I Could Totally Be a Marine Biologist

Being here in Bodega Bay with Matt and Sarah is an exercise in questioning my life choices.
I could have an apartment with the view of the harbor shrouded in the ever present fog, a couple minutes drive from the Sonoma County vineyards and breweries and redwood forests. Granted, it’s unlikely that I would spend my Thursdays doing all of the above, and I suppose the picturesque roads would no longer hold their appeal and I’d probably stop hearing the fog horn in the distance.

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What the hell am I doing in major cities though, seriously?
Yesterday we slept in, had a leisurely breakfast at home with the leftover salmon and some cream cheese, before we went to Matt’s lab for an informal tour. Matt is a PhD student who, as Molly puts it “studies marine creatures” (insert a Molly hand gesture here at creatures) at UC Davis’ Bodega Bay lab. It’s a pretty cool gig (I could have totally studied marine biology, right?) I hadn’t even heard of some of the creatures in his lab, as my marine life knowledge, while better than many, is pretty limited to New England.
After handling penis worms (there is definitely a different, official name of that creature), we headed out to Fort Ross Vineyards with a detour for lunch in a little cafe where we watched an epic battle between a spider and a wasp (we were kind of rooting for the spider) over our chowder before heading up a large hill that the vineyard is on – just above the ever present

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fog cover, which is apparently good for Pinots.
The setting was lovely, if expensive for what it was. Maybe I’m biased because of my days lazing about in Virginia’s vineyards, but while it was good, it was not $45-$50 a bottle good. Or maybe I just have no taste. Who knows.
We meandered our way to the Armstrong Redwoods Preserve, which is where part of one of the Star Wars movies was filmed.

It’s so humbling to walk through Redwoods and realize just how insignificant you are in its presence. It’s like looking up at the stars and realizing just how long the light traveled to reach you. And it’s heartbreaking to see graffiti carved into the dead trees – thankfully I didn’t see any in the live ones – as if some obnoxious teenager is spitting on the grave of a great being.
We continued our drinking at Korbel vineyards, where they offered a free tasting of four of their many, many wines. The building is geared towards a specific demographic, but the champagne was decent and free and I am not one to turn my nose down at either.
Our dinner was a plate of cheese fries and a stop at their favorite ice cream joint, which is pretty much how adulthood should work, right?
This area of the country is very lovely and part of me is regretting not looking at UC Davis more closely for their law program – but that likely would have ended in me taking the California bar and I’m not sure if any amount of pretty is worth that.
Today, we hit up the beach right up the way and the Port Reyes lighthouse on our way back to San Francisco.

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About Amy R. Grenier

Washington, D.C. based migrationist and advocate.
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