Tuesday, February 23, 2010


On Tuesday we arrived in beautiful San Francisco to find gorgeous sunny skies and mild weather. It was right around lunchtime, and Shannon had found a great sandwich shop with a cult following so we checked it out and we certainly weren’t disappointed! The place is called Ike’s, and they have a pages long menu of creative sandwich combos with equally creative sandwich names.

After a quick lunch, we headed off on our trek, via the golden gate bridge so Naams could check it out up close for the first time. We snapped a few pics, walked out to get the full experience, and then hopped back in the car for our scenic drive to Napa Valley. After only 2 ;) navigating snafus (you’re welcome Shannon), we made it to the Silverado resort, our home away from home for the week. After checking in, we joined Tiffany for a delicious dinner at Bouchon where we had some of the most delicious oysters ever! And some really great french cuisine as well. Not to mention the protiferoles! Yum :)

On Wednesday, we headed over to Yountville to rent bikes for the day and after some pointers from the shop attendant, we set out on our 10-mile route, which we thought we’d so cleverly mapped out on google maps, only to find it highlighted in blue on the shop’s map. Ha! We took our time, snapping plenty of photos along the way, and stopped off for picnic supplies at Oakville Grocery – I love a good sandwich, so no big surprise that this was actually my favorite meal of the week! ;) About halfway through our route, we stopped off for a tasting at Saddleback Cellars in Oakville. We were able to meet the owner, Nils Venge, and our wonderful sommelier, Bob "The Colonel" took us through a flight of eight wines, throwing in a few extras he had open, including a delicious Gewurtztraminer, which I promptly fell in love with. It's a beautiful full-bodied wine, full of fruits and florals, with a great hint of lychee that is just delightful. We visited and took our time and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. We hopped back on our bikes to complete our ride and enjoyed breathtaking views of the valley as we climbed up our last hill for an easy ride back to Yountville. We stopped for a quick break and made a little video to share with you all. Hope you like it :) After our full day of fun, we opted for a quick dinner in the hotel restaurant and called it a night.

On Thursday, Mary actually had to work (go figure!), so Shannon made a trip out to Point Reyes, the windiest point in the continental U.S., to break in his weasel. Unfortunately, the wind was not cooperating that day, but Shan still enjoyed the beautiful park, seals and all.

On Friday it was supposed to be rainy, so while Mary had meetings most of the day, Shannon checked out the local Napa County Airport. Before dinner we checked out the Napa Valley Olive Oil Company in St. Helena at a co-worker's recommendation and stocked up on their delicious oil and balsamics. We managed to squeeze in a tasting along the way to dinner at Louis M. Martini, and it was quite a treat - awesome cabs! Next we headed to a wonderful dinner at Merryvale Vineyards, where he had a tour and tasting, and then sat to dinner in their dramatic cask room, surrounded by enormous French oak barrels and beautiful candlelight.

Saturday morning Shannon drove out to Thornton beach to give the Weasel another try - this time it panned out and he joined a couple other R/C friends for a great day of flying. You can check out the videos here. Mary, Naama and David swung by Miner Family Wines – nestled on a hillside along the Silverado Trail in Oakville with a great view of the valley from their elevated tasting room, followed by a quick tasting (with a sommelier from Marietta!) at the quaint Elizabeth Spencer tasting room, which is inside the former post office - so cute. Finally, we met up with Shannon for a delicious dinner at ad hoc restaurant where we were treated to an absolute feast of fried chicken, short ribs and all the fixins!

On Sunday, we slept in and after breakfast drove out to Rutherford Hill Winery which is on a hillside with a great view of the valley. This is a popular winery for tasting, touring, and a picnic lunch. The winery has great tours, which include a visit to their amazing mile long cave system. Here's a nice video of our guide Jack talking about part of the process and pouring us a taste of cab funk. There are several different picnic areas to choose from, including one hidden among olive trees. It is quiet and provides a good view of the Napa Valley below. Mary tasted a raw olive a la Mike Rowe (see the hilarious video here), only to discover he was right ;) After a long but fabulous week, we were pretty beat, so we had an early dinner @ Mustard’s in Yountville (which was delicious), checked out their garden and took the long way home, winding through narrow mountain roads. We picked up a bottle of Domaine Chandon sparkling wine and some local chocolates to enjoy fireside for dessert back ‘home.’

It was such beautiful country, and a wonderful trip. We're certainly happy to be home and know of a certain chi baby who is glad we're back too :)

Now we can't wait for our shipment of oils and wine to arrive later this week! And after reading some pretty extravagant wine descriptions, we're very excited about writing our own... you can bet it will be every bit as ridiculous as we are ;) PS - you can view all our photos from the trip here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


We've been wanting to go on a short day trip, just to get out of the city for a day and explore a nearby place so this past Sunday we made the short drive down to Macon to check out their historic downtown. Armed with maps and walking tours, and brochures galore, we arrived to find the city desolate and every establishment closed. Not to be defeated, and with good weather on our side, we checked out a few of the historic buildings (even though we couldn't go in!) and of course took PLENTY of photos ;) We abandoned our 'walking tour' and decided to drive around and see what there was to see. We did find a pretty neat park, and even though there were no humans nearby, we had the company of a few hundred birds, which was pretty magical. from there, we checked out the historic Rose Hill Cemetery, and it made our day!

The cemetery stretches for 50+ acres and joins with two others, creating endless browsing of centuries old grave sites with some really beautiful markers and statuaries. There's a great Web site which does an awesome job of documenting the cemetery here. We took a couple hundred photos and wandered the grounds, finding a very special area down in a valley which contained a little creek and a few gravesites built into the side of the hill there. There was even a staircase down to the river.

>> This monument intrigued us, especially since people had filled her hand with coins and there were candles on her grave, but we figured it wasn't likely it was the attention of living relatives since the 12-year-old girl buried there died way back in 1896. We looked it up, and turns out she inspired an Allman Brothers song (they're from Macon). Pretty cool right? You can read about it here.

All in all, we had a fun time and made a great find in Macon! You can see photos from our trip here.