I want to start by saying that Day 26 is quite warm. It is still 90 degrees in Petaluma and we have had to run the air conditioning. I am just not accustomed to having to say that at the end of September! We added another day to our stay in Petaluma so that we could get a campsite near Roseville and my sister starting Monday. In order to do this, we had to make another reservation of one day and we had to move to a new campsite because the one we were in was reserved already for today. Checkout time is 11:00am but the people in our new campsite were taking their time and it was noon before we were ensconced again. It really isn't very much trouble to tear down and set up again and we are getting pretty fast at it.
We found mention to a historic museum in Petaluma so we decided to go have a look. It was a good plan. The old part of Petaluma is what I'm calling typical old Northern California city. There are a number of 2-3 story older buildings along with some adobe hacienda style and most are filled with shops and restaurants.
This building said "Seed Bank" over the front door. I thought it was a funny name for a bank. It turns out that the place actually does have seeds. I was having a little Common Ground Fair moment there.
This must be weekend, outdoor festival time in this part of the state. We come into the center of things and begin to notice lots of cars and then streets blocked off and then the white tents. Yup - festival and no on street parking to be had. We happened to drive by a public parking garage and ventured in. Nice, nice Petaluma has 4 hours free parking on the first two levels and 10 hours free parking on the top levels. They don't have any signs noting the clearance to the roof rafters until you get to the roof rafters. It turns out the 6ft 11in was fine for the truck but we were both sitting hunched over in the front seat (as if that would somehow help) wondering if we were stuck in here for good. After 3 times around the entire garage and not an empty spot available we had to admit that we might not be visiting the museum today. GPS said there was parking another mile from there but it was over 90 degrees and even if we'd found a spot I'm pretty sure I would have perished walking back in.
We did need to buy groceries and luckily the Petaluma Market was right across the street and it had a parking lot (for customers only) and there was a guard enforcing the parking.
Since it was past lunch time, this outing became one about food. I like food carts. There were a lot of other people liking this food cart as well so we decided to give it a go.
This young man was working the grill the whole time. It smelled wonderful and we were fairly certain that we would be getting freshly grilled food.
We both had a pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw and it was excellent. There were several picnic tables nearby but the only empty one was in the full sun. So we asked a lady if we might join her at her table and she was happy to let us eat with her. She was pleasant but not talkative so no great conversations took place.
The Petaluma Market is a small, busy, wonderful place that is proud to NOT be a chain. The aisles are narrow and the shelves are stocked with local and fresh and organic and some brand name merchandise. Meat is ordered from the butcher and wrapped in paper (nothing in foam wrapped in cellophane). There was also a small station where fresh sushi was being made. While it was a bit more expensive to buy here than at a Safeway I was happy to support a locally owned business. The groceries were bagged in these nice paper bags with handles. San Francisco bans the use of plastic bags and will begin charging 10 cents for all other bags on Monday (at least I think I got that right - Brett read it in the SF paper a little while ago).
I have never, ever been able to buy a fresh fig in Maine. When I saw boxes and boxes of these babies I knew that some of them had to be mine. They taste great. Dinner tonight was crusty french bread, extra virgin olive oil with rosemary, local cheddar cheese, Saskia's tomatoes, fresh figs and wine.
We are spending our last evening here relaxing with the newspaper, plotting out the next phase of our journey and still having a merry time of it.