Musings from some former inhabitants of the sprawling metropolis that is Prudhomme City

Friday, August 15, 2008

San Francisco Day Two: Sensorial Experience Day!

by Cajun Kate

So on Day 2 of my City by the Bay Most Excellent Vacay Ever Sponsored by San Francisco Best Friend/Tour Guide Seth (I just came up with that trip title. It’s not too long is it?), we were up and at ‘em early… like ungodly sunrise early…6:30 AM to be exact. I know what you’re thinking, Wait a gosh darned minute! I thought this was a vacay? Why the hell would anyone do that? I thought the same thing myself when the alarm went off but then I remembered- WINE! and NAPA VALLEY! and BEAUTIFUL VISTAS! and FERRY RIDE! But most importantly WINE! and LOTS AND LOTS OF WINE! To say I was excited may be a bit of an understatement.

We headed down to the Embarcadero to meet our Wine Country Tour Shuttle guide at the Ferry Building. Seth sat comatose in the seat next to me on the bus while I slobbered and drooled all over the San Francisco outside the window and tried to find a good reason for not moving there immediately. We were a bit early and had time for Seth to go find heaven in cup and carb form for me. This was only possible because the Ferry Building houses a series of gourmet food shops all grouped together in one sensory overload bundle. I had the most taste bud tantalizing coffee and an “OH MY GOD, I may be going to hell for eating this because it is so good it must be a sin!” chocolate (CHOCOLATE!) croissant (CROISSANT!) from Acme Bread Company. I mean, c’mon. Chocolate and buttery, flaky pastry all rolled into one? I am firing off an email to Acme Bread demanding (demanding, I say!) that they open a shop in Lafayette ASAP…like yesterday ASAP. What do you think my chances are? Mmmm-hmmm, slim to none? Me, too.
Backside of the Ferry Building- remind you of The Real World- San Francisco? Me, too!

Inside the Ferry Building

On the way over the Golden Gate Bridge, there was a "Free Tibet" protest march going on. What a quintessential SF moment! Too bad I have the reflexes of a South American tree sloth.

Anyway, we loaded up onto a little tour bus. Now, I am not usually a big fan of “tours” but when thinking about drinking massive amounts of wine, I figured, why not let someone else do the driving? (Thanks, Driver Named Sunny!) We visited four different wineries. First up was Domaine Chandon, a winery that specializes in sparkling wines (a.k.a. champagne). My critique? Go there. NOW! It was fantastic. Beautiful setting and a brief (good for my ADD) but interesting tour.
Me and barrels o' fun

Me on the tour- I have no idea what's up with the s**t eating grin. I hadn't even had a glass of wine yet.

NOW, I'm drinking!

NOW, I'm half buzzed. This is my only explanation for how I let Seth talk me into taking a picture of "picking" stone mushrooms.

Next up, Rutherford Ranch Winery. Seth and I agreed that this was our least favorite of the wineries we visited. We only really liked one of the wines, which we ended up buying for the bargain price of four bucks. It was a tour discount. Nonetheless, for ten bucks and five tastings, it was a bargain. And it’s not like it was bad wine at all. I think we suddenly turned into complete wine snobs. Also, they made us sit together at tables for the tasting… which meant we had to actually talk to the other people. Not good for my RSS (Retard in Social Situations) condition. I mean, let’s keep it real. I was there to pretend I have a cultural bone in my body and to get a good buzz on, not to socialize with, God forbid, strangers. No pics for you, Rutherford Ranch!

Next stop was V. Sattui, my absolute favorite of the tour. V. Sattui is a small, family owned winery. You can only buy their wines online or at the winery. Oooo la la! This totally meshed with my new found wine snob. Seth and I did the five dollar tasting, which consisted of SIX different wines. Talk about a bargain! And all of the wines were delicious. I particularly enjoyed the Rieslings. The grounds are gorgeous, and they have a deli area filled with all kinds of breads, cheeses, spreads, etc. and a walk-up counter for salads and sandwiches. Now for the best part! The tour included a ten dollar coupon for the winery’s deli, so with both of our coupons we paid a grand total of 26 cents (that’s right, CENTS!) for lunch. We got yummy cibatta bread, fantastic bruschetta, a muy delicioso Spanish cheese and...Kettle Chips (I have no idea what inspired this last choice except the half-drunk munchies) which we ate outside. And you know what? I didn’t get bit by any insect of any kind whatsoever, and I didn’t release a single drop of perspiration. This is when I decided maybe I’d move to Napa Valley instead of San Francisco. Behold the pics.

