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Wine Weekend

We’ve made it past a week in our new, temporary home. Twelve more to go. At least. We’ve been keeping pretty busy in our off hours, without much time to jot down what’s going on.

On Friday, our apartment complex threw a shindig with a bunch of wine and appetizers. It was fun meeting and talking to a few other residents. One girl we met had a dog larger than Piper and was shocked that we couldn’t bring her. Something is amiss. We’re gonna check with the staff tomorrow and show them a cute picture of Piper to see if it’ll melt their hearts. There was another guy we got talking to a lot who was really into running. It seems like everyone is really into running here. I may have been coerced into running the San Francisco half marathon at the end of July. Apparently you can sign up for running only half, and one of the halves goes across the Golden Gate bridge. That sounds like all sorts of awesome.

We woke up early on Saturday to drive up to Napa Valley where we had scheduled a wine tour on a bus with a handful of other couples. Our tour guide was great and it was really nice having it guided. When we did Napa a few years ago, we were a bit overwhelmed because there are so many wineries out here. With a guide, he picked four lesser known places where we got private tastings. The first was outside and it was a bit chilly, but the wine and company was good.

The second place we went was the son of the Robert Mondavi we all know and love, and there were so many people in the tasting room that one of the proprietors brought us in an elevator downstairs to where the high class folks get to drink. The wine here was really good and mostly cheap, so we bought a bunch.

How cute.

The third place we went brought us on a tour around the winery with a super hyper dog in tow. He brought a tennis ball and I got to play catch in the underground cellars with a dog. Piper would be jealous. Oh, and at one point on the tour, the guide was having us go through the whole rigamarole where you smell the wine, swirl it, smell it, and swig it. He singled me out as a shining example of how to sniff the wine because I had my crooked schnoz all the way in the glass. He actually called me a professional wine drinker. Damn straight.

There was one more winery with a lot of great wines, and later that night we went to a steakhouse in Napa where they have those dry-aged steaks like Louis Benton’s back home. It was good, but not quite as good as Louis Benton’s was.

We stayed the night in a hotel and woke up to rain and sleet, which looked really cool against the mountains. We were wined out by this time so we skipped Sonoma valley for the time being and instead headed to the Golden Gate bridge. We got a little lost trying to find the bridge overlook on the northern side and ended up finding a bunch of trails out by the ocean where we hiked for a few hours. The rain was gone and the weather was great.

Trying to relive her diving days

There were a bunch of old World War II bunkers and random concrete enclosures scattered all over the place. It had this surreal post-apocalyptic feeling.

Further up the road, we hiked a little trail that went out to a lighthouse, when we were stopped by an iron door in the side of a cliff. We turned around to go back up and a tour group was coming down, and they shouted that they had a key. No stranger to free-loading, we tailed this tour group and listened to the history of the lighthouses and the Bay area. We talked for a while with one of the guides whose ancestors all had some connection to lighthouses. This dude was really into lighthouses, but really interesting to talk with.

We then went down to Fisherman’s Wharf for a quick walk and some fried fish sandwiches. There were a few people in costumes who just got done with the Bay to Breakers race which happened today. We were hoping to see some of the race but I think it was already done. If you haven’t heard of the race, which we hadn’t, apparently it’s just a big party with lots of people in costume and lots of people running naked. I was hoping to see some of the naked people running. It would have made a great introduction into San Francisco, but we got there too late. You can always do a Google Image Search for Bay Area Breakers, just not at work.

Jen’s got just a couple hours more training on Monday before starting nights on Tuesday. I’ve been keeping a good early morning schedule for work, starting around 5 am and one morning, at 3:30 am. It’s not that bad. It leaves the afternoon open and this past week, I’ve spent the afternoon working on my tan down by the pool. It’s not the prettiest sight. I’m just trying to fit in. Maybe I’ll bleach my hair next.

Categories: travel
  1. Jen
    May 16, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I’m loving these updates! Glad to hear you guys are having a great time. The pictures are beautiful.

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