Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 21 - Wine Country - Napa Valley - Berkeley

Saturday morning. It’s our third weekend on the road. The first weekend that we’re not stopped for a few days visiting family or friends. I don’t think I like the idea of just driving and driving from here on in.

We’re stopping in Berkeley tonight to meet up with Alex Platt. Alex is one of Lynne’s cousin’s sons who are going to Berkeley and who is also an amazing guitar player. I was kind of hoping that he was playing tonight, but apparently he’s not. I don’t know any of the nieces or nephews very well. I’m looking forward to getting to know Alex a bit over dinner. (Just back from dinner – what an interesting guy!)

We decided that we’d have a real easy day today, and stay overnight two nights in Berkeley. Knowing there was some sort of break from just driving felt good.

We left Santa Rosa and took our time driving over to Sonoma through the Napa Valley. We kept pulling over to the side of the road to let people pass. They had places to o, and we were doing the ‘old folks’ tour! Lynne grew up on a farm in St Catherine’s. She knows about crops and stuff. We passed a field. I wondered what that was growing. She knew it was strawberries, without waiting to see a sign!

The drive to Sonoma was only about 30 minutes. Gentle rolling hills mainly covered in grape vines. I guess they had been harvested already. I didn’t see any grapes until we got to town where a small bush was growing on some ones front yard beside their orange tree. We passed a farm from sale. I grabbed a picture so I’d have the web site address to look it up later. Turns out it 13.5 . . . . Million. We decided that, we don’t want a grape farm!

Sonoma was amazing. It reminded us both of Niagara-on-the-Lake, but maybe on steroids. The town just kept going and going, not just the little strip of town along the Niagara Parkway. There were a number of old historical buildings. The town looked old, but very well kept up. We could have stayed for a couple fo days instead of the hour or so that we did.

There was a group of folks with a sign at the town hall. I didn’t know what that was about, but I took my ‘memory’ picture and checked them out too. Who knew that today was the day that 181 countries came together for the most widespread day of environmental action in history. We stumbled upon one of 5200 events staged around the world today. I wish we’d known. It would have been cool to have joined in.

We drove fron Sonoma to Napa, but we didn’t like it as much. The town seemed to be newly constructed, pretending to be old. We walked a bit, had a bite of lunch and slit. I’d wished we’d stayed longer in Sonoma, or even stayed there for the weekend.

We drove on to Berkeley. It’s a great town. I’d driven though it once before, but hadn’t spent any time there. We drove around looking for a nice hotel. We’d decided that we were going to spend two nights there. We’d meet Alex for dinner, I’d finish off some work in the morning and then we’d just hang out in the afternoon.

Americans and college football! Again, ‘who knew’ the town would be full because of “THE GAME” that night. There were no rooms there, but we found a ‘bit too expensive’ room at a Marriott in Emeryville, just a few kilometres out of Berkley. It’s interesting to see how much nicer the service is in smaller places than larger. We’re near some big box store hell here. Lynne is going to go explore them in the morning while I finish off a job. We’ve got a room booked in Berkeley for tomorrow night. We’ll check out the Michael Moore movie in the afternoon and then head over to recommended pizza joint!

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