Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bailey's of the Valley

On Saturday morning, our last day, we sadly packed our stuff and prepared for our last day in California. We hopped in the car with Ben and Julianne and headed off to Napa Valley to celebrate Julianne's birthday. It was so exciting to see the vineyards! The area really is gorgeous! It reminded me of Tuscany and of course like the wine country in France. We got hungry first so Julianne suggested we head to Sonoma first to eat at her favorite place, The Girl and The Fig. It was in the quaint little downtown area of Sonoma that really looked like something out of the past; it was so picturesque! While we waited for the restaurant to open for lunch, we wandered in and out of the adorable shops. Once we were able to be seated, we were in for a treat! Our meal there was one of the best that we had the entire trip (of course, nothing beats In and Out). I had a delicious grilled cheese sandwich (not your typical cheese on bread, mind you), with shoe string fries and Forrest had a delicious bleu cheese burger. After lunch we shopped a bit more. I wanted to check out the "Barkery", a bakery for dogs! I really liked the California was so pet friendly. They had parks just for dogs to run around and play and people were allowed to take their dogs almost anywhere (in a sanitary way, of course). You would see people lunching outside with their furry friends at their feet! They also had several pet stores everywhere you went-not pet stores where you could buy pets, but that sold things only for pets. It really made me wish we had one in Gadsden (LT-hint hint). After shopping we headed up to Napa Valley, or so we thought. Ben pulled in to a bakery called Scandia to get Julianne a birthday surprise--a princess cake!

I must say this is one of the best cakes I have ever eaten!

We had a mini bday party right there in the store! What a sweet bf, that Ben!

After cake, we were really on the way to Napa. Again, the vineyards were beautiful!

We were so excited to start tasting. We saw a winery that just opened and decided to start there. However, when we got in the door, we realized that tasting were $30 per glass (meaning $30 per SIP)! We asked the receptionist if we could take a tour and she told us they were by appointment only. Fair enough, but she continued by saying that we could make an appointment by calling them on the phone. Really? She was totally snotty to us and we didn't appreciate that, especially when we didn't give her any reason to act that way!

We decided that it was NOT the place for us, so we headed to Robert Mondavi winery.

They were having an event with the Dixie Chicks that night so it was packed, so we headed toPeju in stead. It was an Asian themed winery and it looked like a pagoda-totally cool. They also had several mustards to sample with pretzels (YUM) as well as chocolate sauces (delicious). We did a tasting there before heading up the road to Alpha Omega. By this time, I was already over wine. I'm not really a wine lover so I was there more for the scenery. At Alpha Omega I sat outside enjoying the WARM sun while the rest of the group did another tasting. Forrest came and found me because they had tasted a wine he knew I would actually like. It was a rose and he was totally right, so we bought a bottle to take home. Next, we made a stop at Dean and Deluca, the grocery store. They sold so many cool things but it was really expensive! I saw a $522 wheel of cheese! For real! We headed out of there pretty quick and started on our way back to SF. We made one last stop for a complimentary olive oil tasting--you read that correctly--olive oil! It was pretty weird--you squirted the olive oil into little shot glasses and basically took a shot of it! It was pretty tasty, especially when the ladies would walk around with medicine droppers of different types of vinegar to mix in it. After a few too many oil shots, we decided we were in need of some actual food, so back to SF we went. We wanted to eat at a tapas place called Cha Cha Cha in the Haight, but it was packed and we were starving, so we went down the street to Asqew, a place that served different types of skewers. It was really delicious! It was getting late, so we went with Ben and Julianne to pick up their dog Max at the dog sitters and then they dropped us off at the airport for our red eye flight. While we were in the airport, we got to look at our pictures and remember all the great things we got to do on the trip. We also decided it was probably time for a diet--both physical and financial! After a long flight, it felt so good to be home!!! We spent the afternoon unpacking and cleaning the house. We went out to Duck Springs to pick up Sonny at the Bailey's. He was so excited to see us! As a thank you, we brought them a bottle of wine from CA, that is banned in AL (seriously). Can you guess why?

After the Bailey's we headed to my parents' to pick up Ruffles. She was super excited to see us too! When she gets really excited she gets "the scoots", and she runs around crazy for a few minutes! It was glad to know we were missed! (The cats just get mad at us for leaving them!) We ate a delicious steak dinner with Dad, who was alone for the week--my mom and sister had left for the beach that morning, after attending my cousin Chris's wedding in bham the night before. We headed home early to catch up on some sleep and get ready to go back to work and reality! We really could not have been blessed with a more enjoyable trip and we are so grateful for the opportunity!

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