Considering a Move to Petaluma? Here’s a One Of A Kind, In Town, and Some Options to Consider…

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510 ENGLISH STREET, PETALUMA CALIFORNIA
We’re open this Sunday, September 9, 2012 from 1-4PM so hop in your car, jump on your bike, put on your walking/running shoes and get on over for a special architectural treat.
What if you could keep your rent controlled apartment and spend weekends in wine country? What if your primary residence was about an hour commute to San Francisco’s Financial District? What if you wanted to hop on your bike and ride to the coast from your home, on some of the most scenic routes in Northern California? What if you wanted to walk to town, or drive for that matter, and actually find a parking space and no meters?
Our restaurants are great, our downtown gets a walk score of 98 and we know how to get things done. Just look at our Petaluma National Little League All Stars– they made it to the Little League World Series and all of Petaluma is behind them 100%.
So what if….?
Visit my Facebook Business page, Martha O’Hayer – Petaluma Realtor, which is packed with activities that invite visitors to share in our community spirit and fun whether it is celebrating Petaluma’s agricultural heritage, love of the arts, riverfront location or our diverse culture. You will also find a wealth of community information about Sonoma County, North Bay and the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Proud of Our Petaluma Boys. Playing a Game and Learning Valuable Lessons

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Petaluma National LL WEST Danny Marzo Walk Off Home RunPetaluma is swept up with Little League pride for our Petaluma National Little League West All Stars. The kids are showing incredible calm under pressure, while having the time of their lives.

On the field, they play as a team, while respecting their opponents- win or lose. In one game, after a difficult move to first base, I saw the first baseman congratulate his opponent for making it there by discreetly giving the runner a low five. Nice sportsmanship.

Off the field, trading of pins is rampant among all the teams and their fans. I hear the players are signing hats and shirts for their fans, playing ping pong with teams from all over the world, and hamming it up for the cameras from ESPN and major Networks. The players attend each other’s games, not only to scout the other teams, but to cheer them on. They seem to understand that this is an opportunity to learn lessons from a game.

Baseball is not just a kid’s game but they seem to get the true meaning of it better than some in Major League Baseball. I think this letter to the editor speaks volumes. It’s hard for me to believe that as part of their uniforms, a patch declaring “I WON’T CHEAT” was necessary for these twelve year olds in Little League. Sad actually. I’m pretty sure these kids get that concept already based on what I’ve seen and heard from the families that are in Williamsport, PA. The kids are playing ball, having fun, respecting each other, and gaining an understanding of how the world works on and off the field. The coaches are giving good advice and the kids are hearing it.

We’re proud of you and pulling for you from the West Coast, kids. Keep up the good sportsmanship, keep smiling and have fun. Go Petaluma National!!! Play Ball!

Visit my Facebook Business page, Martha O’Hayer – Petaluma Realtor, which is packed with activities that invite visitors to share in our community spirit and fun whether it is celebrating Petaluma’s agricultural heritage, love of the arts, riverfront location or our diverse culture. You will also find a wealth of community information about Sonoma County, North Bay and the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Life is Short, Eat Dessert First! Taste of Petaluma Provides Myriad of Options

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August 25th marks the Annual Taste of Petaluma which takes place all around the charming Petaluma Downtown area from 11:30 – 4:00 PM. Featuring over 60 restaurants, wineries, breweries and food purveyors from around Petaluma, our historic downtown transforms into a one stop shop of culinary yumminess.

The best part is you can plan your tour in advance and, if you so choose, eat dessert first! Some options for dessert include Viva Cocolat who will be serving an array of fruit, marshmallows, and amazing cream puffs ready for dipping into a luscious Scharffen Berger Dark Chocolate Fondue. Perfectly paired with Sonoma Valley Portworks Deco, a Dark Chocolate Port. That’s a delicious start or finish to any food tour.

If Pie is your pleasure, be sure to swing by the Petaluma Pie Company. Sweet or savory, you ask? No need to choose, they’ll be serving both. They’ll be sampling their Spinach and Feta Pie and Lemon Meringue Pie. On the day we visited, they served up a chicken pot pie, a lime pie (no key limes here!) and buttery, flaky empanadas. Sweet and Savory Pies at Petaluma Pie CompanyOther sweet choices include Three Twins Ice Cream will be serving several flavors including Chocolate Orange Confetti, Dads Cardamom, Sea Salted Caramel and Vanilla Chocolate Chip. They even have a non-dairy option. Trader Joe’s will partner with the Riverfront Art Gallery serving Luscious Lemon & Gorgeous Ganache Desserts with Choice Chocolate.

Whew, I’m getting full on the sweet stuff. I may have to rethink my strategy. See you on August 25th!

