Saturday, May 26, 2007

California, There I Was ...

I’m back from California, and man do I feel more sophisticated … but don’t worry, I’ll snap back into my normal self soon enough! It was a phenomenal trip – one that I highly recommend. I’ll give ya some highlights, because … well, because that’s the kind of guy I am.

San Fran
* Alcatraz … if you are going to San Francisco for the first time, this HAS to be on your to-do list. What a fantastic tour! The history surrounding this “rock” is amazing. Scenically, it is breath-taking, and you can get some great pictures of the city, as well as the Golden Gate Bridge.

* Chinatown – This one puts Philly’s Chinatown to shame. Great restaurants, fantastic shops, and really great photo-opportunities.

* Fisherman’s Wharf – I was actually a little disappointed in this area. It was WAY too commercial. It’s nice to see, I guess, but don’t spend too much time there.

* Japanese Tea Gardens – Much smaller than I expected, and NO friggin’ Koi – even though the brochure said so.

* At the Cathedral Hill Hotel bar, we met some semi-famous people, including a former foreign correspondent for Australia named Warrick Blood, and the director for that HBO show Cathouse … I forget her name, but I think it was either Jill or Julie.

* Everybody in San Fran is under the Barry Bonds spell – you can’t say anything bad about the guy without people jumping to his defense.

* Sour-dough bread – My god, this was fantastic. I couldn’t get enough of it. We need a good one of these stores in Philly!

Wine Country
* Sterling Winery – This is in Calestoga, the far north part of Napa. You take a gondola ride to the top, and the views are ridiculous. I highly suggest taking the ride to this one.

* Robert Modavi winery – Very classy winery. I recommend paying the $25 for the tour – I learned a lot.

* Gloria Fererra – They produce champagne here, and some really good and strong stuff. I think I drank to flutes of champagne in the 1.5 hours I was there, and I felt buzzed. Maybe it was the air, or the fact that I hadn’t eaten in about 7 hours – who knows, but this was some really good champagne.

* Brick’s – This isn’t a winery, but a restaurant. We sat outside. The view was awesome. The food was really good, and they had a great selection of wines to go along with it. The waiters were very helpful in choosing a good wine to go along with any of the entrees.

* Mumm’s - This was another “champagnery,” and was delightful as well. As with most of the winery’s, the view was great.

* Sutter Home – Yeah, we went there too, just because I’ve actually had this wine before (translation – very inexpensive). Outside of that, not much to talk about.

* So, I’ve gotten better with wine. I’ve learned that I like the white’s a lot better, however, I can handle some of the reds. I have also learned how to properly examine a wine, sniff the bouquet, and taste the wine. Still, I’m a bigger fan of beer, but at least I’ve gained an appreciation for wine.


ToddPacker said...

nice pics, los.... i gotta take one of those fancy cali vacations one day

Jeff said...

Glad you had a good trip. Will have to compare our trips sometime soon.

Gotta love how SF considers itself so sophisticated, so morally superior ... and so in love with Barry Bonds. Hysterical.

snowelf said...

Just.Awesome.Los!! Glad you had a good time!

This inspired a new goal for me--I would love to take each of my chili's to Cali for their 21st b-day gifts from me.

I'm sure we can add a visit to the Official Barry Bonds Shrine to the list by then. ;)


mollymcmo said...

i'm jealous, i need a trip away.
anything involving wine, i'm there :)

Ink and Stone said...

Sounds like you had a good time, Los.

Now all you have to do is to take a trip and learn all about hard cider! Then, yuu will be a well-rounded person.

(Wait. You're already round...) You'll be a well person! ;-P

Reverse said...

Good times good times...

-B- said...

Welcome back, Los - glad you had a fantastic trip - post more photos if you can.

Mr. fancy-pants!

Superstar said...

Los: You did ALL that in one week!??!?!?!?
~note to book Los as a tour guide~

OK...So Modavi and Sutter home are my 2 MOST fav winery's. I am so glad to hear they still do it justice.

I don't really care much for sour dough bread. Someone asked me why, and I told them "well, because it's sour."

Glad you had a good time!

El Padrino said...

Robert Mondavi makes some of my favorite wines..

sounds like a great vaca
it's on the LIST

Christina_the_wench said...

I'm too country chick for the wine stuff, but it looks like you had a great time. Good for you.

Los said...

TP - If in San Fran, you MUST go to Alcatraz.

Jeff - Did I mention I don't like Bonds?

Snow Elf - We saw a lady bring her daughter to Napa for her 21st birthday - pretty cool!

Molly - If it's wine you are looking for, Napa might be the place.

Ink - Not even a little bit funny.

Reverse - Unfortunately, back at work ... sigh!

B - I got like 200 pics from vacation ... some of them were even good.

Superstar - We were like the Griswolds.

ElP - Modavi's winery was breathtaking

Christina - They have some good beer in SF as well ...