Just one of those days
Today we finally left San Francisco. originally we had only intended to spend four nights there but we discovered so many things to do that we booked another two nights at the same hotel. I even got an invitation from a company whose equipment we use at work to visit their head offices in South San Francisco, but the invitation came last night and we really wanted to get moving. We drove north on the Golden Gate Bridge towards Sonoma Valley. We stopped off in Sonoma for lunch. It might have been nice to do a tour of a few wineries but given that I was driving and for the sake of the kids we limited ourselves to a small tasking at the Sonoma Cheese Factory (where they make Sonoma Jack, on the offchance that you've heard of that). We got to taste 4 different Sonoma Valley wines and bought one bottle of Syrah. Afterwards we did drive past the Ravenswood winery afterwards and took a snap of the sign and some of their vines, as we have enjoyed their wines on several occasions previously. (The first time was with dinner in a restaurant in upstate New York, in the Hudson Valley I think, in 1997 or 1998...)
Next we headed over the mountains to Calistoga to see Old Faithful. No, not the one in Yellowstone National Park which features in Bugs Bunny and Donald Duck cartoons, but an eponymous geyser just outside this small town in the north of Napa Valley. The geyser itself was actually quite impressive but the owner (of the land I guess) had grafted on a load of incongruous "attractions" in order to justify the $8 admission fee, such as "fainting goats" (apparently they have a genetic defect that makes their muscles contract when they get scared and sometimes they fall over), four-horned goats and llamas. No comment... The temperatures this little bit inland are around 37°C (98F) which makes any direct sun unbearable. The forecast for tomorrow is up to 39°C (102F)
We headed down Napa Valley to have dinner in Napa. At least that was the plan. Saskia threw a tantrum because we wouldn't let her have a balloon. It was in fact the second tantrum of the day and one of a daily series this holiday. Our patience was completely at an end and we just left town for our motel in Vacaville (Where?! Indeed...) The place is a bit shabby but only costs $70 a night.
There was a street food festival going on in Napa and it would have been good to taste some Napa wines to match the Sonoma ones from lunchtime, but alas it was not to be.