Saturday, July 28, 2012

Happy Birthday to Dad!

Dad's enjoying a nice weekend in Austin with the rest of the family while Tom and I are sequestered here in SF. As usual, I'm sorry to miss the b-day celebration and wish we could be there!




I'm also remembering Papa on his birthday.


(Hats must run in the family.)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Staycation

Mom and Dad made their yearly trip out to San Francisco, so I took the week off and had a nice little staycation. The weather has been unusually nice this June-July, so it was great getting out in the city and, of course, wine country. We started out with a city day and went to a restaurant recommended by some of Dad's friends, John's Grill.


The place was perfect for my Dad, since it is a setting in Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon. The interior contains original period furnishings and a museum of authentic memorabilia. It also has pretty good food.



After lunch, we went to a gallery to view some 19th century photos of San Francisco. Then, Dad and Tom went to a book store while Mom and I went to a shoe store. A pretty perfect day for all of us.

The next day, we had another literary outing - a meeting of the Baker Street Irregulars at Monticello Winery in Napa. Before the gathering, we were assigned to read a Sherlock Holmes story, The Adventure of Black Peter. To our surprise, there was a test on the story at the winery! Notwithstanding the pop quiz, a great time was had by all.





Dad and his buddies, Bruce and Art -


Dad was asked to give a toast to Mycroft Holmes.


And perhaps Sherlock Holmes himself was in attendance??


We then had a day at Fisherman's Wharf


and the San Francisco Aquarium of the Bay. This was a pretty lame aquarium, except for these cool jellyfish.



Another neat thing about the aquarium was that it had a tunnel you could walk through and the fish would swim over your head. It was an eerie feeling, as if the fish were flying over our heads. We saw

stingrays


leopard sharks


and Mom's favorites, the toothless, yet barbeled, white sturgeons.


I got to touch a stingray. It was pretty gross and slimy, so I don't think I'll need to do that again.


The next day, we headed back to wine country - this time, Sonoma. We started at a new place we recently discovered, Ram's Gate. It has a beautiful open air dining and bar area where you can taste wine and sample hors d'oeuvres.





Next, we headed down the road to another favorite, Cline Cellars. They have great wine and beautiful grounds.





Mom did a little tasting, while others of us appeared to get a little snockered.



We then checked into the Sonoma Lodge and had a wonderful dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, The Girl and the Fig.





The next day was the Fourth of July. We met Sonny and Yvette at, you guessed it, Benziger Winery for a holiday picnic.


We then visited B.R. Cohn Winery. Dad enjoyed the classic cars




while Tom and friends enjoyed wine tasting.


On our final day together, we took the ferry over to Sausalito.





We had a great lunch at The Spinnaker restaurant


saw a dead jellyfish


and had some ice cream.


A great way to end the visit.

We had such a wonderful time, we hated to see Mom and Dad go. We hope they come back for another visit soon.