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July 28, 2007 / chrisisgross

sideways?? part 1

yes i know how lame the title is, but hey we went to wine country. our trip was not to rekindle some part of our fading middle aged lives it was to celebrate julie’s job and to get out of the city for a night. there was two days to the trip so two parts. also i forgot to bring my camera on day one and we took a lot of pictures on day two. so the first one is verbose the second will be photographic.

got our trip booked on expedia which was not too overly expensive. the only hassle that we had was that we had to rent our car from the airport. apparently the only people who rent cars are on a long trip and on a plane according to expedia. not people who don’t own cars cause they live in a place with public transportation who would rather rent the car from somewhere nearer their place.

so rode the bart to sfo to rent the car. no big deal really except that the guy in the garage pointed us to the wrong car. keys didn’t work and got a little panicked that i had done something to the car. i don’t drive that often so how was i to know. we missed our exit initially out of the airport to go up the west side of the city to get to the golden gate. ended up going through downtown sf. took a bit of time, but in the end i got a better sense of the city and a handle on our big jeep liberty.

drove across the golden gate which was both fun and nerve wracking all at the same time and over the marin headlands. all of this was in fog, but the second that we got over the headlands and into the valley it was bright sunshine and really hot. got into sonoma about noon checked into our nice little hotel, got some lunch and by 2 we were drinking wine at the ravenswood winery. learned some about the process and the different types of wine. found out that in the 70’s there was only about 30 vineyards in napa and sonoma and now there are more than 300 in the area. i was surprised by how many wines that i recognize all come from this area: sebastiani, gallo, benziger are just a few, but i digress.

went to another winery the kenwood which was free. the other cost us only $8 for 5 samples. got to try different whites, reds and sparkling and than we went back to the hotel to sit in the hot tub and relax until dinner.

dinner my friends was mind blowing. it was a place called the girl and the fig. had one of the better meals that i have had in a long time. started with a cheese and fruit plate with a local aged cheddar, brie, and a local goat’s milk cheese paired with fig compote, figs and pear. also with that we had some heirloom radishes which were some of the best veggies i have had we had the icicle, the morning star, and the black spinach(i think) varieties. they were all more like root vegetables and didn’t have that horse radish bite that more conventional ones have.

this was followed by an awesome snapper bouillabaise of sorts for julie and a really well done sole for me. both of the fish dishes were very well presented and the fish was perfectly cooked. we each had dessert as well. a chocolate tart for me and a honey lavender creme brulee for her. spent about two hours eating dinner awesome crowd of people, sat outside for the whole meal and it is all only an hour plus from the city.

finally went next door to the swissotel and had a night cap with some hilarious locals. bartender made julie a drink that he swore would sober her up and it seemed to work(wouldn’t tell us what it was) cause by the end of the night i was much farther along than she was and i still had to get up he next morning for our big drive.(oooh teaser)

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