Oy! So beautiful I can barely stand it!

Me and the monstrous hydrangea

Please ignore my bleary eyes...and the fact that this was taken after we had eaten lunch.

Me, even fatter and even happier, after lunch

Another ridiculous pose I was talked into. I think Seth's goal was to attain blackmail material. That or he wants to send in an app for me to be a Price Is Right girl.

The last winery of the day was Rutherford Grove which offered five tastings. I threw in the towel after #3. Never in my life did I think there would come a day when I would say, “No! I just can’t drink more wine!” I think hell froze over. The Grove is a small winery but the grounds are beautiful. And as you will see from the pics below, I think I made a wise decision in quitting after #3 since I was half in the bag already.

After that, we had a leisurely drive over to Vallejo where we caught the ferry back to the city. This is when the rest of our companions crossed the line from wine tour to booze cruise. It also when I was really glad I had stopped drinking because the way the rest of the cats on our tour roamed around perching perilously on railings and taking thousands of pictures suitable for a teenager’s MySpace page, I was fairly relieved when we made it back to the city without witnessing anyone plummeting to a death by drowning in the San Francisco Bay. Also, I got to smirk high-handedly at them and feel morally superior, which is not a common occurrence for me. I’m usually on the receiving end of the smirking and moral indignation. And I took a bunch of APPROPRIATE pics. *Smirk!*

Coit Tower


Golden Gate Bridge

Fog rolling in

Famous state prison- Home of wife and baby killer Scott Peterson

Sailboat I wish I was on

On the ferry

Lighthouse in the bay- You can spend the night here! Cool!

City scape with fog rolling in

After disembarking we went into the Ferry Building, so I could get rid of some of the wine, and then, walking out, I spotted a gelato joint and, yeah, there was absolutely no way I was passing that up. I got a giant gelato while Seth stared at me and said, “You’re hungry? Really?” No, of course not, silly! But since when does actual hunger have anything at all to do with gelato consumption? Never, I say.

Me with my gelato at the Ferry Building

What happens to food obsessed pigs

After that, it was back up to Seth’s place in Forest Hill, which, have I mentioned, is the cutest little place ever? I can’t wait to move there and kick Seth out of it. It’s gonna be awesome to have my own little pad in the city.

Seth's place- SO cute!

We chilled for a while then headed down the hill to eat at a neighborhood Thai place,Sukhothai. We sat there for a while, chatting and people watching when Seth kind of looked around and said, “Are we in a daycare?” We were far and away the oldest peeps in the place, completely surrounded by twenty-something hipsters. Weird. Anyway, we had a fantastic crab appetizer, and I got one of the specials, a seafood mango curry, which sounds strange but was actually really delicious… once I sent it back to the kitchen so they could actually put the seafood in it. Seth had a spicy red duck curry which was also super yummy. I know because I made him give me some. Also, I got drunk on Tiger beer, a Thai brew. I think that might have made the food taste better. Also, it made the bed feel a lot better when Seth tucked me in.

Speaking of beds and sleeping, have I mentioned that Seth’s place has no A.C. and that I got to wear a long sleeved shirt and flannel PJ pants and put a blanket on top of me in AUGUST without waking up in a pool of sweat and ripping off every shred of clothing like I would have done at home even if I had the A.C. on because Louisiana in August is by no means a place where you even look at flannel in August if you know what’s good for you? Sigh. I fell asleep thanking the Baby Jesus for delivering me to heaven on earth by allowing me this trip. Oh, and that Alex guy, too.

Next up, Day 3!

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