The Birds Schoolhouse Ghost
On The Bodega Bay Tour, Gay Lynn mentions that the Potter Schoolhouse as well as the entire town of Bodega is known to be haunted. Sonoma Driving Tours had the chance to take a tour of the building years ago and must admit that it felt creepy just being upstairs. Check out this video from the TV show Sightings, (courtesy of Paranormal Mysteries), explaining the real life haunted happenings at everyone's favorite schooolhouse.
The Birds Schoolhouse Ghost
10 Years ago on June 7, 2006 we released The Bodega Bay Tour on Cd. Here are some fun, little known Bodega Bay Tour trivia facts:
1. Did you know that the Bodega Bay Tour originally started in Sebastopol? The tour wound it's way through famous Florence Avenue in downtown Sebastopol, (home to Patrick Amiot's creative yard art), and made a stop at the very charming gift shop and farm, Rose & Thorn, along the way. A few months later, it became very apparent that more folks wanted the tour to start in Bodega Bay so we made the switch and never looked back.
2. Did you know that Gay Lynn was 5 1/2 pregnant when she first recorded The Bodega Bay Tour in 2006? She had morning sickness throughout the duration of the pregnancy and that is why you will hear a bit of a scratchy tone in her voice - a symptom occurring from months of coughing. The tour has been updated a few times here and there over the past 10 years and Gay Lynn has tried her best to match the scratchy tone to make it appear seamless. If you listen carefully, you can hear the difference between the original recording and the updates.
3. Did you know that Sonoma Driving Tours was actually Sonoma County Tours from 2003-2011? We started our business as a sightseeing bus tour and continued until the fall of 2005 after the insurance for the bus became too expensive. We sold the bus, shut our doors for about 6 months and rewrote the business plan and changed the format of our tours to an audio Cd. We operated as Sonoma County Tours through 2010 and then changed our name to Sonoma Driving Tours in 2011.
4. Did you know that we originally wanted to call our business The Sonoma County Movie Tour? Our tour bus was equipped with a television and the plan was to take folks around to the various movie locations and show them the video footage to match the destination. Copyright laws prohobited us from moving forward with that tour but it's always been in the back of Gay Lynn's mind to make it a driving tour. We did offer other tours and they included The Treats of San Francisco, The 3 Hour Tour, Backroads, Redwoods & Champagne, The Secret Garden Tour and the Garden Wineries Tour.
5. Did you know that Gay Lynn is naturally shy and likes to keep a low profile? She lives in Bodega Bay and frequents most of the stops on The Bodega Bay Tour with her family. After sending thousands of tourists around the coastal town, she figures that one of these days she'll eventually bump into someone listening to her tour while she's enjoying a hot dog at The Dog House and they'll recognize her voice. How will she react she wonders? We'll keep you posted when and if it ever happens.
You don't have to go far to find Christmas cheer in Sonoma County. This is the time of the year when we pile into the car, load up on jackets, mittens and hats, turn on the Christmas tunes and take a tour of the local holiday offerings. Our daily tour usually lasts all day and we always have fun. So I thought I would share the holiday inspired itinerary that I have planned for my family next week - it's full of some of the best Christmas cheer, sights, sounds and tastes of Sonoma county. I've also included a favorite fun and casual restaurant recommendation for each location - just in case you get hungry on your adventure. Have fun!
1. Visit Grandma Buddy's Tree Farm in Sebastopol, CA. Open until 12/23/15. Okay, I know at first glance you're thinking that you'll just cross this one off the list right away. You don't need a tree and it would be pointless. Well, the tree farms here are beautiful and offer so much more than just trees. Buddy's Tree Farm offers that old fashioned country feel with a lot of magical touches that feel like it comes straight out of a Christmas Hallmark Movie. It's so picturesque that it's used a lot by professional commercial shoots. As soon as you enter the property you are very aware that you are someplace special. The white barn is decorated inside with beautiful designer wreaths, garlands, a miniature Victorian Christmas Village display complete with a train and complimentary hot chocolate with candy canes. This is pure eye candy in my opinion and totally worth the visit. I take at least 100 pictures in here alone every year. You can then walk around the property and trees, discovering little bridges over creeks and snap plenty of family photos for your scrapbook. It's the perfect way to start your holiday adventure. Take a peek at their website and you’ll get the idea. 8575 Graton Rd, Sebastopol, CA 95472. 707-823-4547. http://www.grandmastrees.com. Restaurant nearby: Mary's Pizza Shack: Casual Italian food in a cozy atmosphere. 790 Gravenstein Hwy, Sebastopol, CA 95472. 707-829-5800.
