Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again

Hello friends - if anyone is still there. I took a wee break from the blog. Don't get me wrong, I thought of you often and even tried to blog once or twice, but my blog mojo had deserted me for a time. I have found it though and I am back, from outer space. (name that song) Actually, I am back from California. Mr. Pearl had a meeting in San Francisco, so we took the opportunity to leave a little early, since we had my mother-in-law with the mini-pearls and went north of San Fran to Sonoma and Napa. I think that I have made it pretty clear, how much I love my home state of Texas, but when I travel to places like where I have just been, I have to question my sanity. I mean, Texas has some beautiful country, but where I live and in most of the big cities here, it ain't the weather or the beauty of the land that makes this place so appealing. In fact, it's down right hot and ugly and humid and not near an ocean and I live here - by choice. Why? I really don't have an answer for you. Except that it's Texas, and I love it and the people. Okay, back to my story...

The Muir Woods

Mr. Pearl surprised me with reservations at a fabulous bed and breakfast just off the square in Sonoma. The place was a converted farmhouse and outbuildings from 1906. It was divided into individual guest cottages around a gorgeous courtyard with lush landscaping. I contemplated asking the proprietor if I could stay on as the housekeeper or something. I did not want to leave! We hired a driver and drove around to the wineries and participated in many tastings. I am a California "wine-o" now. I "know" wine or I have tasted it at least. I could not get over how beautiful everything is there. The mountains and rolling hills, acres of vineyards and blooming flowers as far as the eye could see. I loved sitting on the veranda each morning, wrapped in my sweater, sipping coffee and smelling the wisteria that was growing on the trellis below. Heaven. Alas, we had to come home, but not before we hiked in Muir woods, stopped at the "World's Largest Petrified Forrest", drove through the Russian River Valley and cruised highway 1 along the coast. 

The front of our guest house and the wisteria vine

An old winery - so hard to believe that this is in the U.S.

This view - I never got tired of it

Another winery - a bit more modern than the last - love the architecture and the landscaping

I had never scene how and where wine is aged - a lot of wineries still store their oak barrels in caves where the temperature is cool and constant. We actually had a tasting in this cave!

Ok, I loved this stop! This is not the government owned petrified forrest national park, but a privately owned stop. It is a total throw-back to the 1950's when families loaded into the family four door and drove and the drive was part of the fun!    I don't think the facilities have been updated since the fifties but it was a blast. And yes, the petrified trees were enormous!

Hello Pacific Ocean - highway one on the Sonoma coast

You can laugh at this one. My arm just isn't long enough to snap a good pic!

The Russian River Valley

San Francisco is fabulous and if you have never been, put it on your list. It is beautiful and has a very European fell which I love. There is so much to see and do, but Mr. P and I have been there several times and well, it was great, but it didn't hold a candle to the beauty of Sonoma and the area to the north. Maybe that is the wine talking... We had a wonderful trip. It is good to be back and I am working on some new posts. Thank you for sticking with me. I wish this blog had "taste-o-vision" so I could share some of my wine finds with you. Maybe someday!

The Golden Gate - we drove across it!



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