Wine time - yum yum!

Trip Start Jun 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 23, 2010

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Where I stayed
Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa

Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, July 17, 2010

So after leaving San Francisco we headed to Muir Woods. Muir Woods is about a 40 min drive North of San Francisco.  Muir woods is a national monument consisting of ancient Redwood and Sequoia trees.  We were excited to get there, not only because of the woods but also because we hired a car for a few days and we were able to drive over Golden Gate Bridge – ahhhh the freedom of the open road.

Muir Woods was sold to us by many people as " the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world".  To all of those people that told us that.... you were absolutely right.

It is hard to describe Muir Woods and the photos don't really do it justice.  Luckily for all of you we only uploaded a few 'tree' photos – all in all I think that we took about 200 photos of the woods.  They all pretty much look the same once you look back on the photos but it was worth it.  The forest itself is beautiful with an abundant source of life (we even saw a deer with 2 fawn in amongst the trees).  The tree tops are so dense that almost no light passes through them, you can’t even see the tops of some of the trees.  There is the odd blue sky patch – but this is a result of an old tree reaching the end of its life and crashing down to the ground, often taking other trees with it.  The trees themselves are enormous and it is hard to think how they are able to grow so tall.  The coast line must have been amazing 200 years ago when there was no deforestation.  For all of you that have read 'The Celestine Prophesies’  - being around these ancient trees without a doubt seemed to ‘top up’ our energy levels – at least that is what it felt like to us.  There are predefined walks\ trails that you can take through the forests which is great otherwise you could certainly get lost. 

After spending 2.5 hours of tree hugging time at the woods we headed down to Muir beach to enjoy a picnic and a walk on the beach. 

After the beach we took a leisurely drive to Napa Valley.  This is the USA’s wine country with over 77% of the State’s wine coming from the Napa \ Sonoma region.  Kate was in her element especially as Ivor was the designated driver for the 2 days that we were there. Our wine tasting day started at 11am with a visit to Peju (  What was supposed to be a 30 min tasting session turned into over an hour and a half of tasting, laughing, more tasting, laughing and then just a little more tasting.  What I found funny was that Kate’s cheeks and ears kept getting redder – a sign that she was ‘on her way’

The person that gave the tasting was called Richard.  He used to work in a Bank but had left his mundane desk job after heeding the call of wine.  What a character!  Richard – thank you for an awesome day.  You truly were wasted behind a desk.  You have found your niche – keep making people laugh and introducing new friends!  Speaking of new friends – we met a couple called Bill and Joanne.  They (and Richard) are the reason that we stayed so long.  By the end of the tasting we were all best friends, Kate was drunk, we had managed to not pay for the tasting and acquired a bottle of wine.... for free (thanks Bill and Joanne – a bottle of Allesveloren Port will shortly be on its way to you from South Africa).

Day drinking = the munchies – so after Peju we stopped in at a free wine tasting farm that had an amazing deli on offer.  Mazza – there was enough smelly cheese there to keep you occupied for at least 2 years.  After a much needed lunch to soak up the alcohol, we then stopped in at Prager (thanks for the tip Bill).  Prager make port (and only a few bottles a year – about 3600).  Did you know that port is generally fortified with some other alcohol – normally brandy???  You see you can drink and learn at the same time!!!  After tasting 5 different Ports – it was time to head home with Ivor at the wheel and a merry Kate in the passenger seat.

Napa was a great visit for us.  The weather was hot, the hotel was grand (compared to the USA hostel), the company fantastic and the wine extremely palatable.  Bill and Joanne – we still have that bottle of ‘Balloon Wine’ as Kate calls it and we are saving it for a special day – perhaps our 1 year anniversary!!!

After Napa we are driving route 1 down the west coast of the USA.  It is apparently a breath taking journey – we can’t wait.

Where ever you are in the world we hope that all is well.  Keep the comments and the emails coming – it is great to catch up on all your news.
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B on

Hi guys

Your pics are amazing. Incredibly jealous that you're having so much fun on your travels. You're missing absolutely nothing here.


VM on

Have not heard of thesed wineries. What other ones did you go to?

Neil on

Now I'm really jealous in Ottawa! I was in San Fran a few years ago and wanted to go to Napa Valley, but didn't make it there. It looks like I really missed out.

I'll be completely green with envy by the time you hit Vegas!

Tan on

Which email are you using while you're away ~ trying to get details for Melbourne ;-) let me know.... would be good to catch up... x

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