California Part 1

June 20, 2022

We have embarked on another one of our trips, this time with an ultimate destination of Reno, Nevada where Jinhee, again, has meetings.

Jinhee has been wanting to go to San Francisco for years, and we never seem to get there (I have travelled to SF a lot while working in the tech industry), so we have made a vacation of it. We flew into SF on Saturday, and stayed at the Nikko hotel near China town. From there we walked down to the waterfront and poked into all of the little markets, and acted like tourists.

Jinhee rarely expresses a desire to do specific things, but she was interested in taking the trolley through the city, so that marked the end of our afternoon.

Preparing to take the trolley through San Francisco
The steep streets are more unsettling when you watch the operator braking by hand!

We aren’t big basketball fans, but luckily we were reminded that the Golden State Warrior’s won the NBA title last week and a huge parade was planned for Monday. We decided to get out of town before the crowds became an issue. On Sunday, we decided to head to Napa, and check out wine country.

We stopped at Presidio of San Francisco, a park, (near the Golden Gate Bridge) on the way for a bit of a hike and some sight seeing. It’s a great view of the bridge and the ocean.

I have this delusion that it’s still possible to visit things without long lineups or competing for spots. That is a delusion that persists still despite the evidence. We chose to drive to Napa (wine country) on a whim, thinking we could just show up places and tour a winery or two. No chance. That stopped a couple of years ago and reservations are required almost everywhere.

We checked into our (very cool) hotel, R Inn, and found out about the impossibility of getting into wineries, but we were told to check out Black Stallion as they might have some room. They didn’t, but they kindly allowed us to enjoy a glass of wine while they served those who don’t share my delusions (and lack of planning). We took a scenic drive through the Napa valley before getting back to our hotel, followed by a visit to a tasting room in town with some obscure wines before enjoying tapas at ZuZu.

On Monday we were able to make a reservation at Paraduxx winery (a sister to Duckhorn) and we really enjoyed the tasting there. The environment was relaxing and while we didn’t love any of the wines enough to buy them (70-95 USD /bottle! Give me the LCBO any day) we found an awesome cheese on our cheese plate that we may track down in future.

I didn’t drink any of it. I was driving. It was all her.
A beautiful setting to relax with a glass of wine.

After that excursion, it was a 4 hour (ish) drive to Reno through the mountains.

A lookout on the descent into Reno

2 thoughts on “California Part 1

  1. Hi Don,
    Thats all good info for me because I’m off to The Napa in August to play golf. I’ve already set my sights on a day in San Francisco and of course some wine tasting. I’d better get booking! Hope you are all well. David.

    1. David, let me know if you have questions. Take a look at this map for Napa valley.

      There’s also Santa Rosa. We haven’t gone there yet and those prices seem ridiculous to us. But others obviously see great value in the experience.

      Let me know if I can help with any insight.

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