Friday, January 2, 2009

Our California Adventure The End (Until the Next Time We Go!)

We started our wine tasting day out with lunch at Thornton Winery (also known as "The Champagne Place"). There was a great group of us at a huge table sharing food, wine and conversation. It was so wonderful to see a few folks that I have not seen in over five years; namely, Sue and Dan M. (Sue was my first secretary as an HRD; her husband still works as a (retired) contractor for NOC) and Alberto (friend Patrick's S.O.) Gill, my former boss (from the Plessey Microwave Materials days) also joined us. Rounding out the group was Kathleen (Don had to work), Patrick, Peri, Michael and us. Unfortunately, a few folks that said they'd be there were not able to come. But, as it turned out, that was probably just as well as the size of our group was large enough!
Me and Sue and lunch (I look like a dope!)

After lunch we said good-bye to Sue and Dan (not wine drinkers) and the rest of us went to four wineries off the beaten track that Michael had picked out for us. I'd been to one of them before but not the others.
First off was Keyways (this was the one we'd been to before). Thankfully, this place and the three we went to after were not very crowded at all. We were able to all pretty much stand around the counter and chit chat while tasting. As we'd already purchased a case of wine when we were at Ponte the previous week with Don and Kathleen, this excursion was definitely more about visiting while sipping wine as opposed to sipping wine for the purpose of buying (with one exception, the second winery we visited, more on that in a second).
Alberto and Patrick at Keyways
Add in Michael and Peri!
Me and former boss Gill at Keyways

After Keyways, we went to our favorite of the day, Robert Renzoni. They make wines in the Italian style and there were several of their wines that we truly loved. Unfortunately, they don't yet ship to NC but hopefully they will soon (note to self: CHECK and SEE if they do NOW!) Gill had to leave for another engagement so our group was down to the motley crew you see below!

The wine tasting gang at Renzoni's

The next two wineries were only so-so BUT they were not very crowded and that is what we wanted! At Frangipani, we had fun visiting with the cat, Barrel and Mr. B got a nice picture of the SDSU alumni!

Barrel (who sleeps a lot like our Pete)
The San Diego State Gang!

At the final winery for the day, Cougar, we decided to sit down and have a snack and watched with amusement while some of the other tasters fed the winery dogs spaghetti (I'm sure the winery owners were none too pleased about this later on!)
With Patrick and Alberto at Cougar
Happy Mr. and Mrs. B!
Alas, parting was inevitable. After tasting at Cougar, we said our good-byes and headed back to the resort for our final night of vacation. Being able to spend so much time with my dear friends, both on this day and others, truly warmed my heart and made me miss my former home.
After returning to the resort, Mark packed us up (on our way out, the big suitcase had weighed in several pounds over the limit on our way to California and we had to repack stuff (at the airport) into the smaller one and our carry on bags in order to get to the 50 pound limit). He was determined NOT to have this happen again! Believe it or not, when we got to the airport the following day, it weighed in at 61 pounds and we had to pay a $90 fee. We couldn't figure out how this happened since we did not buy anything to take home. I think it was just another airline scam. Thanks, Delta.
All in all and minor mishaps aside (all airline related, I might add), we had a great time. We'll most definitely return to the resort; maybe in a few years!
-Seeing all of our friends
-The resort
-The weather
-Excellent food and drink
-Jack in the Box tacos and me and my girlfriend K kicking the guys butts at Euchre!
-Our day at Ponte with Don and Kathleen
-Discovering a new winery
-Cigars on the balcony
-Grocery stores nearby the resort
-Grandpa's Mexican restaurant
-Wild Animal Park
-Stone Brewery with Peri and Michael
-Delayed flights going out
-Lost bags
-Hard pillows at the resort
-$90 for "fat" bag

Mrs. B

No comments: