic horror film. If you are not familiar with the plot, the story is about birds attacking the residents of the small, oceanside town of Bodega Bay.

Since the film's opening in 1963, visitors have flocked (pun intended) to Bodega Bay to see the sights Hitchcock used in the movie. What many do not realize is that Hitchcock's fictionalized Bodega Bay consisted of buildings in both Bodega Bay and the nearby town of Bodega. Hitchcock also built temporary sets in Bodega Bay and filmed many scenes on a soundstage.

Today, not much remains from the filming of "The Birds." The Tides Restaurant was featured in the movie; however, the restaurant burned in 1968 and today's Tides bears little resemblance to the one shown in the movie. The restaurant's walls has photos from the making of the movie and its gift shop sells "Birds" souvenirs.

In nearby Bodega, the Casino restaurant, the Potter School, and St. Teresa de Avila's Church were shown in the film and still remain. The Potter School, named Bodega Bay School in "The Birds" and now a residence, is home to a gift shop featuring movie souvenirs. It is open on weekends when the weather is nice and on some weekdays.

Bodega and Bodega Bay are about 1 3/4 hours north of San Francisco on the Sonoma County coast. If you are winetasting in the Russian River Valley, it's an easy drive to the coast. If you would like to take a tour that includes a visit to Bodega and Bodega Bay, please feel free to call me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or e-mail me by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Food and Lodging in the Russian River Valley

One of my favorite restaurants is outside the small town of Forestville in the Russian River Valley. The Farmhouse Inn is a Michelin one-star restaurant serving excellent California cuisine. I have eaten at the Farmhouse a few times and the meals have always been superb. Of course I am a sucker for a good cheese course, and the Farmhouse Inn has one. You'll probably want some wine with your meal and you are sure to find something tasty on the restaurant's 20-page wine list. The restaurant is open for dinner from Thursday through Monday.

After your scrumptious dinner, you probably won't want to drive far to go home or to your hotel room. The Farmhouse solves that problem for you. Just walk across the driveway and spend the night (or two) in one of the Inn's well-appointed cottages. All of the rooms have queen or king beds. Many have fireplaces. Some rooms have jacuzzi tubs or saunas. There's no TV reception at the Farmhouse, but rooms are equipped with DVD players and flat-screen TVs. Bring your own discs or borrow some from the inn's library.

Even though you will go to sleep feeling well sated from dinner, you will probably wake up ready for some breakfast. That's no problem as a delicious country breakfast is included with the price of your room.

Lodging prices vary depending on the season and day of the week. During summer and fall try to reserve your room and/or dinner well in advance to avoid being disappointed.

Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel can pick you up at the Farmhouse to take you on a tour of the Russian River Valley and other nearby wine regions. To book a tour, call me toll free at (866) 326-4237 or e-mail me by clicking here.