Visit my Facebook Business page, Martha O’Hayer – Petaluma Realtor, which is packed with activities that invite visitors to share in our community spirit and fun whether it is celebrating Petaluma’s agricultural heritage, love of the arts, riverfront location or our diverse culture. You will also find a wealth of community information about Sonoma County, North Bay and the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Petaluma Rocks! Amazing Music Lineups for Fairs & Festivals

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There’s lots to be said for our small town (58,000 POP), Petaluma, CA and our love of good music. This summer has already seen some amazing acts. If you made it to the Sonoma-Marin Fair in June, you may have caught one of the many world class acts including WAR, Night Ranger, Lonestar and 38 Special.
Right around the corner are several outdoor events that will Rock your world- musically, that is.
Coming up Sunday, July 8, the 11th Annual Petaluma Art & Garden Festival kicks off with a day full of fun including over 100 booths showcasing the best of our local garden art, fine art, wine and of course local favorite Lagunitas Brewing will be serving up special brews to go with the great music. Get the entire Art and Garden music lineup here.
On July 21, head to the River to catch an event that celebrates our river–or slough, if you will, in an old time style. Decorated boats, $5 Weddings, music everywhere. Two main stages, roaming musicians and even floating musical acts will keep you dancing all day. Get on your Giddyup and join the fun. ‘Like’ the Rivertown Revival facebook page and don’t miss out this year, it’s a feast for the eyes and especially your ears.
Of course, my favorite festival of the year is the Petaluma Music Festival, August 4th at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds. This year, August 4th enjoy a full day’s lineup of great acts including my favorite, Jackie Greene. And when Jackie plays, you just never know who will show up! The PMF benefits Music in Schools and keeps great music coming our way year after year. Walk, ride your bike, drive, and even rideshare, no reason not to support the future of music in our schools. Come and enjoy a full day of music, two stages, lots of local bands and discover some new bands. Music is good for the soul, dontcha know? Follow The Petaluma Music Festival on fb and twitter and keep up on the latest.

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It’s Here! Sonoma Marin Fair June 20-24 Petaluma CA

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Sonoma-Marin Faire 2012Right now the Fairgrounds in Petaluma is bustling.  The 73rd Annual Sonoma-Marin Fair begins today, on the longest day of the year and for the next four, long, summer days will bring a ton of fun to Petaluma.  This year the Fair is helping celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge with themed exhibits and contests.  Food, wine, music, chef demonstrations, arts and crafts and food exhibits, teen activities along with livestock and non livestock competitions will fill the Fair with good old fashioned Fair fun. Here’s the full list of events for this year’s Sonoma Marin Fair.

When was the last time you sipped Winning World Class Wines, or an ice cold Lagunitas IPA and strolled a fair midway while sampling corn dogs, funnel cake, attended the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest, perused hundreds of entries in the livestock, crafts, gardening categories?  Don’t delay your chance awaits you right here, right now in Petaluma, CA!

Tons of kids entries and artwork will be rewarded by our famous and oh -so-benovolent bovine Clo!  She’s got games and free ice cream courtesy of Petaluma’s Clover Stornetta.   Wrap it all up each day with a great line up of music included in the price of admission. Priceless!
Wait, I’ve got to go– The Text Messenging Final is on the Kiwanis Stage at 4:30pm today.  Tonight WAR, Tomorrow Night Rider — check  out the music schedule for the Fair here.  See you in Petaluma for the Sonoma Marin Fair.

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Petaluma Parade Posters, Past & Present

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Butter and Egg Days are upon us and Petaluma is getting ready for the Annual Butter & Egg Days Parade scheduled for April 28th at Noon.  Each year a commemorative Parade Poster is produced reflecting the theme of the parade for that year.  This year’s poster features the theme “River of Dreams, Then and Now.”

There’s something about these posters that makes them special and very collectible.  Are you missing a poster from a previous year?  Are you looking for a Petaluma branded item to adorn that bare wall?  Well you are in luck!  The Petaluma Downtown Association has found a stash of past years’ posters and is selling them for a $10 donation. 

Some of the available posters date back as far as 1998!  All proceeds will support the Butter & Egg Days Parade and are available at the Petaluma Visitor’s Center in the Historic Depot Station at 210 Lakeville Street.  Questions?  Contact the Petaluma Downtown Association or call (707)762-9348.

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California’s 6th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival

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Petaluma, CA is home to the 6th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival coming up on March 23-25, 2012. The promise of learning, tasting, meeting and enjoying all things cheese is right around the corner.

