Golden Gates And Red Red Wine


It was time to take my Vibrams out on the open roads and I can’t think of many places that would beat running through the streets of San Francisco and down to the wharf. I dragged Luke with me too and we still managed to get lost! However we made it to the wharf  and it was peacefully quiet without any tourists and we got to see lots of working boats, which were all lit up as it was still dark. On our way back two people told us we were crazy and we did think that is what we must look like. Yet it was a better wake up than a cup of coffee. Well I still needed both and I treated myself to a fabulous coffee courtesy of a very cool coffee maker in the room. We also rewarded ourselves with a soak in the outdoor hot tub on the sixteenth floor. Needless to say we had the tub to ourselves as it hadn’t even turned seven yet. We were then caught red-handed by our host as we sneaked back to our room. It felt like we were on a school trip and had just been caught out of our rooms by a teacher and with that we made our way, silently giggling, back to the room.

We went for a well-earned breakfast in the hotel after our spa treat. The breakfast was as good as yesterday but had a few little quirks. I guess it is more catered to a city and one that is as diverse as San Francisco. I got an unusual medley of scrambled egg, cottage cheese, brie, turkey and lots of fish. Don’t blame me but there was too much choice and i just hd to try a bit of everything! This philosophy of mine, some would call it gluttony, even encompassed a shot of power boosting juice, which proved to be a nice addition to any breakfast. Although, due to previous experiences, I did check where the restroom was first in case it had a dire taste. I also, subtly, let luke try a bit first. Usually if he likes something edible I will love it. After we had filled up for the morning we met up with everyone else and went through the now familiar routine of boarding the bus. Our first destination was San Francisco park. We got to explore the outside concert hall, have a wistful look through the entrance windows of some museums I would have loved to explore, saw beautiful fountains and watched a Segway safety tour induction get underway. I have always wanted to go on one but I don’t think a Segway, plus my somewhat dubious talent of coordination, would make a particularly safe or very long-lasting partnership.

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Luckily my partnership with the coach seems to be working out just swell so far ( I shall have to touch a tree in Muir woods now just to be on the safe side) Then we made a pleasant detour to an old cemetery that is now a golf course and we got to see Rodin’s statue of the thinker

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before heading to underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. It was even better than I had imagined and we were really lucky to get to see the underneath belly of this structure. It gave you a much better vantage point. From here you could appreciate the engineering skill that went into its creation.

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We even spotted a few crazy surfers underneath! Now that is what I call an extreme form of exercise in the morning!

Afterwards, once two stragglers finally got back to the bus, we were able to drive over this iconic landmark but not before being told about a time when it dropped thirteen feet! Again, not great timing for those sort of stories! However, we made it safely across and had an uncultured coffee in Starbucks, in a very cultured little place called Sausalito, before continuing our expedition onto the next stop. This stop was another place I couldn’t wait to see; Muir woods. I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed as we began to meander through the pale red trees on some white-knuckle roads. I was also able to enjoy the view in peace as forcing Luke out on a run this morning had a surprisingly beneficial side effect. He is now falling asleep every time we are on the bus. Perfect.

Once Luke was awake we got off the coach and were given an hour to walk around the woods. There was beautiful, looming, pinkish red trees everywhere. Luke and I, bring a sensible couple and all that, decided to escape away from the main path and took the high road.

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It was like an enchanted forest and I kept a look out for any enticing gingerbread houses or walking trees, whilst also trying not to tumble-down the steep side. Unfortunately this route took a wee bit longer than our given hour so we had to power walk at full pelt, whilst conducting various manoeuvres of the undertaking and overtaking kind, to just make it back to the bus on time. Luckily we were not the only intrepid explorers and a few people were almost ten minutes late. We then had a long bus drive to Sonoma where we would stop for lunch. This turned out to be as quick an affair as the power walk through Muir Woods due to time constraints. We nipped  into the local cheese factory and apparently so did everyone else in Sonoma so we had to settle for wolfing down a shared Panini. It was very satisfying though ad I am pleased to report that I got to sample some flavoursome cheeses, whose flavours were lost on Luke, and some homemade snickers and tiger fudge. With that sugar fix sorted we quick marched back to the bus, which was also sweltering now as Sonoma is a lot hotter than San Francisco. I have no idea why but I am just pleased I wore appropriates layers.

It was then a short hop, skip and a jump to the Sebastian Winery to begin another highlight of the day; a tour around a winery with wine tasting at the end. The gardens were beautiful.

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The winery itself felt rustic and intimate. All around the room there were huge oak and redwood barrels that were beautifully decorated with hand carved pictures.
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photoThe ceilings were adorned with fairy lights which gave the dim cellar type room an almost ethereal quality. We were given a tour and then we got to the tasty part of sampling the wines. I surprised my self by liking an Un-Oaked Chardonnay and by disliking all the reds except  a Cabernet Sauvignon. I think it my be because I prefer French, South African and New Zealand wines much more and the Sonoma ones. They had a bit more of Metallic, tannin taste. However, I thoroughly enjoyed trying to taste and smell vanilla, cherries, spices and coco in the wines. Yet I had no idea what I was doing.

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We then got to shop and I purchased my favourite wine of the day to open on my anniversary and I resisted buying any lovely looking relishes.

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I also poked my head into the cellar room for one more glance and found it transformed into a romantic haven for a wedding party.

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It looked lovely and I wonder just how much wine they will plunder their way through! With that new question to ponder, I joined the rest of the tour as we all clanked our way onto the bus with our bottles in tow. Then everyone took a brief snooze on the way back to San Francisco. Well a bit of wine, lots of fresh air and a toasty bus that provide a soft lulling motion (with a few jolts thrown in) will do that to the best of us.

We hit a spot of traffic going over the Golden Gate Bridge

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but we finally made it to the restaurant and tonight was American night. I had a basic salad and boring spaghetti so not that great. However, everyone’s burgers looked good. Luke and I then abandoned the coach, quite literally, and walked back to the hotel. I think that walking around the city is the best way to get a sense of its character.
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3 comments

  1. Red wine can be very useful in colder regions since it provides warm and cozy feeling to our body.This really a wonderful article i like all the pics its truly great

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