Friday, June 11, 2010

On Holiday

On our last day in Penticton, Russ went downhill mountain biking with Stephan and Steve. I drove the guys about 40 minutes up a hill and they were able to bike for an hour and a half downhill on the various single tracks in the area. very cool!
Jamie, Deena and I went hiking near their neighborhood where Jamie picked her favorite flowers and placed them gingerly in a plastic baggie with a wet paper towel to properly preserve the flowers. Jamie has always loved flowers and even her middle name is Flor. We had another amazing visit with our great friends and vow to return again to the beautiful city of Penticton.
The Canadian maple tree is very bright.
On the flight to Vancouver, we could see the patches of snow on the mountains and the meandering rivers nestled around the land.
We arrived safely at my sister's home and she and Ed made us a fantastic chicken & mushroom entree last night, accompanied by Caesar salad, soup, brie cheese & sourdough bread, rigatoni with a tasty tomato sauce and an aromatic, vanilla-y bottle of Byornsted chardonnay.
Our nieces, Kiely & Mia were the "waitresses" for dinner last night and served us.
After dinner and during the Stanley Cup final, Kiely broke out into song.. by Taylor Swift. Afterwards, she signed her autographs with a crayon. Very cute! She's a natural entertainer.
Today, we journeyed up the 101 and crossed the Golden Gate bridge and arrived in Healdsburg to visit my college roommate, Sarah. She works and lives at Bishops Ranch, a totally self-supporting institution of the Diocese of California. The ranch is located on 300+ acres of land with a dairyfield to the north and vineyards all around.
The views from the ranch are spectacular with rolling hills and vineyards. see www.bishopsranch.org
This area is called Dry Creek County and there are dozens of famous wineries here in the Northern Sonoma region.
Our first winery was Mill's Creek, located just up the road.

They have a water wheel which looked pretty cool. This is the winery where Sarah's daughter, Clare, likes to visit just t see the water wheel turn.
Next, was the Michel Schlumberger winery, where a nice staff named Evan seated us in the courtyard for over an hour to allow us to taste all the varietals.
We really liked the Pino Blanc and the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon.
We had a nice picnic on the property of Ferrari-Carano's estate and then headed to the tasting room before it closed.
After three wineries, we were done for the day. It was a spectacular afternoon. Later, we met James and Clare and then went out to dinner in downtown Healdsburg to a restaurant called Bistro Ralph. Nice!

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