Seal watching at Año Nuevo State Park

YSC members on seal hiking trip

YSC board member Aaron organized this sold-out family friendly event where we got up and close to the elephant seals that call Año Nuevo SP home.

15 club members braved the gnarly weather and got what turned out to be a really awesome day outdoors. The weather opened up with a chilly rain as we left for the trail, got  pretty  miserable for about  20 minutes, then stopped and brought in blue skies, by the time we returned 2 hours later it was a lovely day on the coast.

Hard to beat seeing  these massive  beasts thumping around the beach and the cute pups  with huge black eyes close up.

We should do this again a bit earlier next year , end of January  would be an ideal  time to see a lot of activity.

And for anyone interested  it’s free to come visit in November and there will be  large bulls on the beach.

Angel Island Picnic & Fleet Week

Angel Island picnic, people playing baseball

The YSC went to Angel Island for a picnic and to watch the Fleet Week airshow on October 8th. Unfortunately our friend “Karl the Fog” decided to pay a visit to the city, and the parts of the airshow that weren’t canceled, were not very visible in the fog.

Still, a great time was has by all, the sun kept shining on this side of the fog belt, and the picnic was awesome. Thanks to Bianca Tisell who had booked us a day use camp site and organized the picnic, along with Jesper and a few other members.

Marin Hike with Jesper

Jesper's hike in Larkspur

On July 9, Jesper took us on yet another wonderful hike in Marin County, this time through Madrone Canyon in Larkspur. The city was covered in fog, but Larkspur showed itself from its best side. Sunshine and pleasant temperatures made for a great hike.

The hike was about 3 miles, with quite a bit of elevation gain. Downhill was steep, but we all like a bit of an adventure every now and then, right?

After the hike we all went to Perry’s restaurant in Larkspur and enjoyed some well deserved beverages and food. Thanks to Jesper for setting this up! We hope to add more hikes to the calendar soon!

Bus trip to Wine Country

Guests lined up outside the bus

The sold-out day trip together with the Vasa Order and Sons of Norway was a success!

At our last stop, Stockhome in Petaluma

A big Thank You! to our YSC member, and former president, Peter Nordström, for organizing yet another fun day in the Wine Country. The first one since before the pandemic! And a big shoutout to Jim Melin and Stein Petersen for setting us up with the two wineries.

Peter making the introductions at our first stop, Leo Steen Winery

The Google bus picked us up in Mountain View and at SF’s Civic Center, and we got to enjoy a fun and comfortable ride all the way up to Healdsburg.

Winery #1: Leo Steen Winery

Our first stop was in downtown Healdsburg at Leo Steen Winery, where we had the entire tasting room to ourselves. Leo was there to greet us, and gave us a lot of interesting information about each wine we got to taste, and the history of his journey into wine-making. The pours were generous, and everyone was in an excellent mood!

Leo Hansen, the Danish founder and owner of the Leo Steen winery
We did not get to try the unicorn wine. (It may be from a producer who shares the tasting room space).
The Leo Steen wines were all very high quality. Many of us started dreaming about what fish stew or oysters or cheeses to serve with them…
We got to try a few special wines that were not on the tasting menu.
Karen enjoying a taste of the wonderful Chenin Blanc
Having the whole place to ourselves was a treat!
Getting some pro tips on wine and food pairings
Chenin Blanc is the foundation of Leo Steen’s success as a winery, and he told us a bit about the chalky grapes, and where he sources them from.
Having three organizations come together for this event (YSC, Vasa Order, and Sons of Norway) made for a really fun day!
Steen and Stein!
Jim and Gordon enjoying the generous pours

Winery #2: Peterson Winery

Once we had tried all of Steen’s wines, at least once, we got on the bus again, and headed out to Peterson Winery, located in Dry Creek Valley, just outside of Healdsburg. Fred Peterson, whose roots are Swedish, had set up tables for our group in their storage room, and gave us a wonderfully warm welcome.

Fred Petersen, our amazing host!

Fred explained his history, and the philosophy behind their “Zero Manipulation” idea. The Peterson approach is to capture the essence of vintage and vineyard with low tech, yet high touch, to produce wines with soul.

Fred and his family had set up a room just for us.
No jackalopes were harmed during our event
Some of the wines that were poured for us this afternoon
Happy faces all around!
The thought “yikes, what if there’s an earthquake?!” came to mind a couple of times, as we were surrounded by barrels of wine…

And we also had a birthday celebration for Henrik Flodell. He thought he could fly under the radar and keep his b-day a secret, but got a loud “Ja må han leva!” from those who know the Swedish birthday song.

Late lunch at Stockhome, Petaluma

Once we had tried enough wines, and done enough “Skål!” (is there even such a thing as too many Skål?), we got back on our bus, and headed to the Swedish restaurant Stockhome in Petaluma.

Stockhome is run by Swedish couple Robert and Andrea Sundell. The food is mainly Swedish, but there are some Middle Eastern and Californian influences as well. People were apparently quite hungry (and still thirsty), and the line to order food was long.

Hmmm… Tunnbrödrulle or Swedish meatballs?

And to the immense joy of a couple of Swedish YSC:ers, they even had banana & curry pizza on the menu!

Thanks again to Peter Nordström for organizing the whole event. It was a full-day adventure, and we’re still so happy we are able to do in-person events again. Keep an eye on our event lists, more fun things will pop up there very soon!!