After 6 wonderful days on the West Coast, I am heading back to our fair city. And how fair she is. We spent most of our time north in Napa, with only a few stops in Berkeley (on a
Sunday, alas, when nothing was open) and a quick trip (filled with wrong turns – San Francisco is a little hard to navigate when one is used to a city built upon a strict grid). As I am writing this, I am sitting in the Oakland airport, but you won’t be able to read it until 10pm tonight, because the Oakland airport does not have free wireless, and I am too cheap to pay $8 to use it for the one hour I will be sitting here, and, by that point the Xanax and double dose of dramamene will have kicked in, rendering me only slightly less coherent than normal, so it’s probably best if I write now and proofread later.
What a trip we had! No rest! By the time we returned from Napa to Berkeley yesterday, we were ready for a long nap with some football in the background, which is pretty much how we spend every Sunday. Here are a few things I learned on this trip:
There are lots of fruit flies involved in wine making, even when you are in a cave 180 feet below ground.
One can get by wearing the same jeans, tees, and Simples every day in Napa.
White grapes (primarily viognier) are sometimes blended into red wine (usually syrah)
Wine caves smell delicious – like oak, yeast, and musky fruit
Bouchon bakery still has the best croissants I’ve had, but not the best macarons (by far)
There are a lot of homeless people in San Francisco. A lot. As progressive as the city is, I am surprised they don’t have a better handle on this social issue.
It is really hard to find free wireless in Berkeley. See above for confusion on this issue.
Guy Fawkes was a guy who planned to blow up British Parliament on November 5th, 1605. More on that later.
I have found my literary calling. More on that later.
Emulsification is, indeed, a word. I’m still not sure what separates it from “emulsion,” but I was disappointed to discover that all those time I’ve yelled at the TV when Emeril or Mario said it, it was I who was wrong. When Rhulman used it, I had to hit the dictionary.
There is actually a point when I can reach maximum gluttony. Until this trip, I wasn’t sure that was possible, but after eating so many great meals in such a short time, by the end of the trip I was begging for a sushi restaurant. Denied. Oh well.
San Francisco (and its surrounding areas) might have the worst radio station selection of any major cities in the states. It’s pretty bad when you’re reduced to listening to the hard core Latino rap station.
There is a lot of really good wine being produced in California, and I’m not talking about all of that overextracted, overoaked, overbearing crap. I’m talking about wine made by great winemakers who listen to the grapes and the ground, who make wines with restraint and finesse – thought-provoking wines, which are very food-friendly. Of course, much more on that later.
I am sexist when it comes to women writers. I blame Kate Chopin. More on that later.
Okay, so more on all of those things later. (my attention span is starting to wane, and I am getting very, very sleepy)
So, what about the Skybus experience? Not bad, actually. It’s very nice to have a direct flight from Columbus to Oakland, which is hard to find. I’m not the best flier, and take off is the worst time for me; so the fewer times we have to do it, the better. I slept through most of the flight, and there was a moment on the flight so bizarre that when we landed, I said to Husband “I have this really weird memory of some flight attendants standing at the front of the plane, selling Hugo Boss perfume. Did that really happen?” Husband confirmed that indeed, some poor hapless boy named Ed was unfortunate enough to be waiting for the bathroom when he was attacked by two flight attendants (It can’t be too bad; all of the flight attendants on Skybus were young and attractive) and asked to smell some Hugo Boss cologne. He then had to stand between these flight attendants while they hawked the cologne. This moment was so surreal that had Husband not been awake to view it for himself, I would have just assumed I was dreaming and thought nothing more of it. The flights are crowded, of course, so there’s no chance of the luxury of having three full seats between you and your one traveling partner. I was, of course, stuck in the middle seat. Husband did trade me about halfway through so that I could be near the window. During this time, the gentleman sitting on the aisle seat proceeded to remove his shoe, sock, and foot brace and commence picking at his naked foot. I’m glad I slept through that. I didn’t eat anything on the flight out, but I feel as though it’s my duty to checking something out on the return flight. Maybe they have some warm cookies or something.
Speaking of warm cookies: another first for us on this trip was the use of Hotwire to book our hotel. We only spent 2 nights in hotel this time around, and I didn’t really care what sort of hotel it was, as long as it was clean, close to the freeway, and had a comfy bed. When using Hotwire, you don’t know what hotel you will be getting until you pay, and we ended up with the Berkeley marina Doubletree for around $75 a night, which seemed pretty reasonable after the other hotels I had been looking into. When you check in to the Doubletree, they give you warm cookies. And they are really tasty. Even so-called cookie-hating Husband proclaimed it a tasty cookie.
Okay, so that's it for now. I have so many meals and wineries to write about, I have 2 book reviews coming, and even more yet to come. I'm so happy to be back with you all! And my kitties, pajama pants, and sofa. Oh, and I'm happy to be near beer. A week in wine country is a lot of wine, even for me.