Monday, August 14, 2006

Napa, California... part I

The first day of the new rules about no liquids or gels in your carry-ons. Our flight was scheduled to leave 2 hours after the new rules were put in place. DCA was mad chaos. Luckily our flight was delayed one hour and we made it on the plane right before it took off. Connected in Dallas. Checked my voicemail. It was a message from my Mom telling me about the new airport security regulations. The Dallas airport is HUGE! There are 4 terminals and a monorail that connects them. Luckily that flight was delayed also and we made it to the gate just as they started boarding. Arrived in Oakland but our luggage wasn't on our flight. Picked up the rental car, had something to eat, and got our suitcase from the next flight. Drove to Vallejo and checked in at the Ramada Inn. Napped. Tried to connect to the free wifi but it didn't work. Had dinner at Black Angus.

Drove into San Francisco to pick up Kristina at SFO. Her flight was also delayed. I knit a bit while we waited for her. From the airport we drove to Andy and Jackie's house and hung out until it was really really late. We met their dog Reesa and two of Jackie's friends, toured the house, admired their wedding gifts, and drank sparkling wine. Drove Kristina to the Microtel and then back to the ours. Crashed. We had been up for 24 hours by then.

Woke up at 9am. As we were getting ready, Ben called. We met him in the lobby and the three of us went to IHOP for breakfast. I gave him the baby hat and wash cloth for Ella. Ben ooh-ed and aww-ed over it and I was happy. After breakfast, Max and I headed out to Napa.

Got lost at first but then we stopped at the visitor's center and they gave us all kinds of good directions. We drove up Silverado, went to Mumm Napa, toured their champagne caves, tasted some champagne.

Drove along Silverado some more, crossed over to 29 and went to the Beringer estates, did the tour and the wine tasting. The white was good but not sweet enough for me, the reds smelled good but I did not like the taste. Also tried their Nightingale Private Reserve dessert wine in their tasting room. Bought a bottle to bring home. Very sweet.

Drove back along 29 and stopped at Brix for dinner. The meal was fabulous, the view was amazing, the service was outstanding... and we were there for over 2 hours! More about that later. Called Kristina on the way back, met up with the Hylands in the lobby, hung out with them in Julia's room until it was late, and then went to bed.

Take Aways
- The Ramada Inn Vallejo sucks, don't stay there
- Three days of good vacation makes up for one day of bad travel
- There's 4 kinds of wine: red, white, the kind you like, and the kind you don't

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