Here's the pictures on my camera from our winery tour weekend. These are the same pictures that will be on the CDs, if we want to burn them for each other.
|The Winery Tour Weekend ... started with the V. Sattui winery in St. Helena, CA.
|Here's the front of the V. Sattui winery.
|And the sign in front of the winery.
|We arrived early for our private tour of V. Sattui, so we ambled across the BUSY Highway 29 to scope out a gourmet grocery store, Dean and DeLucca. We thought we had died and gone to heaven. :-) Unbelieveably, this sign was on some organic bread .. we just about LOL'd
|In the V. Sattui ageing room, there were rows and rows of HUGE casks. At the far end were the pallets you see on the left side of the picture. Our tour guide had us squeeze between the casks and the pallets to get to the other side of the room. No one got stuck. [grin]
|The entire gang: Neil, Judy, Hank, Shelley, Gene.
|Wine tasting is *serious* business, as reflected by this somber group. [hic]
|this is the view from the upper level corridor, looking towards the parking lot and shows the BBQ area picnic grounds. This area was in addition to the picnic area where we had our lunch.
|Sign to the V. Sattui picnic grounds.
|Gene, Neil, Hank & Judy: 4 of the 5 Tun Tavern gang at the V. Sattui picnic grounds. We bought our lunchables at the deli at the winery ...LOTS of great stuff!
|Hank, Judy, Neil & Gene ... doggone it! Hank had his eyes closed.
|The next segment: we drove to the northern-most part of the Napa Valley to Chateau Montelena
|The front of Chateau Montelena winery. This was a real French chateau that the owner of the windery had bought, disassembled, shipped to Calistoga then reassembled for his winery.
|This is just the most gorgeous picture of Gene, Judy & Hank sitting at the fountain in front of the Chateau Montelena (Calistoga, CA) winery. When I printed this one out on my Epson printer, it came out sorta pixelated, whereas the full-size photo on the camera was extremely crisp.
|Same as the previous fountain picture, but this time Shelley has joined the group, as Neil took the picture.
|The winery's resident cat. This was the most unconcerned cat I've ever seen; it just slept there, totally unconcerned with what went on around him .... and he was petted extensively and some rather loud noises dealing with wrapping packages was going on directly behind him. He never even blinked or moved a muscle. I'm convinced it was a fake. :-)
|The public grounds at the winery included a superb man-made lake, complete with a boardwalk bridge leading to a pagoda in the middle of the lake.
|Gene & Judy along the Jade Lake path.
|Hank is looking for a pirate, unaware that she is capturing this candidly posed shot. :-)
|We were surprised to see the lake had some resident black swans.
|Second picture of the same swans.
|Not to be left out .. a huge white swan also lives there.
|And now .. the politically-correct, fully integrated wildlife scenario: both black and white swans.
|The Winery Adventure over, we returned to Walnut Creek for a dinner of Mr. Pirate's BBQ'd turkey and a spectacular (if I do say so m'self) dessert.
|Upon our return from the winery, getting the BBQ'd turkey dinner assembled was rather hectic. After a leisurely dinner, we discovered that Neil's train departure time was rapidly approaching ... and we hadn't had dessert yet! We hurriedly made one up for Neil to eat on the way to the train station. While Shelley drove Neil off into the sunset, Judy and Rene superbly assembled the rest of the dessserts.
It was 4 layers of chocolate souffle cake with whipped cream/mascarpone and fresh raspberries inbetween, all drizzled with a chocolate glaze. Eventhough the magazine picture showed them standing upright, we discovered that they had a tendency to fall ... so they were assembled sideways. :-)
|Here's a close-up of the dessert.
|The Last Gasp: the Leonid meteor shower adventure. It was supposed to be an incredible night time show of stellar proportions. Tom picked a deserted area where the ambient light would be virtually non-existant but where the road was wide enough for the RV and had an area for us to turn around in. Well, we got to the intersection of these 2 roads in NoWhere around 1am. What we discovered is that the local teenagers apparently use this deserted area as a hang-out place ... precisely BECAUSE it's out in NoWhere!
We had MORE car traffic along those 2 roads than any deserted stretch of roadway deserves to have! We found a wide shoulder of the road at the intersection where we could safely park the RV and we sat in the white lawn chairs between the RV and the fence ... effectively using the RV as a safety shield from not only cars but whatever wind might have arisen.
The meteor shower was good (not spectacular though) for about 1 hour ... and then we noticed something really strange .... it looked like we were losing the stars and it was nowhere close to dawn! We eventually realized that cloud cover in the form of fog was coming in. [sigh] We got back to WC around 3am or so.
|Initial scenario: Judy, Lisa & Hank camped out by the side of the RV.
|Next scenario: Judy, Lisa & Hank camped out by the side of the RV, now bundled up.
|Shelley, on the other hand (the one without the warts), bundled up immediately!
"I'll never really know what my cat thinks of me, and can only hope it's generally favorable." - Ashleigh Brillaint.
|Here's a blackmail photo taken by Hank, while Shelley was solictiously straightening up the topside bunk in the RV so Judy and Lisa could snooze in comfort. Hmph. :-)
"I don't wish to appear overly inquisitive, but ... are you still alive?" ... Ashleigh Brilliant.
|Turn about is fair play and Shelley took this blackmail shot of Hank, as he wussed out on the ride back to Walnut Creek. (Judy & Lisa had already crashed on the topside bunk.)
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