Thursday September 5th at or around pacific time my wife, two kids, and I loaded into the car
and pointed south. We live in Bellingham, Washington about 20 miles
south of the Canadian/US border.At on September 6th
we pulled into Callistoga
,California.With the kids now awake we decided it was a
good time to pull over and eat.The pace
in Callistoga at is perfect for
how we were feeling.After an awesome
breakfast in a “child friendly” café we checked into one of the many Hot Spring
Spas… It was a great way to shed some road fatigue.After a few hours we grabbed a picnic lunch
and drove the few blocks to Summers Vineyard.For a price of the bottle of their 2000 Carbano
we were able to play bocce and have our picnic in spectacular Wine
Country.E-mail them at
Summers WineryThey have a beautiful oyster shell court
amidst their spectacular vineyard and winery.They produce a Viognier, a Chevalier, and a Charbono, as well as other fine wines.
really enjoyed our lunch we headed over to Kenwood and visited Landmark
Vineyards. Check out Landmark Vineyards.They also have an awesome court which looks and plays great!One thing I
was reminded of and should pass on is this:Bocce enthusiasts visiting wineries should keep in mind that you are
visiting a place that has been created to sell wine. Buy some of
their product.It is a small price for
admission to great courts and the setting cannot be beat.You might even get lucky enough to catch a
game with an owner.
kids were showing signs of weariness so we packed up and headed south to stay
with friends near San Rafael.Saturday morning we drove to 550 “B” Street
Rafael which is the home of the Marin Bocce
Federation.They have eight beautiful
courts that can be rented for an hour or for a day.Call to reserve a court at (415) 485-5583.These courts are open to the public and the
cost is minimal.Their top surface is
made with a rubber type product…looks like chopped rubber bands… and is often
used for indoor running tracks.They
play fast and change some throughout the day as heat expands or contracts the
material.These courts are well thought
out and play great.The staff was
helpful beyond belief and is very knowledgeable.Bring your picnic! This was good fun…
had heard about some courts in Martinez, Ca., and since it is only about an hour drive from San Rafael it seemed the
perfect next stop.They have 15 competition oyster courts available for public use.I left the family and went with my friend
Ben. We arrived in the heat of the day and no intelligent people were to be
seen.So we did what we thought best…
fell into a local bar that was advertising “bocce hour” and learned about “how
Martinez has strong bar
league teams and there was a great feeling of bocce brotherhood throughout the
town.Bring your own balls but they are
open to the general public and are lighted. This is the heart of Bocce on
the West Coast.
the sign board in Martinez we noticed
that the U.S. National Championships were being held in Pittsburg, California
which is a neighboring community.I cannot verify or refute this in formation
even after going to the CityHallPlaza in Pittsburg.They were not accessible at the time we were
there but they are public courts.I am
not sure what sort of fee they charge for use.
the morning of September 8th my wife and I were still speaking and
we were still traveling with two kids.We were going to spend the day in the Bay area so our first stop was the
Aquatic Park Bocce courts. After finally locating these courts, which sit about
a block west of Ghiradelli Square on the
waterfront, we learned that it was for members only.Since we couldn’t see any body who looked to
be members we elected ourselves “members”, paid the appropriate dues and
enjoyed a morning at our new club. We were gentle…
kids were beginning to think we had sold the house and moved into a car.We needed to do something to remind them that
life could be worse, so we took them to Golden GatePark and watched
people who use starch engaged in the act of lawn bowling.Then I showed them other indicators of life
without the freedom to bocce.
10th we arrived in Monterey.Just up from Fisherman’s Wharf
and beside the Double Tree Hotel are three beautiful oyster courts.We taught our children the abc’s.A – Aquarium.Don’t go to Monterey without
stopping and seeing what is new.B – Bocce.Nice courts and great restaurants within stumbling
distance.C – Comfort.We drove 17 Mile Drive and PebbleBeach and said, “someday, if you make it your goal you could buy one of these
for your folks to live in”.
September 11th we did not play any bocce.
di Bocce was easy to find since we had gone to
www.campodibocce.com ahead of time and
followed directions.September 12th
was a day we had made reservations a week in advance for and I was truly
looking forward to it.Campo di Bocce is a state-of-the-art $2-million plus facility.
Facilities are available to non-members for a
fee. They have 4indoor courts, 2
outdoor but covered courts, and 2 outdoor exposed courts.
offer excellent food and wine and rent court time by availability.If you get a chance or are traveling near Los Gatos, do yourself a
favor and book a reservation for a meal and a game.These courts are in excellent condition and
have hosted national competitions.Make
sure to tell Joe to lighten up.If you
know a bocce enthusiast who has everything, take them for a weekend to Los Gatos.Wine them, dine them, and bocce till you
drop.Every city should have one of
3 month old did great but the 2 year old was starting to get “bocced out”.When he
fell asleep for his afternoon nap we checked out Bocci’s
Cellar in Santa Cruz.It is a restaurant and bar that have been
around since the early 1900’s.The
courts are decomposed granite and not packed too well but it’s authentic down
to the rules written in Italian.While
politicians and patients stood hand in hand on the steps of city hall protesting , we were down the street at 140Encinal Street in
Cruz checking out the bocce courts.
the 15th to the 18th we stayed with family in the Del Web
Sun City Lincoln Hills in Lincoln, California.This is a private community that has put in 12
courts to date and have more planned for the future.
courts are surfaced with field turf. We saw quite a number
of bocce enthusiasts at Lincoln Hills and I got some good court ideas from them
even though the courts are synthetic.
weather was fantastic for two weeks and our kids were far better than I could
have imagined.We got to bocce in a wide
assortment of places, on various court surfaces, and with some wonderful
people.I am much better prepared to
consult my clients.What a great game!!!
me if you would like to know more about the tour.