Thursday, June 28, 2018

Europe 2018...Days 1 and 2: California...

Ken and I returned last night from our long trip across the pond to Europe.  This year we visited two brand new to us countries and added a little adventure on the way in California.  Our friend Katie was celebrating her 50th birthday with a trip to California wine country, and we certainly could not miss out on celebrating with her.  So, we flew to San Francisco for a night and spent two days enjoying wine country before heading out to Europe. 

Here is the start of our trip.  I am always so excited to post pictures and write about our trips, but I also find it incredibly difficult to put our experiences into words.  We have so much fun traveling and experiencing new places together, but it is really hard to put these experiences into words.  Alas, I will try my best!

We left for San Fran at 0630 and arrived around 0830.  We ended up having one of the very worst car rental experiences EVER at SFO, but we did end up with a Jeep Wrangler, which is what we were hoping for. 

We left San Fran bound for Bodega Bay before heading to the Russian River Valley to meet up with our friends.  My oh my was the traffic in San Fran horrible.  It took 45 minutes to go 7 miles.  Talk about traffic. 

We arrived in Bodega Bay and were greeted by sunshine, wind, and very chilly air.  I had started my day in a skirt and quickly changed into pants so that I could enjoy lunch outside in the sunshine.  Bodega Bay is as cute as I remembered it to be from our 2010 trip.

The harbor in the area where we had lunch.  A crab sandwich for Ken and fish and chips for me.  If only I had known how many times I would be eating fish and chips over the next two weeks, I probably would have chosen something else!

After lunch, we drove around the coast and found a spot to park and walk along the beach.  

Ken was dying to put his feet into the Pacific Ocean.  Spoiler alert, it was cold!

 I am not a big beach person, but do find it to be beautiful

I love the rocky coastline

Enjoying our cold walk along the beach of Bodega Bay

Our shoes were off and the sand was super cold

We hopped back into the car and continued to drive the coastline.  We found another area to stop off and get a few pictures.  It was gorgeous.

There is a marathon I have always wanted to run, Big Sur, and it is full of scenery just like this with the rugged coastline.

Freezing in the wind.  If only I knew in this moment that this freezing is not Norway freezing.  

More beautiful coastline

Enjoying California together

We eventually circled back around and drove back towards Headlsburg, where our hotel was.  On the way we stopped off at brewery for a drink and ended up stopping off at Foppiano Vineyards for a wine tasting.  After our tasting we enjoyed a bottle of wine on the patio and eventually made our way to our hotel before going out to dinner at Willi's with our friends.  The first day of vacation was a success!

Day 2

We woke up early, thank you Pacific Time Zone, and went for a five mile walk along a greenway trail in Headlsburg.  We stopped off for Starbucks along the way and just had a great time walking and talking to each other.  I think it is so important to marry someone that you can laugh and talk with and have just as much fun doing it at the start of a two week trip as you can at the end.  

After our walk, we got ready for the day and met up with our friends for our first wine tasting at Jordan Winery  We enjoyed our tasting and some very yummy cheese before heading out to wander around the valley.

We had some time to kill before our next scheduled tasting, so we stopped off at Harvest Moon Winery where we tasted many delicious wines including some sparkling pinot noir that was amazing.  I have never had a sparkling red before, but it was delicious!

After Harvest Moon, we made the two minute drive to La Crema, our final winery of the day.

Checking out the vineyards at La Crema Vineyards

Grape vines

The lady of the hour, Miss Katie.

Happy Birthday Katie!

Vineyard view from the La Crema tasting room

We said our goodbyes and left La Crema to made the long drive back to San Francisco to get ready for our long flight to Europe.  We had United Club Lounge passes, but sadly it was under construction in our terminal so we missed out on getting wine and snacks before our flight.  We hit up a spot for dinner by our gate, boarded our plane, and were settled in for a long night of flying.

Europe bound!

Next up, we make it to Copenhagen, Denmark!