Sonoma County reflections, Aug. 1-6

Editor’s note: These reflections offer glimpses into life in Sonoma County. Short essays written by Press Democrat staff are accompanied by photos submitted by our readers.

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Saturday, Aug. 6

Petaluma’s half ironman athlete is No.1

Petaluman Holly Wick is No.1 in the world among all Half Ironman 70.3 competitors for her age group (female 60-69) as reported by The half ironman competition includes a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile swim.

Wick shares the No. 1 ranking with Caroline Houston of Australia, but her times in events this year are far faster than the Australian’s.

Wick won again in her most recent competition, the Oregon Half Marathon in Salem. Her overall time was 5:42:32 for an easy win over 21 other competitors in her age group. She was 210th out of all females in all age groups. She finished more than 18 minutes faster than any other female competitor in her age group.

Read more.

— John Jackson, Petaluma Argus-Courier

Friday, Aug. 5

Celebrating at a Sonoma winery

I had the opportunity to attend a Sonoma Magazine party on July 28 at Buena Vista Wineries. It was the first event of its kind I’ve ever been to — a celebration of journalism, of photography, but most of all, a celebration of our county.

The editor-in-chief of Sonoma Magazine, Abigail Peterson, said that we had brought the pages of the magazine to life. I can think of no more apt metaphor. Here we were, celebrating the beauty of our county at one of its oldest wineries under a delightful Sonoma sunset, appreciating one another’s efforts to share that beauty with our community. After dancing (terribly) to old-time hits, I drove home thinking, “there’s no place like home.”

— Julia Green, The Press Democrat

Thursday, Aug. 4

Tomorrow is International Beer Day

So how to celebrate International Beer Day on Friday within Sonoma County? It’s not easy as we’re known as one of the best places for the hoppy India pale ales that helped revived the American craft beer scene.

But there is an option over at Cuver, a brewery tucked into an industrial park in Windsor and operated by a Belgian family who were been who home brewing for years before they opened the taproom last year.

The brewery has a good assortment of Belgian beers such as a saison, a dark abbey ale and a golden abbey ale. It also recently released a Belgian wit ale, a wheat beer that has notes of spice and citrus. In essence, it’s the perfect beginner’s drink for someone who is interested in the Belgian style, said Hendrik Verspecht, brewmaster and co-founder.

“It’s part of our mission in showcasing that Belgian beers can be very approachable. There’s really a bigger market out there for these kinds of beers than people think,” Verspecht said. “One of the things we hear the most? ‘I didn’t think I would like Belgian beers but I love your stuff.’”

— Bill Swindell, The Press Democrat

Wednesday, Aug. 3

My easy stroll became 6-mile trek

Recently, I was reminded jogging and walking can be therapeutic and offer good thinking time, especially if you have a nice route through your neighborhood.

I got back into exercising after a five-year bout of laziness. A visit to a doctor was the push I needed and I feel healthier than I did two months ago before I was lectured on my blood pressure.

I follow a three-mile lap that traverses Fountaingrove Parkway and Thomas Lake Harris Drive, where I have pleasant encounters with joggers, dogwalkers, dogs, goats, turkeys and deer. I was dwelling on personal matters during Sunday’s walk and decided to keep going. Suddenly, a three-mile lap had turned into a six-mile trek.

My legs still hurt, but I’m not complaining.

— Colin Atagi, The Press Democrat

Tuesday, Aug. 2

Super Burger takes over at new location

Super Burger took over Scowley’s old space at 229 N. McDowell and very quickly opened their doors earlier this month. With five locations around Sonoma County, Super Burger is no stranger to the burger scene, and is quickly wowing folks with its great food.

I crave burgers almost as much as I crave ice cream, and before it Penngrove location was shut down due to a fire, we used to dine with them regularly, and have been looking forward to them coming back.

We will do a feature article once Super Burger gets their feet under them, but I am happy to report that our first preview was a huge success with two great burgers and equally good tater tots and fries. Owner Bill Cordell was nice enough to reach out to see if I had any questions. I let him know that his staff was doing a great job, and we really enjoyed our food, especially the fact that the oil was noticeably fresh for the tater tots and fries. I also mentioned that during our packed Saturday visit, everyone was showing everyone else the size and quantity of the bacon on their burgers.

“I can’t tell you how many times I turned down opportunities to buy weak bacon,” Bill told me. Heck, anyone who stands by offering quality bacon on his burgers is a friend of mine.

— Houston Porter, Petaluma Argus-Courier

Monday, Aug. 1

Ikebana presentation in Sonoma

Valley of the Moon Garden Club will feature a demonstration and discussion on the Japanese art of ikebana floral arrangement next week.

Ikebana tradition dates to Japan’s Heian period (794 to 1185), when floral offerings were made at altars. Flower arrangements later were used to adorn the “tokonoma” (alcove) in traditional Japanese homes. The complete structure of the Japanese floral arrangement focuses on three main points — symbolizing the sky, earth and human — through the pillars asymmetry, space and depth.

Sonoma resident Dori Araujo, who has been a floral designer for 55 years, will deliver the presentation. Her love of ikebana began when she was living in Hawaii. Her neighbor, a master ikebana instructor, taught her the art form, then she attended many ikebana schools

The presentation on Aug. 4 will be held at First Congregational Church, 252 W. Spain St. in Sonoma. Refreshments and a plant raffle will follow. The event cost is $5.

Read more.

— Dan Johnson, Sonoma Index-Tribune

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