Look at that!

It wasn’t until today that I realized how much Martin Yan impacted my vernacular.

“Michelle! Look at that!”

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And look over there!

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I’ve been fortunate to see some pretty places in the US. Each helps me realize how much there is to inspire and motivate.

This is going to sound like the hippies have had their way with my brain, but the theme of yesterday was being in the moment. We had a few items on our agenda, but those merely served as starting points for adventure.I’d setup a tasting at Ravenswood winery in Sonoma. We punched in the address in the trusty GPS app and booked it for some grape samples. After a morning shower, we peered outside to see light drizzle. As we drove the rain picked up. The grapes need water too.  We anticipated driving on the Golden Gate bridge, but due to our utter lack of San Francisco knowledge and the GPS aim to take us on the non-scenic route, we ended up on some other bridge and questioned if we were in fact under the Golden Gate bridge.

After a 90-minute drive north we arrived. The rain was steady and we joined in the 10:30am tour. Michelle took to eating the grapes off of the vine. Perhaps by the bushel. We learned that it takes about 800-900 grapes to make one bottle of vino. Conservatively, Michelle consumed nearly 470 grapes. She was getting tipsy off the aromas.

At Ravenswood, Ben walked us through the wine making process: the importance of French oak barrels, how the thickness of the grape skin impacts the needs of the plant to create a good wine. We sampled some young wines before popping into a cafe for coffee and a cookie. If nothing else, I love alliteration.

At the cafe, we asked the barista his advice on another vineyard we should visit. He suggested Benzinger, which is a bio-dynamic vineyard in Glen Ellen. The clouds parted and we cruised to our next winery. Bio-dynamic is a step above organic. There are no chemicals, no pesticides, no herbicides used in the making of the wine. I spoke with the tour guide and woman in the sampling room about pairing food with wine. Look forward to more vino in more dishes in the weeks ahead!

We concluded the day driving up the nearly vertical streets in Sausalito, asking residents for directions to the best lookout point. Thankfully no one told us to get the hell out of their neighborhood. We ended up at an area on the water talking to a man from Oakland while he was fishing for crabs. We discussed the cost of living in Oakland and SF. Note to self: Make Sausalito money at some point. It is phenomenally gorgeous. My phone died so I wasn’t able to take pictures, but trust me. Gorgeous.

I’ll post more when I get more time.

Line of the night: While talking to some students back at the commune, we asked what they were studying.

One student replied, “I’m waiting for my parents to tell me what my major is.”

Day 3’s agenda: Swing dancing in Golden Gate park

Riding bikes through the city by the bay

Onward and upward through the hills of San Francisco!

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