I went to school in Healdsburg!! Senior year, at a boarding academy surrounded on three sides by the Russian River. Got a good case of poison oak once during the year. Worked part-time at Harris Pine Mills, on the "stain line;" can still smell that pine stain! We cut and stained the lumber for picnic tables at the Mill; later I learned how to sew the outdoor umbrellas on industrial sewing machines. Wow, I haven't thought about all that in a long time! Oh, and on senior ditch day we all floated down the river in canoes. It was lots of fun!
Back to your trip: when will you be going? The spring is BEAUTIFUL in Healdsburg -- very green. Summers tend to be foggy and cool in SF, although some sunshine peeps thru (according to relatives who live there).
Inexpensive trip thru Napa Valley? It's possible.
You can park in St. Helena or Yountville, and just stroll the streets to window-shop. One of the wineries between St. Helena and Calistoga has a little tram that takes you up to it. It's hard to miss, -- well it used to be, as it was painted very white and stood out in the landscape.
Around Yountville (south of St. Helena) is a monastery that is famous for its -- hmm, I THINK its wine, but it may be famous for something else too, that the people who live there make. Man, my memory is failing!!
Actually, I've never been to the monastery, just always seen it from the road - it's tucked back aways from the road, nestled against the hills. Kinda looks like a monastery too
Well, I'll end this tortured trip down partial-memory lane
. Looking forward to hearing more about your plans! -- D