Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weekend Winging Westward

Janet and I took off on a getaway to San Francisco this weekend. We found a great airfare, and thanks to Paul and Jennifer we enjoyed a discounted rate at a first class Marriott hotel near the San Francisco airport. The hotel has a nice lobby bar where we had dinner and drinks Friday and Saturday nights. The bartender makes an excellent Caipirinha. The glass wall provides an entertaining view of planes as they take off and land at SFO.

We only had Saturday to do any sightseeing so we rented a car and decided to take a driving tour. Our first stop was the Golden Gate Bridge, an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco and California. According to Frommer's, it ranks as one of the most photographed bridges in the world. We did our part to help uphold it's reputation. As we did with the Harbor bridge in Sydney, we took a walk halfway across and back again, which we count as walking across the bridge.

From the bridge we decided to drive to the Napa Valley wine country. While driving through the valley among all the wineries, we stopped at the famous Oakville Grocery where you can buy freshly made sandwiches, wine, and much more and have a picnic lunch on the tables right out back.

Of course, you can't drive the Napa Valley without stopping at a winery for some complimentary wine tasting.

Near the town of Calistoga, we came upon an unexpected tourist attraction. It seems there is geothermal activity in the area and Calistoga is home to California's Old Faithful Geyser. We paid the admission fee to see it, and while it's not as impressive as Yellowstone's, it certainly qualifies as 'faithful', erupting about every 10 minutes while we were there.

We decided to take the scenic drive along California Highway 1 to return to San Francisco. This lengthened the trip quite a bit with the winding roads and slow speeds, but we were treated to some fantastic views of the California Pacific coast.

This was a short trip, but we really appreciated being able to get away together. And we are always amazed at how much we can do in a short time.

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