A list of this year’s participants shows some newcomers and even a new Tour called “Artisan Cheese Loves Craft Beer – Brewery Tour and Cheese Inspired Dinner with Beers to Complement.” And not just any beer, Petaluma’s own, Lagunitas Brewery is partnering with Chef Danny Mai of Petaluma Sheraton’s Tolay Restaurant. At this writing, tickets are still available for the Lagunitas tour and pairing but other seminars and tours appear to be sold out. Look for the full list of seminars and tours available so you don’t miss out.
Cheeselovers are sure to find something amazing at Sunday’s Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace. Tickets are $45 and include admission, access to chef demos and author book signings, the coveted ACF insulated cheese tote bag and a festival wine glass. If you haven’t attended, you should. Where can you find so many artisan cheeses, breweries and handcrafted delights all in one place, all in one fun filled weekend? Petaluma, CA, March 22-25. Dont’ miss it. I know I won’t!

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Petaluma Proud! Petaluma Lovers, Gifts for Everyone on Your List

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Tuscan Garden Tee Shirt Petaluma CaliforniaHere it comes, that crushing week when Christmas and Hannukah are upon us. The Holidays are a great time to visit with friends and family but they sometimes pose the problem of gift giving. Are you still wondering what to get your mother, cousin, kids, hostess, or that tough-to-please friend on your list? Join the rest of the Petalumans that are scratching their heads with that dilemma right now. There’s always someone that is tough to buy for and sometimes all they need is a little hometown pride in their life. We all love where we live– Petaluma, CA and the holidays are a great time to show our friends and families who love it here too.
I volunteer at the Petaluma Visitor’s Center and one of the most frequently asked questions by locals and visitors alike is, “Where can I find Petaluma branded items?” I wanted to dig a bit deeper than your standard logo tee shirts so I went looking and discovered there are lots possibilities for the Petaluma Lover on your list. Everything from sterling and gold pendants, travel coffee mugs, tea towels, vintage note cards, letterpress cards and even hot sauces made right here in Petaluma. There are vintage Butter and Egg Day Parade posters and a coffee table book about the history of Petaluma. And of course, tee shirts, sweatshirts/hoodies and hats. Below is a list of places I’ve found with Petaluma items. So head out and get something that makes you Petaluma Proud.

Did I miss some? Let me know!
Tuscan Gardens A Wide Assortment of Tee Shirt Styles and Hoodies.
J. Solar Fine Jewelry Sterling and Gold Petaluma Pendants
Petaluma Visitor’s Center Vintage Butter and Egg Days Posters and Note Cards
Haus Fortuna Petaluma Coffee Table Book, Vintage Note Cards
Sonoma Coast Surf Shop Very Cool Tees and Sweatshirts Complete with Chicken Logo!
Paperwhite Letterpress Commemorative Posters for Butter and Egg Days, Petaluma Note Cards and Buttons
Petaluma Market Carrying Lots of Petaluma Based Brands including Cowgirl Creamery Cheeses and Lagunitas Beer
Rex Ace Hardware, 313 B Street, Petaluma Carries a Variety of Tea Towels, Hats and Travel Coffee Mugs.

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Lucky to Live in Sonoma County, California

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Armstrong Woods, Guerneville California, Sonoma County

As if we didn’t know it already, we live in one of the most incredible places on earth. This week alone, both National Geographic and the New York Times confirmed it…again.
From the Redwoods at Armstrong Woods in Guerneville, to the hundreds of wineries, to the superior antiquing in Historic Downtown Petaluma, your visit here will delight everyone. Foodies and oenophiles alike will find a wide variety of farm fresh fare, artisan producers of cheese, wine, and Michelin rated restaurants. All in the Sonoma County laid back atmosphere. Leave your neckties at home and come join us in paradise.

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Prepare for Earthquakes and Other Disasters– Now is the Time

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I’ve been thinking about earthquake preparedness. How long do we have to live in earthquake country until we finally get it together? Have you made a plan, prepped your kits, gathered your supplies? Just when will you have the discussion with your spouse, kids, neighbors about your plan? Do you care for an elderly parent or someone with special needs? Do you have pets? Have you planned for their exit strategy? Do you know how to turn off your gas? Do you have the tool handy to do so? I know I’m guilty of having little or none of those things prepared.
I’ve been looking for a comprehensive to do list and a place to go that has all the information. The following is a great site and addresses all types of disasters. It’s clean and simple to use. It’s specific to San Francisco but has all the information here and more. It’s called 72 hours.org, referring to the amount of time one should expect to have no services at all. Just think 72 hours. We’re pretty spoiled so I know that’s tough to imagine, but I for one intend to get prepared now.
Whew, it’s tiring just thinking about it, but let’s not wait until April, Earthquake preparedness month. The time to do it is now.
Really, it’s not quite Halloween, and the holidays haven’t come crashing down upon us yet. So let’s agree to make get this off the list by the end of the month. I know I’ll feel better– how about you? Let me know when you’ve made some progress on your kits, plans, strategy and I’ll do the same.

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