Monday, July 17, 2006

Vacation log, part five

Our last day in Napa arrived with a feeling of sadness; we would have to leave our hideaway the next day and return to the world. We made the most of it, though, by going to one of the most picturesque wineries we had seen: Clos Pegase, nestled close to the north end of the Napa Valley near Calistoga. The wines were top notch as well, but our stay was hurried, since we had to meet my sister and her family at a set time and we had one more higher end winery to get to, and it was in the other valley. Chalk Hill makes one of the best Chardonnays I've ever had, and even though they know it--it doesn't come cheap--I was looking forward to seeing what else they had to taste.
Going over the hills to and from the two valleys had always provided some beautiful drives, and this one was no exception; TBO remarked, as she had each day, how blue the sky was, and how wonderfully green it was all over, both in contrast to LA. The winding roads reminded me of some of the more rural parts of where I grew up (Maryland), so we were both enchanted by the area.
We got to Chalk Hill with little time to spare, but unfortunately that proved to be no problem. There was a big notice on the gate stating that tastings were "by appointment only". All together now: "D'Oh!" None of the guidebooks we had with us had mentioned that particular fact, as far as we knew. We couldn't get any cell phone access, either, so making a last minute appointment was out of the question as well. Boo!
Oh well. At least this gave us some extra time to get to Beaulieu Vineyards to meet up with my sis. Given that time, we decided to take the next trip back across the hills to Napa recommended to us by one of our guidebooks (that hadn't warned us about Chalk Hill, of course, so I was wary!) as being the most beautiful route, and after one 90 degree turn led us straight into the path of a mule deer crossing the road not 10 feet from us, we had to agree. Take that, Chalk Hill!
My sister and brother-in-law insisted on treating us not only to the tasting at BV (where we got to try out some of BV's most prestigious wines, since they are members of BV's wine club), but also to a few bottles of wine, in addition to our terrific final dinner at Cole's Chop House. Quite a nice set of anniversary presents, sis--thanks!
Thanks also to sporks and scout for making our camping trip pre-Napa pure fun!
And thanks, too, to my colleagues at the library, who gave us a wonderful send off dinner and lots of fabulous prizes. Seriously, you guys (and gals) are the best group I've ever worked with, and that actually says a lot. Thank you.
The biggest thanks, of course, go to my mom, who gave us this trip as a wonderful wedding present. We wouldn't have been able to do most of this stuff on our own nickel at this juncture, or at least not on as grand a scale, that's for sure. Thanks mom!


"Back to work, Frank."
(From "Thief")


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for spending your first anniversary close enough for us to join you! Great day was had by all and let's toast (with all that wine!!) to many, many more happy anniversaries.
Love, BS

1:28 PM  
Blogger sporksforall said...

Vacations rock. Out.

11:00 PM  

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