Between keeping abreast of the world cup final, meeting up with a friend for lunch in Fremont and getting ready for the wedding in the evening, did not have much time today but to pack and get some writing and picture organization done before we caught our red-eye back to Atlanta. Next trip out is to Savannah on the Georgia coast - another place that I've visited more than 5 years ago but excited to go see what's new and happening. Stay tuned for pictures from my trip coming up over the next few days.
Managed to get out and on the road to Napa just around about noon today. As predicted, husband's flight in was pretty late followed by a late night dinner at PF Chang's and a late start from the hotel after figuring out breakfast on the go. We did the first winery we saw as we hit the main street and that was Trefethen. The drive through the rows of vines was beautiful. We did taste a progressive flight of 5 wines there that we were able to share thankfully. Then we proceeded to drive to the very last one that I thought would accept us without appointments - last in the sense along the drive. Monteleno wines (refer movie Bottle Shock) was that stop and though they don't do tours on weekends they do have tastings and we were able to head in for that as well as check out some of their surrounding garden and lake area which, in fact, they use for parties and renting out the gazebos is a good idea. By this time we were hungry and needed to do a late lunch but every restaurant we stopped had either already closed (this was close to 4pm) or had long lines. We finally did manage to find a place to eat only to learn as we drove out after tat pretty much all wineries had closed by that time or were open only because of appointments. I did wish we had made an earlier start then and taken the time to make some appointments although it wouldn't have been so relaxes a trip then. At leaf I get to tick a day at Napa off my list
Stayed in today to catch up on some writing and also do some homework on a one day visit to Napa! The husband joins me tonight for a wedding we attend day after but for tomorrow we pan to hit up Napa and do some wine country visiting. A lot of vineyards I am looking at online seem to show up as appointment only so looks like I will have very limited choices to where I can go. Besides we are not really looking for a winery tour so much as we are looking to get a taste for some good local wines. Folks have recommended the wine train but at about $100+ person I think that option only makes sense if I am there at sunlight and leave later than sundown - not a practical or possible proposition this trip. The good part is seeing that many places will let us share our tasting so we do not have to pay for both of us doing the same fleet of wines. Also depends on how much time we can make - husband has a late flight in which means a late start out, and driving over through to Napa takes some time as well. Most wineries close about 4pm so I'd be lucky I think to visit maybe 3 while there.
Today was sort of my one whole day in SFO deal so I decided to do some sight seeing in the Golden Gate Park area. One of my friends lived there and I was lucky that my accommodation was taken are of. I also saved on renting a car as I did a cab to and from the airport and did not really need one while in town as my friend lived within walking distance to the park. I have been to SFO before so I took it easy and decided to enjoy the weather and the walk - walking around is not the best mode of mobility in Atlanta. Granted the park is huge and dotted with many attractions and restaurants along the way, but it does have enough real estate on there to facilitate picnics or biker groups, etc. My pick for the day were the De Young museum, Japanese tea garden, the Conservatory of Flowers and the Botanical gardens. Had not been to any of those before. The De young museum had a great exhibit on modern artists and the gift shop was to die for. I am going to say I probably spent about 3 hours in there and still did not see everything. They have a nice cafeteria - I tend to eat onsite where possible so I don't waste time trying to find a place to eat. They have a great viewing deck that I believe is a must if you are checking it out anyway. Fantastic views of SFO in all directions. The tea garden was right next to it and made for an easy transition from the museum to the botanical gardens. You can get some nice shots at the tea garden and some unique buys but that's about as much as I found interest in while there. The botanical gardens was huge and probably wasn't the best time to visit as most of the greenery seemed to be not in full bloom yet. I did get in quite a bit of a walk though. Figured I'd catch the conservatory on my way back to home base but did not realize they closed early so missed out on it. The well-manicured lawn up front is a great sight. At this point, it was well into the evening and there were performers on the streets, people were out for some wining and dining and the cool evening breeze made the walk home pleasant.