"WINE"-ding on Down the Road

Trip Start Jun 24, 2010
Trip End May 18, 2011

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Where I stayed
Tuscan Inn at Fisherman's Wharf

Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We awoke this morning to the grandeur of the Pacific Ocean lit by the morning sun, and listened to the waves lapping at the beach in this rather remote little corner of the coast. It would be quite easy to just stay grounded here for awhile, soaking up all the serenity and cleansing our minds of all the hub-bub that we're guessing is happening on the other side of the mountains but which feels like half a world away right now………………

However….... there’s still a "tad bit more" of this planet to be explored, and I’m guessin’ that every turn in the road is gonna present an amazing unique “best of” adventure (and considering we’re only five days into this journey, the concept of “best of” is an appreciative enthusiastic response, even if it is perhaps just a bit premature in its comparative value…….can you tell we’re really liking pretty much everything that’s happening?????  ;-). 

We continued our journey down the outrageously gorgeous Hwy. 1, eventually turning eastward cutting over through the northern reaches of the infamous Napa/Sonoma/Mendocino wine country.  The still-winding narrow two-lane road that we chose to travel led us through the much more remote (and much less touristy) area of wine country than the popular Napa Valley circuit a little further south.  But equal in beauty, this slow-slow-sloooooooooooow drive from the coast inland is dotted on either side with countless rows and rows and rows of undulating grape fields lining the endless fertile hills and valleys.  And of course, nearly every one of the wineries along the way has a sign out near the road that politely beckons you to stop in with the enticing invitation of “sampling all day”.   If you were so inclined, you could literally spend days doing a “wine crawl” through this region of the country (we’re thinking that our “wine-y” friends David and Ron back home are pretty much drooling in their shoes at the mere thought of where we are right now!).  And to set the tone of the whole Wine Region experience, we passed a small eye-catching road sign that succinctly summed up the beauty of the brew: “wine is bottled poetry”.  I don’t think they’re referring to limericks though……………….. ;-)

Once we drove on into the more trendy Napa Valley region, we couldn’t help but stop at our favorite little winery that we discovered when we toured through here many years ago.   I’m sure that most any of the wineries around here have their own unique offerings to draw you in, but V. Sattui winery has that little special something that keeps us coming back for a much-anticipated visit whenever we’re in this neck-o-the-woods (bringing back fond memories, Cory & Kellie???? ;-).  Anyhoo, after a very refreshing “treat” on the tree-shaded lawn on the winery grounds, it was time to forge on to the big city.

Today’s Travel Trivia:  in our hopeful effort to avoid as many freeways as we can and still keep up with our proposed itinerary, we drove on our first stretch of freeway today for the first time since arriving in Salem OR last Thursday!  We hit it shortly before approaching the Golden Gate bridge on our way into San Francisco.  Not bad after 5 days of driving!

We decided to splurge just a little bit in the big city, so ended up getting a motel right down near Fisherman’s Wharf where we would be near the major sites we wanted to explore during our short stay here.  Our first foray into the culture of San Francisco was to hop aboard the iconic cable cars.  The kids were understandably thrilled with the insistence from Dad that we ride “side saddle” on the outside runners of the cable car (if you’re gonna do it, you might as well do it to the hilt!).  So up and down those famous hills we went, aboard the jingle-jangle bell-ringing rickety cross-track ride, hanging on mightily to the well-worn grab bars that kept us “on track”!  Then it was a quick jump-off in the middle of the line when the unanimous family decision was made to have dinner in the only area that seemed truly appropriate for us and our adventure: Chinatown!  A wonderful little out-of-the-way below-street restaurant ended up being a great find!  We walked away with our bellies pleasantly plump!  That’ll make for happy sleep tonight!  ;-)
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