Since I dream in chocolate and am accused (falsely, I might add) of being a hippie, I of course had to hunt down Hemp & Chocolate in Guerneville.
Most of the store was devoted to hemp clothing and accessories, while the chocolate was tucked around the corners of the counter display, leaving the front available for a glass pipe display. Slightly insulted by their priorities, I did have to admit that the word chocolate was second in the store name. The man behind the counter was extremely knowledgeable in both chocolate and hemp and probably bored, so I had to steer his ostentatious chocolate course around the basics, which I knew and with which he will gladly regale you, and on to the producers, ingredients, and origins. Curt, who also dreams in chocolate but also of having his own hired tailor, became deeply involved in the lecture on hemp's unbounded superiority in pH balance, strength, historic range of use, color and particle retention, and general textile martyrdom.
What to buy: Peter Rabbit chocolates of Santa Rosa, uses Guittard chocolate which runs out of my neighborhood
Joseph Schmidt chocolates of San Francisco, it and Scharffen Berger were recently purchased as Hershey's enters the boutique chocolate market
Cow Girl Chocolates' spicy truffles of Moscow, Idaho. These are the ones to get!
If you like hemp or are won-over by the lecture, a good place to buy comfy-looking clothing including sandals, hawaiian shirts, shorts, pants, dresses, purses, wallets, jewlery and on and on.
What to pay: Spicy truffles: $1 ea
Peter Rabbit truffles: $2.50 lg/$1.50 sm
The Guerneville 5 &10 right on Main Street is one of those places where you walk by and eye something fun, in our case a cool pirate ship kite and a flamingo kite, walk in, suddenly find yourself wasting time reading funny cards, and try to make your escape. My sister managed to do that, but not before I eyed a candy aisle tucked away in the corner and dragged her back in this shop that's been around since '49 for fun candy that you don't find in the drugstore.
Known to have more sugar than food in my kitchen, I find that there's no place like a joke shop for fun candy folks who appreciate rare, hard-to-find candies packaged in blast-from-the past wrappers that make you feel an echo of your parent's little chubby fingers as children when you unwrap them.
Fizzy candy, Mary Janes, cinnamon toothpicks, old-fashioned taffy straps, black licoriche, Fun Dip, Cherry Bombs, Big Daddys, Violet gum, Black Jack gum, and stuff I've never seen before had sweet-toothed river rats old and young down a crammed little row ready to throw some punches... except we'd all been drinking too much beer and sun to do anything but laugh and have a good time with the owners.
Crafts, cards, toys, costume jewlery, gags and kitschy stuff fill the rest of the shop in which you'll loose yourself for at least half an hour if not more. This store makes for a fun stroll down Guerneville's Main Street.
What to pay: Candy ranged from 25 cents to about 3 bucks. The cool kites were $25-$40.
A small, but well stocked, sporting goods store, you can purchase your basic California fishing license, as well as stamps for other types of fishing (such as abalone diving) here. Friendly and informative stafff, and right downtown in Guerneville. Very convenient.
What to buy: Fishing license, tackle, rod, reel, dry bag, sun screen, mosquito repellant, inflatable rafts, etc. Pretty much all the sporting goods you could need for a river holiday.
What to pay: The prices are fair and reasonable.