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California – Day 1

Day 1 technically began when we landed at 12:30am.

Oh, and hello snack machine.  I was s-t-a-r-v-i-n-g.  I discovered this treat while waiting for my luggage.

Enough about that though.

Props to Rooster and N for staying up late to make the hour-long drive to pick us up.  Even though I had not slept in almost twenty-four hours, I was pumped!  If you’re a military mama, you know the joy of seeing your loved one, stationed so far away.

We chatted the entire way back to their apartment, and I made some videos, one of which is below.

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We greeted Gus, their dog, when we got in.  He was so excited to see us, despite the late hour.

After chatting a few minutes, we headed to bed.  By then, it was about 2:30am.

Now, I’d packed a lot of stuff, a third of which was workout attire.  I’d been doing Beach Body’s 80 Day Obsession, and I did not want to miss a routine.  I’d installed the Beach Body On Demand app and had downloaded the workouts I’d need while I was away.

Rooster’s apartment complex has a gym, and the kids had told me how to get in.  My plan was to wake up before everyone else, do my thing, and then make it back in time to get going with that day’s adventure.

The gym was amazing!

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Look at that view!!

Look at all of that space and those mats!

I don’t use circuit machines, but for anyone who does . . .

I had packed my sliders and resistance loops along with my workout sheets, so I was set.

I loved the free weights.  They were easy to hold on to (not all weights are, y’all).

I had such a great workout!  Look at the picture below and how I’m bending that right leg.  This program has helped me so much with my strength and flexibility!

I got on the treadmill when I finished my workout and put in a couple of miles because I knew that we would be in the car, and my legs were used to moving!

When I got back to the apartment, everyone was awake and waiting for me!  I’d misjudged my time, so I had to hurry and get ready.

Then, we were off for our first adventure.

Now, driving in the wee hours of the morning, it had been dark, so we had not gotten a true look at the land.  Mid-morning, things looked a lot different!

There were BIG hills, and everything was brown.  Rooster explained that things turn green in the winter, when they get the bulk of their rain.  It was not what I expected, that’s for sure.

So, where were we going?

Well, the part of California where the kids live is close to Napa and Sonoma – land of the wine making.  Visiting a vineyard was high on my list.  Rooster’s wife, N, is such an awesome young lady.  She had researched wineries and had talked to friends.  She found the perfect place for us, which I’ll show you in a moment.

Meanwhile, we were driving.  The closer to Napa we got, the more the landscape changed. We passed vineyard after vineyard.  It was amazing!  We also passed a wine train.  I kid you not.  We had looked at those tours, but they were expensive.  Maybe next time.  😀

With all of the chatter in the car, it didn’t seem like it took any time until we arrived at our destination . . .

V. Sattui Winery was beautiful from the road, and even more lovely when we got out of the car.

We walked under this lovely arbor to get to the entrance . . .

We were greeted warmly by employees who explained how to go about with the wine tasting.  First, though, we wanted to do a bit of exploring.  We saw this building (I’m not sure what it’s used for) . . .

There was an old wine cellar that we didn’t go into.

The main attraction was the deli and shop.  That’s where the action was happening.

The cheese department was incredible and made me wish that I wasn’t lactose intolerant.

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Rooster and N got some of it before we left.

There was a variety of balsamic vinegars to taste including this passion fruit one, which I am probably going to have to order – it was divine.

N had checked on the food available in the deli to make sure that I would have something to eat (told you that she’s fabulous).  The winery had picnic tables set up outside for people to eat at, and our plan had been to buy lunch and eat there.

Here’s a sample of the menu . . .

Here’s what I wound up getting . . .

Both were delicious; I had some of the anti-pasta leftover, which I ate the next day.  The Kale Salad was good, but I’ve learned that kale and I do not get along, no matter how it’s doctored up.  Just sayin’!

The day could not have been more perfect for visiting wineries.  Look at that sunny sky!  It could have been raining, for all I cared, because I was with my kids.  Nothing could have removed that smile from my face.  ❤

After we packed up our leftovers, we went back into the winery for more fun – shopping and wine tasting!

The way it worked was that for $20, each person could taste up to five different wines.

Rooster’s wife had been advised, by a friend, to find a younger person to help us with this.  Enter Ed, our fabulous guide to all things wine.

We really had no idea where to start, so he asked if we liked sweet or dry.  We preferred sweet, so he started us off with the Off-Dry Riesling, which he said was actually closer to sweet than dry.

I am a HUGE fan of Riesling, so this was exactly what I wanted to hear.  This one was really good.  I do not care for dry wine.  This was perfect – not too sweet and definitely not dry.  Even Rooster enjoyed it, which was interesting because I’d never seen him drink wine before.  Ahhhh . . . the joys of having adult children – responsible adult children, I might add.

The next wine we tried was Gamay Rouge.

