We are home from the longest "vacation" we have had in probably 15 years. And it was the best since those family vacations back in the 90s.
We flew to Oakland, stayed one night near the airport there, then three nights in Napa, at what is probably the nicest place we have ever stayed. The Napa River Inn describes itself as the Historic Napa River Inn, a luxury hotel. It was very nice, with luxurious appointments, breakfast in bed, and beautiful surroundings. The last three nights we stayed in San Francisco, right outside the Lombard Street gate of the Presidio.
Our transportation was a Dodge Nitro, which will never be my favorite vehicle, but it did serve its purpose, getting us up and down the Napa Valley and then into and around San Francisco. We spent $4.70 a gallon for gas in San Francisco, a record which will unfortunately not stand for long, I'm afraid. We spent $2.50 and $3.00 an hour for parking, so our three hours at the brand new DeYoung Art Museum cost $7.50, while our five hours downtown cost $15.
Not to complain about money, though. This was a long planned and well budgeted trip.
We flew on Friday, June 6, and motored into Marin County Saturday morning, taking a quick side trip through Muir Woods, which was much like we remembered, very majestic and awe-inspiring. You find yourself whispering, being irritated at the loud children as you walk through Cathedral Grove.
We arrived in Napa, checked in, and met up with a group of about fifteen to twenty people at the Elizabeth Spencer Winery. This was the first of many places about which your humble correspondent can make no intelligent comment. Not being a connoisseur of wine myself, all of those appellations are just foreign words to me. Trust me, however. A good time was had by all.
Sunday the entire wedding party met at V. Sattui Winery, for a tour, tasting, and a gourmet picnic lunch on our dime(I wish it was a dime). OK, so there is no such thing as a gourmet picnic. Nevertheless, the food was outstanding, as was the wine at this award winning winery, named the top California winery in both 2004 and 2006.
Sunday evening Rollie's father took us to Celadon, a really gourmet restaurant located within the Napa River Inn.
The Monday night wedding was wonderful, and we were surprised to see the resort, Auberge de Soleil, featured in the Southwest Airlines in-flight magazine as we flew home. Well, it was featured when we flew west, also, but we didn't spot it until we were flying home. The photographers could not go onto the balcony/restaurant because a celebrity was eating there that night. Suzanne and Rollie's mom were hoping for Kevin Costner, who apparently is a regular, but later that night we found out it was Sandra Bullock.
Tuesday we went to San Francisco, and spent three days being tourists and visiting friends from the seventies, some of whom we hadn't seen for over 25 years.
The funniest part of the SF days was Maureen's astonishment at the steepness of the hills. She couldn't believe the stretch of Filbert Street that had steps instead of a sidewalk.
During the whole trip I kept waiting for one thing to go wrong, thinking it would most likely flight related. But we got home without a single issue of any significance. Amazing.
By the way, the t-shirt in the picture says, "Will sell husband for wine". Who thinks that is funny?