…And a great visit it was! The Bride and I arrived in Oakland just before noon on Thursday and was met by our daughter CaJenn. For the next three days CaJenn and her new hubby, CaJon, showed us some of the sights of the San Francisco area. Both The Bride and I had been to San Francisco before but we never really explored the area outside the city and that’s what was planned for this trip.
Friday morning we headed for Napa Valley and day of exploring the most famous wine region in the United States. The weather couldn’t have been better. Temps in the 70’s with a nice cool breeze. During the day we visited four different tasting rooms; Clos Du Val, Groth, Miner and Mumms. All I can say is that I’m glad CaJon was driving!
Napa has established a system that ensures that they profit even from the tasters. The deal is that it costs between $10-$15/person to taste from 3-5 different wines. If a taster then purchases some wine, the tasting fee is credited to the purchase. We ended up doing a little of both. We purchased several bottles at two of the wineries and none at the others. At lunch time we stopped at a great little general store/deli called the Oakville Grocery and got gourmet sandwiches. These we took to one of the wineries and ate them while looking at the endless rows of grape vines….life is pretty darned good!
Saturday we drove north through Bodega and Bodega Bay and then took Hwy 101 along the coast back to San Francisco. The Bride is a big Alfred Hitchcock fan and The Birds is one of her favorite movies. It just so happens that the school house used in the filming of The Birds is in Bodega. We couldn’t miss the opportunity so we drove into town and spent some time looking through the gift shop that now occupies part of the old school. In addition to the old school, the Catholic church next door was also used in the movie. Adding to the fame of Bodega, that same church was the subject of a great photograph by Ansel Adams. My photo is not in the same class as his but it was fun to try to get a similar shot...Mine on left, his on right.
The drive along the coast was breath taking. The wildflowers were all in bloom and that was just so much more eye candy. It was hard to process everything as every turn of the road gave us another great panorama. Then to add to the overload we drove back into San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge….see picture at top!
It was a long day but very much worth it. We ended the day with a great meal at a restaurant pretty close to where the kids live.
Our flight didn’t depart Oakland until the late afternoon so we had time for more adventure on Sunday. In late morning we drove down to Jack London Square in Oakland to visit the farmers market there. If I am jealous of California about anything, one would be their bountiful supply of beautiful vegetables all year around. I was entranced by every sort of vegetable including several I had never heard of before. The tomatoes in particular caught my eye. There is nothing better than a tomato sandwich on white bread slathered with mayonnaise on a hot summer afternoon and I saw lots of tomatoes that looked like they were destined for that.
To console myself at not being able to have a tomato sandwich, I decided that a shrimp salad sandwich at a nice restaurant right on the water was the next best thing. I was in luck! There just happened to be a very nice restaurant right there with outdoor seating right on the water. We ate a great lunch while watching the boats go by. In the distance was the skyline of San Francisco. Life is really good!
The trip ended all too soon and we arrived back in the Denver area about 8 pm. I’ve got about a week of “down” time before more adventures start, but more about that in the next post. CaJenn and CaJon, when you read this I want to thank you for you’re hospitality on our visit. We’ll be back to see more of your area. Your Mom and I are proud of you.
Here’s a few more pictures from the trip.
Thanks for visiting.