Jaxon Keys

Nate and Grammie Denise roll into San Fran on the 11th of Nov.  We are… officially… ahead of schedule!  Ah yes… I remember you, old friend.  “Ahead of Schedule”…. I’ve missed you.  You make my type A, always-wear-a-watch, show up 2 minutes early toes curl.  While I believe with all my heart that Auntie Ang and Brock would welcome us to stay with them through next weekend, let’s not overstay our welcome BEFORE we turn their home into an asylum.  We found ourselves with about 10 days of unplanned time and all of Northern California to explore.  Does it get any better than that?!

Like all new RVers, we signed up for just about every kind of membership before we even hit the road.  It’s been fun trying to get our money’s worth… for example Passport America completed sucked donkey butt until we hit Wyoming/Utah.  Five states later it has paid for itself 3 or 4 times over so I take back all the mean things I said about it. Harvest Host is another one that we hadn’t used effectively… until last night.  We got to spend the night in a California winery for free.  There was even a free wine tasting included.  Plenty of time, no schedule, wine and a free overnight in the most expensive state in the lower 48?!  No – the answer is no, it does not get better than that.

There’s something about the earthy smell of the vines and waking up in the storybook setting of an 1800s farmhouse that made for exceptional overnight.  The kids could run in between the vines.  Boston was free to wander.  We enjoyed a bottle of their Zinfindel in the evening.  After the winery closed at 6, we were the only ones on the property. Jaxon Key is the name.  If you find yourself on the 101 about 2 hours north of Silicon Valley, it’s well worth a visit.  Please tell them we sent you.









We arrived around 2 pm so we had all afternoon. Scott wanted to work.  The kids and I cleaned out the Grey Man and headed into the nearby town.  I had noticed a little eco store/retreat/campground/colony thing and the winery had recommended it as a fun play for the kids.  My inner tech eco hippie bloomed in full.

The Solar Living Center runs completely on solar power, it’s set up for passive heating/AC, there were outdoor-ish pavilions with living walls of vines and hops.  In the store they even had a solar expert section set up very much like the Genius Bar inside Apple Stores.  My people.  I found you.  Scott fell hard for Moab.  I’m falling hard for northern California.  If it weren’t for the insane taxes and the fact that it’s kinda sorta outrageously expensive and far from home… I could settle down here for a good long bit.

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This is funny because it’s for kids or dogs.  Totally the same thing – 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.  Funny.



This is the coolest Airb-n-b place It’s small on size, but big big big on character.


I want one of these.  It’s $150 and I’m in cheap mode.  But some day soon, we are buying one. I want to cook biscuits with the heat of the sun. That’s just rockstar.