Before we left the San Francisco area we had to take a quick trip to Muir Woods National Monument which is an old-growth coastal redwood forest. It is quite a long, windy road to get there, but that probably saved the trees from the logging industry in the early 20th century. Due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the forest is regularly shrouded in a coastal marine layer fog and today was no exception. That is ok because the fog is vital for the growth of the redwoods as they use moisture from the fog during the dry summer.
Last year we traveled part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and this year we traveled part of the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail. According to the map, Sonoma and Marin counties in California have been called the Normandy of Northern California (after the famous French cheese-producing region.) We were drawn to the trail because we got to sample all of the cheeses. Our first stop was Marin French Cheese Company. We bought a few pieces, one of which they told us to age for 2 years before we eat it. Our next stop was Nicasio Valley Cheese Company which is run by a Swiss family who makes cheese using old family recipes. We stopped at Petaluma Creamery which makes cheddar cheeses and the last stop was Matos Cheese Factory which is run by a family from Peru. So, we had quite the international cheese tasting.