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We recently rented an amazing house on Flipkey for a weekend out on the Russian River in Sonoma County, near where I grew up, and where a lot of my family still lives. All the rooms in the house had stunning water views, but the deck really made this place something special, with river vistas in both directions.

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If you’re planning a trip to the wine country, this is a fun spot to visit. The weather is still warm into the Fall in this area- I have fond memories of my mom picking us up from school early on in the school year and heading out to the river for a swim before going home.

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There was also a little dock on the water, right below the house, which was fun for afternoon swims and happy hour.

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The house was very close to downtown Guerneville, which is a cute, funky little town (and much more wine-country-posh now than when I was growing up!). We had a great lunch at Boon and popped into several other places on the main strip. For picking up snacks to take to the river, I’d suggest Big Bottom Market or for killer deli sandwiches, try Berry’s Market. It’s always fun to rent canoes at Burke’s, and at the end of the day, go wine tasting at Korbel, or for a beer at Stumptown Brewery.

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We were celebrating my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary and so we had a dinner one night on the deck and invited some relatives to join. Jonathan BBQed outside and we made a big summery buffet spread. With cocktails (or mocktails for me- this was before baby Ezra arrived!), we served Pesto & Onion Crostini and Strawberry Caprese Bites. On the dinner menu was BBQ chicken kebabs on a bed of arugula, Nectarine Tomato Salad, Farro Salad, and couple other dishes from my cookbook.

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Cheers to late summer swims and cocktail hour on the water!

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This post was done in partnership with Flipkey, a vacation home rental website. I had a great experience renting with them and would do it again. All opinions here are my own.