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Local Retreats in Sonoma County: Forestville, California

Pasión: Food, Travel, and Memory
(with lunch in Spain)

September 13, 2014


BarcelonaPhoto © David Wakely


Food memories often take us traveling to places we have been and experiences we have had, and can produce rich, detailed writing. At this all-day retreat, we'll explore how food and travel intertwine in our memory, and utilize our five senses in writing prompts that will take us on new journeys together.

These past five years, our retreat menus have been a celebration of all the countries we have enjoyed at the Birdland table: India, Japan, France, Mexico, Morocco, Italy and many others. This time. come to Spain with us. Spain is alive with art and color, and the home of inspirational writers and artists such as Miguel de Cervantes, Federico Garcia Lorca, Juan Miró, Pablo Picasso, and Antoni Gaudi. We'll take inspiration from these artists, as well as from Flamenco dancing and classical guitar.

We're planning a Spanish feast for your lunch and the evening toast: dishes filled with the spices and flavor of this beautiful land of the sun. Come and enjoy Tortilla Española, red pepper salad, olives, Serrano ham, seasonal fruits, and more.

Please join us for another Laguna Writers Retreat this September as we continue to celebrate our 5th anniversary of writing, inspiring one another, and dining in beautiful Birdland.


Since 2009, Sharon Smith and I have collaborated on local writing retreats at her home in Forestville, California. Sharon and her husband David call this place Birdland, because of the wonderful variety of birds on their property. This beautiful spot is serene, spacious and comfortable: perfect for a writing retreat.

The property has two structures: a comfortable log cabin with a gourmet kitchen, and a modern studio with plenty of chairs and pillows, a wood burning stove, and lots of natural light. We write in the studio.

The Forestville Retreats are offered on a sliding scale of $175-$225. We encourage you to pay what you can afford to pay. The fee for the retreat includes the all-day workshop, as well as the morning treat, snacks, lunch, dessert, and all beverages. The price for the retreat does not include accommodations, but if you decide to come, Sharon will help you with accommodations, and other food-related excursions while you are here, such as wine tasting.

These retreats tend to fill fast, and many participants return to write with us again, so if you are interested, please make a non-refundable $75 deposit to hold your place. You may do this by arranging to send Chris a check; you can also sign up on the "Fees and Deposits" page, using the Paypal drop-down menu. The balance is due on the day of the retreat.

For more information, please click on the "Contact" tab on your left, or call Laguna Writers at 415-206-9771.


To contact Sharon about accommodations or restaurants, or see more photos of Birdland, check out Sharon's web site at http://www.savorsmith.comor contact her directly at or 415-378-8005

Accommodations in the Area

Case Ranch Inn

Boon Hotel & Spa

Farmhouse Inn

The Sonoma Orchid Inn

The Radford Inn

The Sebastopol Inn

Fairfield Inn & Suites (Marriott)

Many more in the area, and Healdsburg is only 20 minutes away if you find a place there. 
Also consider:



And for a cool day spa, see Osmosis

To learn more about my international retreats, click on the International Writing Retreats link in the column on your left.




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