SF LIFE: Sonoma Ghosts, Writers Workshop, Alcatraz, Dog Show

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If like walking, a great adventure can be found in beautiful Sonoma – and it’s all about ghosts.  Have you ever wanted to just take the time to sit, think and write? Your opportunity to ignite your inner fire is here on Sunday. And who knew? There is a Gardens of Alcatraz tour…it’s not just for tourists. And if you love dogs, check out the Golden Gate Kennel Club’s Dog Competition.  Get out and enjoy (in between the raindrops!)


Sonoma Ghost Walking Tour

ghost tour

Should you be looking for something just a wee bit different when you visit the wine country, this walking tour will introduce you to the ghosts of wine country. Their catch phrase is “Come for the wine, stay for the spirits!” Sometimes you just have to put down the wine glass. Sonoma’s history has some dark moments, and the tour claims you may talk to Native American Spirits who linger near the mission.

You will visit The Whipping Tree, where poor souls were flogged until their blood soaked the earth. Or perhaps you will find the Ceremony site of bear and rattlesnake sacrifices to be more intriguing. You will learn about a bank robbery gone wrong, hear the tale of City Hall and the ghost of the little boy and so many more creepy areas. The tours take place most Friday and Wednesday evenings at 8 p.m. Price is $28 pp. To book a frightfully good time; www.napaghosts.com


Creative Writing

creative writing

Perhaps one of your new year’s resolutions was to unleash your inner creative genius. If so, or if you just enjoy writing, this one day writing workshop will help you ignite the creative fire within. Held from 10 – 5 at The Stage Werx Theatre on Valencia Street, you will be treated to an eye and mind opening experience led by Echo Brown. Ms. Brown, tomato full of life, is a writer, actor, spell-binder. She is at once captivating, motivating and inspirational.

Her workshop will guide you to write, think and create in imaginative ways. Fabulous Tomato author Alice Walker sings her praises about a one-person narrative Echo performs. Not only will you learn and unleash, you will be treated to time with an extraordinary talent. Ignite that fire .


Alcatraz Garden Tour

alacatraz garden

We don’t often think of visiting Alcatraz unless the cousins from the Midwest beg us to go with them. Lines are long and tickets to tour the prison must be purchased weeks in advance. However, for a garden tour, you hop on the ferry and meet your docent on Friday and Sunday mornings at 9:45.  You have the opportunity to visit all restored gardens, including those off limits to most visitors. The history of the gardens themselves is fascinating.

Apparently the military began importing soil from Angel Island and the Presidio as early as 1865. In the 1920’s there was an island wide beautification project put in place and prisoners planted hundreds of trees, shrubs and seeds. You will get all of the details on the tour, and the gardens are at their most prolific from January (when it isn’t raining!) through September. See what our generous National Park Service along with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy has created on our famous “rock”.  For more information: www.alcatrazgardens.org


Jan. 28.  Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show

golden gate kennel club It’s hard not to melt at the layered wrinkles of a French bulldog or the scrunched nose of a pug. Get some cuddle time with your favorite dog breed and learn about why these bundles of cuteness are undeniably adorable at the Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show. The battle for top dog in the Bay Area will be decided over the course of two days at the Cow Palace as 1,200 dogs, representing more than 135 breeds, compete for Best in Show.

This fun event for the whole family also features fly-ball, a fashion show and Best Puppy competitions. Don’t forget to take a gander at the animal-friendly exhibitor seminars in between the excitement. Get discount tickets via Goldstar.

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