2. Snoopy’s Home Ice & Charles Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, CA. Open through the holidays - closed on Christmas. (Officially known as Redwood Empire Ice Arena). This is a knock-your-socks-off kinda place that’s perfect for skaters and non-skaters alike. Decorated to the hilt for Christmas, this ice arena features Swiss chalet facades and panoramic scenes from the Swiss Alps. Tiny white and colored lights dot the entire inside arena and a Christmas tree proudly sits on the center ice. It’s a magical place when you are skating to Christmas music in the frosty air. I am not a skater so we when visit, it’s my son and husband that take to the ice. My visit will start out in the arena watching them skate while taking a ton of photos and then I eventually move into the Warm Puppy Café. The café is enclosed with large glass windows right next to the ice rink so you can practice your spectator skills while sipping on a warm beverage and a tasty sandwich all from the warm comfort of your chair by the gas fireplace. I also like to soak in the history of this magical place and always blow a kiss to the table where “Sparky”, Charles Schulz would sit every weekday for breakfast and lunch. Then it’s off to the gift shop to see what’s new in the world of “Peanuts.” There are even signatures of famous skaters like Scott Hamilton out in front of the arena and gift shop in the cement – al a Grohmann’s Chinese Theatre style in Hollywood. Then across the street is the Charles Schulz museum which is a true delight! You can sit in the theatre and watch cartoons all day, visit all of the exhibits and check out the kite-eating tree in the backyard. A visit here leaves you feeling light on your feet and warm inside. 1667 West Steele Lane • Santa Rosa, CA 95403 • 707-546-7147. http://www.snoopyshomeice.com
Restaurant nearby: Sam's For Play Cafe: Homestyle food in a fun, casual atmosphere. 2630 Cleveland Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95403. 707.528.2929
3. Sonoma Valley Winery Gingerbread Contest, Kenwood/HWY 12 - Sonoma, CA. Contest open through 12/31/15. This is a fun outing perfect for the whole family. Select wineries throughout Sonoma Valley create gingerbread masterpieces and display them in their tasting rooms. Your mission is to visit each one and then vote for the best. It’s an outing that provides sweeping vineyard views, beautifully decorated tasting rooms, fun shopping opportunities and a bonus – each time you vote for the best gingerbread creation you’ll be entered to win a case of some fabulous wine. You can find the list of participating wineries and directions here: http://sonomavalleywine.com/events/
Restaurant nearby: Cafe Citti: Great Italian food in a casual atmosphere. 9049 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, CA 95452
Website: Cafe Citti.
Quick Tip: Be sure to visit Sonoma Plaza for cheese tasting and then if you have kids with you, check out Train Town located about 2 miles down the street complete with ferris wheel, roller coaster, mini train ride and more!
4. Weaver's Winter Wonderland, Rohnert Park, CA. This is a house that was featured on TV's 2014 "The Great Christmas Light Fight" and won! The TV crew showed up very early in the morning to film the segment and when the lights were turned on, the entire crew gasped. It is an amazing effort put together by Scott Weaver and does not disappoint. The entire house has been turned into a castle and includes millions of lights and a sleigh for taking photos. 1190 Cielo Circle Rohnert Park, CA 94928. Lights turn on at 5:30pm until 9pm Nightly. Starts Dec 1st through Dec 31st. You can visit his facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Weavers-Winter-Wonderland-1548105775406039/
Restaurants nearby: There are a few chains to choose from all within 1 mile of the 101 freeway - Outback, Chili's, In N Out, Olive Garden.
Independence Day $5 Off Sale!
Celebrate the 4th of July with a tour around beautiful Bodega Bay and the amazing Backroads of Sonoma County. Effective July 2-5, we have reduced our tours to $14.99. (Discount applies to online Cd & download orders only).
We are so excited to announce that both of our tours are now available as an mp3 download and are ready for purchase and download as of today. We hope that this new format will make it easier and more convenient for those without Cd players and reach a broader audience. We are also looking forward to launching our new tour feature called "Tour al a carte" which will debut this Spring....stay tuned for details!
Happy New Year!
We will be closed for the holidays from 12/24 to 1/4.
If you need to purchase a Cd while in Bodega Bay during this time frame, please contact us via email or text us at 707-328-0091 so we may give you the exclusive address.
Wishing you all a Very Merry Happy Holiday Season!
Here is a fun article written about The Birds schoolhouse.
Our new tour is now available for purchase and we are so excited to share this new journey with you. It is a BIG tour, lasting 6-8 hours, covers 60 miles round-trip and will take your entire day. We recommend that you start the tour EARLY - between 8-10AM. Early reviews coming in say that the tour is great and nothing could make us happier. We hope you enjoy it and we can't wait to hear all about your experience. Please post a review on Trip Advisor and Facebook along with your photos - we would LOVE to see them. Happy Travels!
We are mid-way through our new BRC tour, "Backroads, Redwoods & Champagne", and plan to have it ready for sale in a few short weeks from now. It's been fun driving through the rain and taking in all the sights as a tourist. We are really excited to share this new tour with you as it feels like a real adventure...driving on amazing backroads and visiting little-known spots. This is a tour that you'll want to have a good pair of walking shoes with you to change into.
This week we are driving the complete tour route again to make sure that all of the directions are correct and taking a few pictures along the way. We'll post those pics on our Facebook page just as soon as we take them, Stay tuned!
We are adding a fun new feature to our website & blog today called "On the Road" Adventures with Sonoma Driving Tours. "On the Road" is a series of mini video tours of the Sonoma County area. Some of the mini tours will be locations included in our CD Tours and some will be completely new.
We are posting our first mini tour today and it's called "The Bodega Bay Cemetery." We hope you enjoy it!