2013 – California Dreaming

This year, we’re celebrating a milestone anniversary. We hadn’t really talked much about how to celebrate it until we found ourselves at a silent auction fund raiser in February. In a spur of the moment decision, we purchased a two night stay at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco. Over hors’dourves we concocted a plan to spend our anniversary in the Bay Area, Napa Valley, and/or Sonoma. That plan has evolved a bit, but we are in the Bay Area and have enjoyed Napa Valley.

Yesterday, we boarded a VERY early flight so that we could maximize our first day in the area. We drove from the airport to Sausalito (via the Golden Gate Bridge ) for lunch then on to Muir Woods. This was a great way to see Giant Sequoia & Redwoods without driving all the way to the Redwood Forrest. All I can say is, Wow! We hiked to an overlook that gave us a view of the Pacific, then hiked back to the valley floor.

Muir woods

After an early dinner and bedtime, this morning we once again got up very early for the drive to Napa. Apparently if you’re going to see the sunrise from a hot air balloon, you have to get there while it’s still dark. So we left our hotel at 4:00am and drove about an hour to Yountville, CA where we had a pre-flight briefing and snack. This is also where we discovered that fog in the valley would alter our launch location. Instead of flying over Napa Valley, we launched from Winters, CA In the next valley. The weather there was beautiful and the balloon flight was truly incredible. This wasn’t a “must do” item for me, but it was on Carie’s “bucket list” and I have no regrets that I got to experience it too.

Untitled

This is running a little long, so I’ll wrap it up here. In another post, I’ll describe our day touring wineries in Napa Valley. As always, I leave you with a link to some photos in a Flickr set that I’ll add to as we go.

Tomorrow we wrap up San Francisco and head for Carmel. See, I told you the plan had evolved. Stay tuned.

Cheers,
Jay

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