Posts Tagged ‘wine country’

Monday, July 25, 2011

There’s so much we’ve seen and done in so little time.  This trip has been a bit of a blur.

When we got finished in wine country, we drove down to San Francisco, where we met my brother and his family.  He had gotten us great tickets to a giants game, and after that, we headed to Morro Bay, where they have a vacation home that is shared among various relatives.

We spent a day there, then over the next two days, we visited San Luis Obispo and stayed at my brother’s home just outside of Fresno.  Yesterday, we spent the day exploring Yosemite National Park, which was incredibly beautiful.  We’ve had so much fun, laughed so much, and truly enjoyed each other’s company and the wonderful love we now share.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wow!  Our first two days in California have been a blast!

Well, almost.  Our first day was nearly a disaster, thanks to a problem with our bank.

We landed in San Francisco, took a shuttle to the rental car location, and had our bank card declined for no apparent reason.  Turns out, there was “fraud activity in the area” where we were and they had put a temporary stop on all transactions being conducted there on their cards.

We were to meet our PR connections at MacMurray Ranch for lunch and a tour of the vineyards and we couldn’t figure out how to pay for our rental car to be able to get there.  After a number of increasingly unpleasant telephone conversations with our bank, we finally got something worked out and were nearly on time to our first appointment.

Lunch was family style and Kate MacMurray was the perfect host.  The property was magnificent and the highlight was when they drove us to a point high on a ridge, where we drank Pinot Noir overlooking the entire estate.

Our hotel has a nice pool that we enjoyed in the afternoon and we ate at a really cool place in downtown Healdsburg called Spoon Bar where the outside walls are actually accordion doors that they had opened all the way up, giving us the feeling of dining outdoors.  Healdsburg is a great little town with all kinds of great places to eat and drink, especially down around the square.

Today was super busy and fun.  We started off by taking a run down and through Healdsburg.  The early morning temperature in the mid fifties was a very welcome change!

We had lunch at Louis Martini Winery, then visited the CIA – that’s the Culinary Institute of America – in St. Helena.  That and driving past Alcatraz have been the highlights for Ceecee, so far.

After that, it was back to Healdsburg for a tasting at J. Vineyards and winery, and we actually reached the wine saturation point, so we went to a little Brat place called The Wurst and tried a local brew with our dinner.  It all ended with a drive to Sonoma for dessert at a place on their square that I really love called El Dorado Kitchen.  Whew!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Today we took a long ride to Ozark and back.  There are some wicked hills in the country in between, but it’s good for us.  It’s only a little over a month until the Tour De Cox and we still have never ridden 62 miles before.

Once we got back to town, we stopped at Rosati’s, a fairly new pizzeria that is supposed to have authentic Chicago pizza here in Springfield.  We had lunch there, and it was good, but definitely no competition for places like Pizzeria Uno or Gino’s East in Chicago.

Our California trip is all booked and paid for.  We leave nere July 20th and we’ll be there a week!  So looking forward to taking Ceecee to wine country and to see the pacific Ocean.  It’s funny; with her upbringing, she’s been all over Europe, but has never been to California or seen the Pacific.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Got another big surprise today – this one of the good variety!

We were at my parents’ house helping them with some yard work and they brought up the subject of visiting my brother in California.  I mentioned that we’d like to go, but never have had the money.

They said they would pay for the trip and that they really wanted us to go.  They’re going to buy the plane tickets and give us extra for traveling expenses.

My brother lives near Fresno, but we’re flying into San Francisco, so we’re going to go up to wine country for a couple of days when we first get there.  I used to travel to Napa and Sonoma Counties as part of being a wine writer, but I never got to have Ceecee with me.

I would visit wineries and eat in great restaurants, but I always wished she could share that part of my life.  Now, by taking this trip, she can!