Trip Start Jul 13, 2011
14Trip End Jul 23, 2011
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Where I stayed
Hostelling International- San Francisco/ Downtown
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Valid points. But what I do like is an air-conditioned bus that drives me around scenic country side and is already paid for on my "San Fransisco Go Card." And so we went. Grey-line (the tour company) picked us up in the morning right from our hostel to take us to Fisherman's Wharf where our tour bus departed from. It was a nice big comfy coach and not too crowded. Our tour guide/bus driver was amusing, sarcastic and a bit morbid. Maybe overly pre-occupied with how many people have jumped off the bridge or died in certain places, but different people have different interests, I suppose. Once we got moving he introduced himself and told us "The people joining us on this tour come from all over the place. From New Zealand to...(long pause) somewhere."
To get to Sonoma we headed out over the Golden Gate Bridge and into Marin County. It was a lovely drive to our first stop in Sonoma. Apparently Sonoma is a local First Nation word that means nose, village and moon
Our first stop was Jacuzzi Winery and Olive Press. Yes, it IS that Jacuzzi that you are thinking of. Apparently they had the winery first and they had a little girl who suffered from arthritis. They lived very far away from where she could get a medical treatment where she was submerged in hot water with air blown into it which helped her symptoms, so they took a horse trough and rigged it up to be a tub with air jets and thus invented the first jacuzzi...and there you go. They have a beautiful stone building with a bell tower which you can climb to look out over the grape fields. Very nice. There are also lots of solar panels. Go Green! On the other hand, the wine tasted gross, but that is not because it IS gross, but because I don't like wine.
Next we crossed the road to Cline Winery. They are somehow related to the Jacuzzis. This winery had a different look. There was an old missionary building made of adobe which was neat and they also had donkeys and a big pond with turtles. Of course, these features interested me more than the wine.
From the Cline's we drove through the country-side to the town of Sonoma. It had a main street that looked kind of "wild west-ish" with an old military fort at one end of the town-square/park. There was a historical display in the fort but we ran out of time to look at it so I can't really tell you what the historical significance was, although it looked important
We had lunch at an awesome Portuguese restaurant. I don't think I have ever had Portuguese before, but I liked it. Before they brought our meal we got these little appetizer shots that had water, carrots, cucumber, ham and who knows what in them. They tasted better than they sound. After lunch we went for chocolate tasting. Mmmm...chocolate.
Next we headed into Napa County and checked out Madonna Winery which was quite small. It was nice, but I was hot and about done with wineries at this point.
Another lovely drive and home over the Bay Bridge (with the driver complaining about politicians, mainly Schwarzenegger). When we got home we decided that we missed Chinatown so we walked back over there to have supper at the Four Seas (where we had dim sum on our tour). It was excellent and we could hear some buskers through the window. They were a group of older men playing some type of Asian stringed instrument and it was perfect for the atmosphere.