Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sonoma or Bust! (Part I)

Talk about a FANTASTIC weekend.  I don't think I can do it justice in a post, but I will try.  I left on Thursday afternoon, had my first trip to Sea-Tac (the Seattle airport) and made it to San Francisco right on time.  B. picked me up in his rental car ... a 4-door Jeep Wrangler with the top down!  It was perfect for wine country.  We had two hours to kill before we picked up the couples that were arriving, so we headed into downtown San Bruno to find somewhere to get an appetizer and a drink!  We settled on B.J.'s Brewhouse ... B. had a brew and I had a pomegranate margarita and we shared the avocado rolls.  They were delicious.  We picked up the rest of the crew and headed to the Presidio Social Club in The Presidio, where L.Rae met up with us.  It was a really neat little restaurant ... I wish I would have taken some pics!  After dinner, B. and the crew headed out to Sonoma and L.Rae and I headed to her boyfriends, J2K.  But first, we stopped at Safeway to pick up some essentials ... two bottles of Menage a Trois and Pepperidge Farm cookies.  We proceeded to stay up until 3 a.m. talking, even though we had to be up at the crack of dawn to pick up J. from the airport!

A few short hours later we were up and on our way to the airport.  J.'s flight was delayed, leaving us justenoughtime to make it to Sonoma in time to meet the crew and the limo.  We had arranged for a limo to take us around the wineries on Friday so nobody had to be DD.  We picked up J., made a quick stop at In-N-Out burger, made 2 wrong turns before I turned all navigating skills over to J., and were only 10 minutes late.  Pretty good if you ask me.  Especially considering L.Rae and I were involved ... we're notorious for being bad at directions and LATE.  But we made it, hopped into the limo and we were off to the first winery ... Ty Caton and Muscardini Cellars:

J. and Me:

L.Rae and Me:

Group shot with George, our tasting guide!

B.'s aunt lives in Sonoma, and true to form, B. had quite the hook-up everywhere we went.  He knew George from several previous trips to Sonoma and George treated us like royalty!  Thank you George and Ty Caton/Muscardini Cellars!  We took one last group shot outside ...

And then headed off to the second winery ... Loxton Cellars.  L.Rae and I bought a bottle of Chardonnay here ... their Chardonnay was fabulous (I'm a lover of Chardonnay).  I didn't take a single picture of the winery but here are some pictures from their vineyards:

J. and Me: 

L.Rae and Me:

Group photo:

Are you sensing a theme here?  We piled back into the limo, might have had a glass of wine on the road and headed to B.R. Cohn Winery and Olive Oil Company.  This was the winery I was the most excited to visit, because they also have olive oil tasting.  However, I was sorely disappointed.  I thought that olive oil tasting would be like wine tasting, where you sidle up to the bar, the tasting guide pours you some samples of olive oil and you sit around and eat bread and olive oil.  Not so.  They had a separate store, which had cubes of bread and different kinds of olive oil to try.  It was still delicious and a new experience, but not what I was expecting!  I bought an olive oil/herb mix for bread dipping and then we headed into the winery.  This winery was founded in 1984 by Bruce Cohn ... the manager of the Doobie Brothers!  He had several of his vintage cars on the property and the winery itself was gorgeous.  


At this point, a very long photo shoot ensued.  I love this one of L.Rae and me:

I love this one too ... "But L.Rae, there's BEES!"

Finally, a good picture of us:

Group shot:

Girl photo!
From L to R: L.Rae, me, K. and E.

We picked up a Doobie Brothers CD and a bottle of wine for the limo, and we were off!  We were ahead of schedule, so we had our limo driver, Lou, just drive us around Sonoma for a bit.  It was a GORGEOUS day.  We stopped at Hawkes Winery's tasting room in downtown Sonoma.  We had a really cool tasting guide and got to sit outside in the courtyard.  Unfortunately, I did not take a single picture :(  

We loaded up and headed to our final winery of the day ... Sojourn Cellars tasting room!  

Their tasting room was so cool, it was in a house and we sat around a big dining room table to taste.  This picture is by no means good, but it kind of gives you an idea: 

After our tasting at Sojourn, Lou dropped us off at the Girl and the Fig where we had dinner reservations.  I had the Flounder, which I think was a daily special, and the Lavender Creme Brulee.  Delicious.  

You'd think our day ended there, but nope, we headed over to Murphy's Irish Pub after dinner.  I don't know how I made it through Friday, especially since L.Rae and I got very little sleep Thursday night ... I'm exhausted just writing this post!  B. knew the former owner of Murphy's and he came out to meet us all.  He was a retired Naval Aviator, so B. really wanted J. to meet him.  B. and the boys were ENGROSSED in a multiple hour conversation with him!  He even had a tail hook in the bar.  

All the girls with the owner ... I cannot for the life of me, remember his name 
and J. isn't here to help me out!  

One last pic of the whole group:

Whew, that was exhausting!  Come back tomorrow to hear about Day 2 in Sonoma! 


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