I had 5 days off from work so Matt and I headed up San Francisco last Friday to visit friends and continuing on to Napa for a bit of wine tasting. We did the 7 hour boring route on I-5 on Friday so we could make it in time to have dinner with my friends. The boring route consists of driving thru the yucky areas of LA, thru the farmland of Fresno, and winding thru the garlicy smell of Gilroy. It was alright, just very flat land covered in crops. We got into San Jose around 7 pm and had dinner with my friends at a very ritzy area of town called Santana Row. I didn’t take pictures of the mall because I didn’t want to look like too much of a tourist.
While in San Jose, my friend Michelle took us to the Winchester House. The widow of the Winchester fortune built the house at the turn of the century as a tribute to the ghosts killed by Winchester guns. That’s right… her husband manufactured guns and she went crazy. The house had over 100 rooms, doors that lead to nowhere, and tiny staircases. Mrs. Winchester employed 16 carpenters at any one time and depended on a psychic to tell her how to build her house. All I know is that if she was born today, she would have found herself in a locked down mental health treatment center. Here’s a link to the Winchester House. Here are a few pics of our visit.
This one is of the weird “13” that Mrs. Winchester requested to be carved into a tree. She had a thing for the number 13 so she had rooms that had 13 windows and stair cases that had 13 steps. This is me and Michelle in the middle of 3 flights of stairs that took us about 3 feet up to the next level. On Sunday we headed up to Napa for 2 days and stayed at a beautiful hotel called Vino Bello. It was actually a time share that wasn’t selling time shares right now. The resort was open to people trading time shares and people like us. It was sooo nice and we only spent $100 a night. What a deal especially for wine country! I spent more on crappy hotels driving thru Wyoming.
Outside of the hotel restaurant.
View of the bed. The rest of the room was equally beautiful.And here are a few shots of us in Napa. We got on a Wine van. It picked us up at 9:45 and got us back to our hotel at 4:30 safe and sound. The van was cool cause the driver basically took us wherever we wanted to go.
If you’re ever in Napa, visit COPIA which is the center for wine and food. They have tastings of wine, food, and lectures/classes. We attended a lecture on the luxury of food and wine which featured speakers who were professionals on the subject (professor, restauranteur who peddles the $5000 burger in Las Vegas, a wine radio personality, and a dessert chef). Honestly the professor had way too much time on his hands if he could write more than one book on the subject of banquets. The best part… the COPIA provided “nibbles and sparkling wine” at the end of the lecture. I love free food!We were able to go to a few really cool wineries like Silverado and Montecello which we never would have toured before. They were on the Silverado trail. In the past, we stayed on Hwy 29 and missed little gems like this one.
I love Napa but it’s getting a bit touristy for me. Tasting fees are getting outrageous with some wineries charging up to $40 a flight! The next time I go wine tasting, I’m going to Sonoma. The word out is that Sonoma is more laid back and there isn’t any of the “wine snobbery”. Is that like yarn snobbery? haha… San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles also have great wines and my favorite Pinot Noir is cultivated on the Central Coast. Gotta expand my wine horizons!
Sorry for the long post but that’s what I’ve been up to. We came home late Tuesday night, I worked yesterday, had a class today, and have to work tomorrow and the weekend. Yikes! I hope I make it through 3 straight days of work… I’ll let you know how that goes. Thanks to all who encouraged me to do the right thing. I appreaciate all the advice.