Trip Recap 2: Trailblazing to Wine Country!

by agirlandhermutt on May 25, 2011

*Note: I wanted to take a minute to send out my prayers and thoughts to those in Joplin, Mo that were affected by the tornado. I wrote this post before this all happened and for some reason it just seems silly now. One half of my family lives there, but I am happy to report that they made it through the tornado safe and sound. Thank goodness! If you find yourself looking for ways to help, please consider donating to the Red Cross. There are a variety of ways to donate, including just texting REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10.*

I woke up on our last morning in San Francisco like a kid on Christmas morning. WINE! WINE! WINE! It was kind of a cloudy day but The Scientist and I were ready to pack our rental car up and head out. The traffic was practically non-existent and I couldn’t be happier!

First stop was to a hidden oasis in Petaluma, Lagunitas. The Scientist was obsessed with going here and I couldn’t refuse the kid some beer before a few days of non-stop wine.

As we walked to the back we were greeted by a little outdoor seating area and some of the nicest people ever.

We pulled up to one of the tables, ordered some food, and got to beer tasting!

My choices included: Hairy Eyeball, Gnarly Wine, Imperial Stout, and Burbon Stout. Dark beer fan here! I enjoyed all of these, but the Imperial Stout was something amazing. It was sweet but toasty & roasty all at the same time.

The Scientist’s Choices: Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Wild, Maximus, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Under Investigation. I have to tell you…that Sumpin’ Wild was one of THE.BEST.BEERS.EVER.

We noshed on some paninis while we tried to figure out our fave beer. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of veggie options they had to choose from. Tons of grilled veggie sandwiches!

After we finished eating, we ordered a pint or two and sat back to relax for a bit. Although I’m in love with the dark beers, that Sumpin’ Wild could not be passed up.

Reluctantly we had to leave after our lovely little afternoon in the sun. We had a reservation at a cottage in Healdsburg that we wanted to check into. The cottage was actually ON the vineyard owned by winery peeps at Fourth Vineyards, Jann and Gerry. I found it on VRBO.com and wasn’t sure what to expect.

We arrived and I sighed. SO LOVELY! The vineyards surrounded the cottage and were practically knocking on our front door. Every aspect of the cottage was quaint, clean, and just perfect. We were greeted by fresh flowers from the garden, a bottle of wine from the winery, a fire going in the fireplace, and a little breeze of chamomile coming through the windows.

After such a wonderful day of driving, drinking, and enjoying the sun, we were pooped. We crashed for a bit and then headed out to get some dinner. I hadn’t done much research on where to eat for our first night in town but I was craving pasta like it was going out of style. We did a little Yelping and found Diavola Pizzeria in Geyersville.

This little place was quite cozy with candle lighting and sweet music playing. Although I saw online that they had gnocchi on the menu I was disappointed to see that wasn’t the case when we arrived. The Scientist kindly agreed to split a pizza with me though. It was called the Paparazzi and had shrimp, crème fraiche, lemons, and asparagus.

Although the restaurant was nice, we were both really disappointed with our meal. The pizza, although quite pretty, didn’t taste like much besides lemon. We had the house wine and we were surprised to find that they both were underwhelming. Eek. We couldn’t help but think this wasn’t a good start!

Despite our not-quite-so-great meal, we had a lovely little day and were ready to get our tasting going the next day. We rolled back through the woods to our hidden cottage to go to sleep in the middle of nowhere!

I’ve been thinking about how I want to share how we spent the next few days touring around Sonoma and Napa without boring you all to death. I’ve decided that I’m just going to list out the wineries, share some photos, and give a few thoughts on each. I won’t review the wine too much other than “we liked” or “we didn’t care for”. As I drink, I will share more info on the wines!!! Sound good?! Special Winery Edition of A Girl & Her Mutt is coming soon!

Random Question of the Day: Do you send items back to the kitchen when you aren’t pleased with what you got at a restaurant? Do you just suck it up and not eat it?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea @ Vegvacious May 25, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I am totally living vicariously through your trip recap — my hubby isn’t into wine really, but the beer tasting is definitely up his alley!

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Noelle Reese May 26, 2011 at 11:41 am

This isn’t silly Erin! The peeps of Joplin are all in our prayers and I have cried many tears over their devastation, but that doesn’t make everything else silly. 🙂 I’ll bet even if a Joplin resident ran across this post it would take them from their troubles for a few minutes and make them smile. 🙂 I mean seriously a ton of them probably love beer too 😉
I love seeing your vaca! It makes me jealous! I have send back food twice in my life. Once there were feathers on my chicken. I said, no thanks I have lost my appetite I really had. The second time I am trying to eat this yummy burger from TGIF and I am chewing and chewing and I just can’t get it down. The waiter said, MAN! You really love lemonade! I laughed and said no, this burger is too chewy or something. I opened it and the wax paper was on the cheese LMAO No matter how many times you chew wax paper, or even if you slam 2 glasses of lemonade, you just can’t swallow it LMAO I knew they wouldn’t spit in it, that was a very valid complaint and I ate for free that day! So no, I don’t send food back. There is too much room for grossness. IMHO LOL

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