So, we have been back from our fantastic vacation to Napa, San Francisco and the ol' home town in Southern California. I still don't think I have adjusted to being at work and 115-degree weather. Yes, 115! Last night we hit the all time high on the lowest temperature of the day--only getting down to 93 degrees. I love the desert, but the summers are a little too brutal. Thank goodness for air conditioning!
Napa was beyond gorgeous and it was a cork snob's dream! There were vineyards everywhere up there. And, we visited many beautiful wineries. Calistoga, by the way, is lovely! And, if you are a foodie, like Ry and I are...you would understand what a thrill it was to go to COPIA - The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts. It is the mecca of culinary stupendousness (and the place where they filmed the finale episode for Season One of Top Chef). We saw a lovely collection of photos there on exhibit, where a couple went to different countries and observed a family and what they ate in a week. The photos on display depicted the family with their week's worth of food all around them. The couple then totaled up the grocery bill for the family. It was just amazing to see how alike we all are in what we eat and yet also how different. Also, to compare how much Western countries eat compared to third world countries. It really made me do a reality check. I wanted to buy the book of photographs, but wasn't sure I wanted to lug the behemoth book around with me the rest of the trip. We still had a long way to go at this point. But, if you are interested in finding out more on COPIA, it exhibits, culinary lessons or its beautiful gardens, go online at www.copia.org.
While up in the Napa/Sonoma area, we went to the NASCAR Nextel Cup Race at Infineon Speedway. Wow! What a place! The only track I know you can go to and see a bay and vineyards. The race was exciting and we enjoyed it immensely. And, we had fun walking around on the track with hundreds of other people, looking for the five golden lugnuts. Darn if I didn't find one of them, but I did find the golden washer. I guess that doesn't count.
If Tony Stewart happens to read my blog (like this will happen...and my husband can ignore this)...Tony, you are one hot driver! Watching you go around that track and pass drivers with ease was just amazing. I have always liked you as a driver, but you thoroughly won me over at Sonoma. I'll be rooting for you.
Okay, back to our regularly scheduled program. San Francisco...well, it was San Francisco! We were ready to move there by the end of our stay. We highly recommend the Golden Gate Hotel. We had a lovely stay there and especially enjoyed the warm croissants and the hospitality of everyone there, including Pip the cat. But, there is so much about our trip to share that it would take a novella to write about it, so here is the short version. Visit the De Young, enjoy Haight Ashbury, drink hot cocoa at the italian bakeries in North Beach, and shop in Chinatown.
There is one story I have to share that completely made my trip to San Francisco. Before we left I purchased "Tales of the City" by Armistead Maupin. I thought it would be the perfect thing to read on our trip. I quickly devoured it and was ready for the next one in the series. When we got to San Francisco I figured I could wait until we visited Citylights Books (one of my favorites) to purchase the book, but I saw a wonderful store in Haight Ashbury and couldn't wait any longer. So, I quickly went in, found "More Tales of the City," and purchased it. As I was showing my husband the book, we noticed a little sticker on the cover...it was autographed! Could it get any better? Armistead, you are wonderful! Now I am searching for the show reruns on TV so I can see my favorite characters in the flesh.
I am looking at my watch and it is almost time to go. So, I will bid adieu for now. I will write more later...hopefully not too much later. To part, currently reading "Siddhartha" by Hermann Hesse and I am rediscovering Powderfinger, Aussie band of the genius Bernard Fanning. They just came out with another album recently, but I must wait until it comes to the other side of the globe (why does Australia have to be so far away?).
Word for the day...splendour. Say it and it just makes you smile.
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