Please excuse me while I am relaxed in mind and body and give myself over to a higher power. It happens whenever I spend a day immersed in the natural world; a world of sun and trees and blue water, the amazing opportunity to visit a place I have never been before and probably will never will be again.
I blog to you from Napa Valley, heart of California’s wine country. Taking the advise from the experienced folks from the Visitor’s Center, we motored north via the Silverado Trail, which winds its way from one winery to another. Hundreds of acres of vines trail obediently in their rows, arms spread to welcome the sun after another chilly night. We see all the familiar names: Mondavi, Sonoma, Beaulieu, Sutter Home, Beringer. There are more than over 120 wineries here (so many wines, so little time!)
But birding comes first. And so this morning, we set out for Lake Hennessy, where we saw Western and Clark’s Grebes (one Pied Billed!), Acorn Woodpeckers (with their larder of acorns jammed into a tree), Oregon Juncos, Spotted Towhees, California Quail.
Noon and hungry: At St. Helena, we were advised to try Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen for lunch and ended up spending $120 but the soup and salad was so fresh and excellent, we had no need of another meal for the rest of the day.
Since birds tend to be quiet in the afternoon heat, we tippled our way through wineries of choice, visiting Grgich Hills, and Domaine Chandon (well recommended by a work colleague) and Black Stallion, where we had the best Savignon Blanc on the planet. On the way back to our hotel, we slipped in to the parking lot at Luna Winery but alas, as walked toward the lobby, we noticed the “Closed” sign, so got back into the car.
As we pulled out of the parking lot; however, a handsome man ran toward us, waving his arms. I thought, maybe they’re not closed and he is inviting us in after all?
“Did we miss you for the wine tasting?”
Before we could answer, he handed us a black bag.
“Please, take this, I am sorry we missed you!”
He handed us a cold bottle of Luna Pinot Grigio, one of my all-time favorites.
An entire bottle because we missed their wine tasting hours? Talk about customer service (and we will be sure to re-visit tomorrow!)
To be continued. Tomorrow’s itinerary: Birding at Alcatraz for Common Murre, Pelagic Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, and who knows what else? Telegraph Hill for the parrots.
And then, it’s on to the evening BlogHer Newbie Party!