If you have traveled up the Sonoma Coast past Timber Cove Inn and beyond you may have found yourself in the lovely community of Gualala. If you are like me, and please tell me you are, you first pronounced Gualala as it looks, GUA LA LA. If you did so in front of locals, as I did, the knowing looks between them said "Be nice to this lady as she is clearly a tourist that needs a friendly hand". The pronunciation is "WA LA LA" and is way more fun to say than GUA LA LA even though I have to stop myself from adding a few more "LA'S". Gualala was named by the Pomo Indian tribe and literally translated means "Where the river meets the ocean". A cornerstone of this charming community is the Gualala Arts Center, operated by local volunteers and supported through membership and donations. This amazing facility is home to 2,000 events, exhibits, workshops, lectures, plays and concerts throughout the year. One of the most fun is the annual "Gualala Whale and Jazz Festival" (Say THAT fast 5 times) held every April and includes music, exhibits, lectures and my personal favorite, the annual "Chowder Challenge" accompanied by a traditional the New Orleans Jazz band "Barnaby’s Hot Four". Our own Chef Ben will be entering in this challenge and we hope you will be there to support him, along with his fans from Timber Cove Inn. To make this nice and easy we have created a "Gualala Whale and Jazz Festival" package that includes a room and two tickets to the festival. No promises but it is entirely possible you might even see a whale or two along the way. So why not wind your way up to Gualala Whale and Jazz Festival for a wonderful weekend!