Tuesday, May 1, 2012

We Now Return You to Your Regular Broadcast

Wow what a weekend.

I would apologize for disappearing off the radar like that but I'm not sorry. Not one bit.

On the 29th it was my 25th birthday and I took my girlfriends on a trip to Napa for wine and then Petaluma for food and fun.

We first went to Sterling which has this awesome tram that takes you up to the winery and you get a great view of the local hills from:

They have bells!

These hold the larger batches of wine they do
These hold the small batches of wine
The trip down the tram was even better then the trip up and we saw
wild turkeys 

After Sterling Anna and I really wanted to hit up Chateau Montelena because of the movie Bottle Shock. I like the movie for the scenery and I love Alan Rickman's dry humour.

Me marching quickly towards the chateau to get a better look.

Here is something that shows my rebel side. See the big doors under the flag? Well there are 2 handicap buttons to open it and I naturally said we should press them. Courtney looked mortified at the idea, Anna was eh, while Stina was doing something somewhere else. Then this car rolls up:

 An elderly gentleman and a dog get out. The dog sniffs around us for a minute and the man says hi (we confirmed via pictures that he is the owner). After the man and dog disappeared and the girls started heading up to the tasting room and I went and pressed the button. Sadly someone else had my camera but it was filled with 2 storey stainless steel tanks for fermenting the wine in. Courtney started yelling Anna was all "Oh Gil....", and Stina walked faster to the tasting. I really have to say that if they wanted people not to open the door then they could lock it, remove the buttons (because doesn't everyone want to press the big button), and what were they going to ask us to do? Not press the buttons? Ask us to leave before we gave them money?
These are only some of the wine bottle sizes with their names

Wine tasting was okay. I can really say that I'm a white wine drinker.

After a walk around the gardens and chateau we headed off to Beringer. It turned out to be my favorite. They have good whites, I got some dishes for 70% off, 2 bottles of 2010 Riesling, chocolate and we got to sit at the nice house.
Beringer had live music.
 This building holds 2 tasting rooms out of 3. Now something to keep in mind if you ever visit is that each room has different wines by if they are red, white or blush. Since I am a white wine drinker and the girls are red wine drinkers they went to the main house and I got a glass of white and went shopping in the first room then met up with them.
Because they were close to closing they just poured all 8 different wines into glasses and sent us out onto the porch to taste. You can see my half drunk glass of Riesling at the end of the line. Stina and I drank most of them and boy was that walk back to the car fun.

Us in front of the main house. There was a
very drunk man helping people get pictures here.
 Anna drove us to Petaluma to stay at the Metro Hotel. I had us staying here because it was so much cheaper then Napa and I like the town. The hotel was done in more of a 60's Pop French vibe then the country French I was expecting, but that just made it even better.
Courtney's and my bed.

Anna in the other room. See the goose on the left. That's the
lamp for this room. Told you it was cool.

This is an ice cream parlour and shout out to Rachael Herron
When we got to Petaluma we did not know it but it was Butter and Eggs Days which is known for its parade and drunk after parties. So needless to say all the pubs were packed so Courtney suggested we go to a really nice place since it was my birthday.

We ended up at Cucina Paradiso where the owner was serving us and when he found out it was my birthday he said several things in Italian that I could not understand and pinched my cheek. He also disappeared right before giving us the check and returned with waiters and tiramisu to sing happy birthday to me. I had a glass of Pinot Gris (my favourite) with a seafood spaghetti. I'll be dreaming of that dinner for years I think.

The next morning because I'm an early riser I got up around 6am, did all my bathroom stuff (4 girls and one bathroom means I try to get in early), grabbed my computer and headed out to do my usual birthday reflection and to find internet to get some work done. No internet, but I did get to wander up and down 4th St and Kentucky St as they set up the antique's fair. Eventually I settled down with a large coffee and a muffin out in front of the Knitterly hoping to catch the eye of the owner because I had not brought anything other then a tank top to knit on and I needed something simple to knit at that point. Her daughter came to the shop at 9am and they let me pop in early. I did a little shopping and then got the call that the girls were ready to be picked up from the hotel.

Since our tea party reservations had gotten pushed back we had an hour to wander the fair and I just knit on a sock while the girls looked around.

The Knitterly and I Leoni both had chicks in the window for
Butter and Eggs Days
One of the best houses on the tour
After we got dressed for the tea party and checked out we had some time to drive around so the girls could see my favourite part of Petaluma, the houses. I only got us lost once and they got to see cows and vultures so it was okay.

After that we headed back into downtown and struggled to find parking till I went down this street that was marked "Not a Through Street" but there was the back entrance to this tucked away parking lot that was 2 blocks from downtown and half empty. We parked, triple checked that there was no signs saying we could not park there and hustled to the tea house for the actual birthday party.

Newly 25 with a tiny hat on
One thing I did not know about going to a tea house is that it takes a long time. We got tea and then were there for 2 hours eating. Now I love a good sit down with tea and friends, but usually I have knitting and we were on a schedule that had already been pushed back because the tea house had to move back the reservations. So needless to say that after 2 hours I rushed us out of there, ended up 2 hours late to my parents and then an hour late home to Ben.

Even though we were running super late I loved it. I'm going to take us to tea again when we have time to sit for hours (and I have something to knit). 

Best birthday ever.

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