Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 251 - Summer Wrap-up

Ok, a couple days late, thanks to air travel and phone-to-computer syncing issues, but it's time to cap off the end-of-summer 10-day jamboree.

We've got the run out of the way in the photo-free mobile post.

We packed a lot into that last day. Rather than a play-by-play, I'm just going to post some of my favorite pix from the day.

First, a fountain...

Garden outside Bottega 

Couple guys from Cake Bread winery doing pH checks on the grapes just picked from the various vineyards.

Maybe the best job ever.

Here are just some of the barrels in one of the barrel rooms. And these go back 5 or 6 rows, just like these, to the back wall.

Lotta wine, people.

Know what these are?


That's what I said... bungs. They are what they put into the holes in the sides of the barrels.

Know what the holes are called?

Bung holes.

I am not making this up.

While at Cake Bread, I spied the solution to our biggest problem... getting the wine home. And it only cost us $7.

Purpose built of cardboard and styrofoam, baby.

We took a few minutes to enjoy our patio and view there from, one last time before checking out.

Easily the lowest frill winery we visited was Pina. Charming in it's casual approach.

Here are almost all of the barrels at Pina.

And see those front 6 with the white labels?...

The owner's private stash.
It's good to be the owner.

Art at Pina

At the other end of the spectrum was Hall Winery with it's hidden, gated, gotta have the code to get in entrance.

And their art was a little more arty...

Tons of art all over the estate.

And dig the cave.

This tunnel leads you to the testing room...

After the tasting we stopped for a snack at Bouchon...

Spinach, Mac and Cheese, and Pommes Frites (French Fries).
Best fries, ever.

Then, alas, it was time to start heading home, so we hit the road, which happened to pass right by Infineon Raceway.
Me on the podium. Where's the Izod Trophy girl?

Pano of the race track.

We also squeezed in a quick trip to see the huge-mongo redwoods at Muir Woods.

I'll spare you the stupefying details of SFO airport and it's cruel trick on tourists that is the rental car return.

But we did manage to get the wine checked. And the airline guy was nice enough to put several "Fragile" stickers all over the box, right before he flung it to the belt. I'm not kidding.

Wine bottles and travelers made it safely home, unbroken.

When we walked in the door, I was taken aback, seeing all of my stuff from MotoGP still on the counter.  I'd been gone longer than I thought.

But what a great way to end the summer. MotoGP, IndyCars at Chicago, San Francisco, Napa, Sonoma. Great food, great wine, and great fun.

Travel is about experiences, both planned and unplanned, fun and challenging, new and revisited. And the memories and the stories that travel creates are part of the spice of life, and the things we'll tell our grandkids, or the other folks in the nursing home, or anyone else who sits long enough.

Good running,

Numbers: 1.1 miles or a very tender left heel.