Time Well Spent in California

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So we left off on the 13 hour drive from Jackson Hole, WY to Davis, CA.  It is a super uneventful and boring drive. Like there’s NOTHING out there until you hit Reno.

Coming into California was also a weird experience.  We were driving a Suburban and we were for sure in the minority for motor vehicles- low emissions wasn’t a thing yet when this bad boy was assembled.  So we pull into a weird toll looking thing and a guy asks us where we’re coming from. We awkwardly said, Wyoming. He said “ok, go ahead.” That was literally it.  He could have read the license plate that said OHIO too I suppose. I’m glad we were both too tired to be snarky and didn’t say Mexico or something. I think they were making sure we weren’t trying to bring in weird plants or something.

Anywho, we made it to our destination and it was so nice to sleep in a real bed and not wear shoes in the shower.  We also did some much needed laundry.

We were welcomed into our honeymoon suite with a fun itinerary and loving welcoming arms.  We arrived late Friday evening and were spending Saturday in wine country and Sunday in San Francisco.  

We started our morning with a trip to the Davis farmers market.  Nothing like a farmers market I’ve ever been to (I can’t lie, I’ve only been to like one).  We had breakfast and juice from a food stand and I can’t stop thinking about it nearly 3 years later.  We for sure needed a good base to start the day of wine drinking ahead.  

Our trip to wine country started with a trip to the Miner Family Winery ( http://minerwines.com/ ) where Cassie and Paul (our awesome hosts) were huge fans.  Our wine tasting hostess was AWESOME and originally a midwesterner as well.  There’s really a taste of home everywhere. The wines were absolutely awesome and we came home with a few bottles.  

 

We were expecting to have a picnic but due to time commitments we decided to make our place… which was awesome because it was overlooking the vineyards and we had comfy seats… it was in the car in the parking lot.  Wouldn’t have it any other way though. We had lots of laughs, hard cider, all kinds of delicious food, and great company along with the great view.

We made our way into Mumm Napa ( https://www.mummnapa.com/ ) for a tasting tour.  This was so cool. We learned the difference between champagne and sparkling wine.  We saw their whole process while tasting about 4 different sparkling wines.

By this time, Cassie and I were in GREAT shape.  Rare form if you will. We left, completely forgetting to make a purchase to bring some home.  Oops- I guess we’ll have to go back!

We left Mumm and headed to a great little Farm to Table restaurant ( http://www.longmeadowranch.com/eat-drink/restaurant ) where the food was out of this world.  They make EVERYTHING, and they make it well.  I had gnocchi, while Darrin had brisket. There were cheese biscuits.  There were ribs. There was more wine. It was fantastic.

 

What I found most interesting about this whole day was the amount of unused space- there is none.  Here we walk out of a restaurant and there are planters with shrubbery or seasonal flowers. There- you see grapes.  Here you see shrubbery. There you see lemons, limes, and avocados growing all over the place. Not to mention everyone has some sort of citrus fruit tree in their yard.  What a great use of space, seriously!

I can’t tell you anything about the drive home except that I hear it was beautiful- I fell asleep.

Day two we woke up and headed to San Francisco.  We spent the day exploring the city and being tourists.  We took a drive down Lumbard. Had seafood on the Warf. Had a bread bowl of chowder.  Checked out Pier 39 and the Walruses. Saw Alcatraz from the mainland. Had ice cream a Ghirardelli square and Darrin touched the ocean for the first time since he was a baby.

We headed home and had pizza from a local pizza joint (can’t for the life of me remember the name of it).  Got a little bit of R & R and planed where we were headed next.

We left Paul and Cassie’s and headed toward Yosemite National Park.  We spent a full day hiking and exploring. This was one of our absolute favorite places of the whole trip.  Totally unplanned at the start of the trip, but very glad we decided to make it happen. Word of advice- plan that one ahead and stay in the park overnight.  We left and drove for several miles until we hit the next town.

We finally hit the next town (Bishop) about 10 minutes after the campground closed so we had to find a place to stay- making this our 3rd hotel.  There were a few options, but we ended up at the Elk Motel. A true travelodge. We also found a great little BBQ spot where we had some great chili dishes.  

My assessment of this hotel: clean.  Needed some renovations. The first place I’ve ever been where there was a Qur’an instead of a Bible.  Not that I was going to read either one, just interesting. The breakfast was pretty skimpy. Like a coffee pot and a few muffins with the possibility of some bran flakes- but I didn’t see any milk.  Maybe it was an off day? Maybe not. Decent price, safe and clean were all we were looking for and we found it.

We continued the next morning heading back East.  Our next big stop was the Grand Canyon after seeing Vegas.  More on that next time.

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