It was a little sweeter than the first wine; you could taste the strawberries, cherries, and cranberries used to make it.

Now, the Mr. is not a wine guy.  The SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) he’s on to manage his Crohn’s restricts the types of alcohol he can have.

Ed, being the awesome guide that he was, noticed that the Mr. wasn’t participating and asked if he liked bourbon.  He said that he did, so Ed pulled this out.

That is actually a dessert wine – blended with brandy.  The Mr. really, really liked it.  You should have seen his eyes light up.  I didn’t try it, well just because (although the Mr. said I should because it’s really sweet).

Ed pulled out another bottle of something for the Mr. to try (I can’t remember what it was), but he liked the Madeira better.

Next up for those of us tasting wine was Bacci Rosato.

This is a rose wine with a host of fruits involved in the making.  It was okay – not bad but not my favorite.

The next wine we tried was a Moscato (didn’t take a picture).  It was sweet and very tasty.

Another wine we tried was Muscat (again, no picture).  I think this one was a sparkling wine, so it had some fizz.  Now it was pretty darned good – tasted like Sprite.

The last thing Ed presented us with was a combination of the Moscato and the Gamay Rouge . . .

Y’all, this was dessert in a glass!  It was so delightful and refreshing!

The only left to do when we finished was to decide what to buy.  We were so fortunate because Ed wound up not charging us for the tasting.  We knew that Rooster was going to be free because the winery offers free tastings to those on active duty with the military.  Well, Ed blessed us by comping the entire experience – for all of us!  That left us more money to buy wine!

I knew that I couldn’t get anything home without incurring some breakage, so the only option left was to purchase some for shipping.  The winery required either six or twelve bottle purchases.

Darn.

I filled out the order form, all the while chalking the purchase up to souvenirs.  Ha!

I also bought N a one of the bottles that she’d enjoyed.

We just received our wine order a couple of days ago – on the Mr.’s birthday – perfect timing since the Madeira was his birthday gift from me (it was pricey, let me tell you).

That’s going to last awhile because I rarely drink wine at home these days – part of my attempt to eat and drink healthier.

After the wine tasting, we loaded up in the car and headed in the direction of home.  We did make a couple of stops first.

We had seen this sign going in, and people had stopped to take pictures, so we made sure to stop and grab our own.

I took one of the four of us, which I won’t post, and then Rooster took a photo of the Mr. and me.

Of course I grabbed a selfie, not noticing, until later, the people behind me (people can be so oblivious sometimes – talking about them, not me).

I’m not sure why, but these railroad tracks caught my attention . . .

Maybe it was the connection between trains and the West.

We made one other stop in downtown Napa.  I’d scouted out yarn stores, and this one was not too far off the beaten path.

Yarns on First is the name of the shop.  It’s not large, but it has a good array of yarns.

I wanted to hurry since this stop was obviously all about me, so I immediately asked the lady inside if she could point me to yarn that had been produced locally.

First up was the Twirl, which I believe is made, from start to finish, by someone local (she even raises the sheep).  I found a shawlette pattern, Oh Helen, on Ravelry that I’m going to use this for.

I also bought this . . .

This yarn will be made into a pair of socks.  Of course.

We walked around a bit in downtown Napa.

Isn’t this mural pretty?

Then, we headed back to the apartment.

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To avoid traffic, N navigated Rooster a scenic route home.

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There were lots and lots of sharp curves, which Rooster drove around carefully and skillfully.

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In fact, I rode in the backseat of the car the entire time we were in California.  I didn’t get carsick one time – a first for me and a tribute to the kids’ excellent driving.

Meanwhile, Chicky sent me this picture of the dogs . . . getting their evening snack.

Yes, they were totally spoiled while we were gone.

Dinner that evening was at a restaurant called BJ’s.  What a fun place; it had a large menu with several dishes that I could eat with my vegan diet.

Gus, Rooster and N’s fur baby, was extremely happy when we got back and settled in for the night.

Y’all, I slept so good that night.  If you’ll remember, we’d gotten in at 12:30, gone to bed at 2:30, and then I’d gotten up around 6.  It had been a wonderfully busy day – the start to a great vacation.

3 Responses

  1. I know you were running on adrenaline 🙂 & I’m still in awe that you still got up & worked out. you are the most dedicated person I know!!!!
    I wish I knew more about wine. There’s SO MANY different flavors & varieties – I know people take it very seriously.
    I love that you find yarn stores & take some home with you. That’s the best souvenir 🙂

  2. I love your photo of the train tracks. I’m so happy you got to spend time with your son and daughter-in-law!! When I read about the sharp turns, my initial thought was “oh, I would be so carsick” . . .and then I read your sentence!! Your son must be an excellent driver!

  3. Love that yarn and that yarn shop looked pretty cool.

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