Wednesday, June 2, 2010

And that’s the Album Cover Right There…

Day 3 was our last full day in San Francisco and we had planned to spend it at a winery out in the Valley of the Moon just outside Sonoma. But first we needed breakfast and so made our customary trip to our cafe for, yes that’s right, granola!


That’s me and my Granola!

Did I mention how good the yogurt is? It is soo good that I was determined to find out exactly what kind of yogurt it was so that I could buy the dairy and have it shipped back to Victoria, quit my job, and become a yogurt-master or whatever they are. So I asked the staff at the cafe what it was:

Me (to the Latino-looking busboy – granted, I should have known better) “Yes I’m just wondering exactly what kind this is (pointing to the yogurt). It’s reeeealllly delicious”

Busboy: “que?”

Me (more loudly and, perhaps stupidly): “The yogurt…what is it?”

Busboy: “one meeenet”

Busboy #2: “Whaddidyouwannaknow”

Me (too quietly, apparently): “I was just wondering about the granola and what kind of yogurt you used…”

Busboy #2 “What?..It’s yogurt. YOGURT.”

Me: “Yes I realize that, I was wondering if it is was any special particular kind of yogurt…it’s really…well, I just really enjoy it and…”

Busboy #2: “lemmeaskthechefjustasec”

Me: “oh it’s Ok I don’t want to both…Oh Hi”

Chef: “You had a question about the yogurt”

Me: “I just wondered what kind it was but really I didn’t mean to cause such a fuss…”

Chef: “It’s Greek.”

Me: “Greek? Oh, Ok thanks…Like Balkan style?”

Chef: “nope – Greek Style”

Me (never having heard of Greek yogurt before): “Great!! Thanks!”

Chef: “No problem…”

The girlfriends were rolling their eyes at this one, let me tell you. “Anything else you need to know, Jane?” said Pam.

The other good thing about the walk to the cafe for breakfast, other than the breakfast, is the walk through the neighbourhood. San Francisco must have the most beautiful eclectic architecture anywhere. The Victorian style architecture is unique in that the houses are almost all attached, and no one is the same as the next. This creates a charming, intriguing, streetscape that had us peering over fences and gazing up at window boxes and balconies.DSC05824


an unexpected tire-elephant…



This is the best hardware store I’ve been to, ever!

Anyway – We made our leisurely  way back to the apartment, got ourselves ready and headed off toward the Golden Gate Bridge en route to Sonoma.

Have I mentioned the hills in San Francisco? Have I mentioned that I don't really care much for a particular street known as Divisadero? Or as I came to call it, ‘Divisa-freakin-dero’? Those of you who know me will recall that I am not good with heights. The whole way up I was white-knuckled, holding my breath, and issuing curt statements through clenched teeth: “everyone lean forward” or (to the car in front of me) “get the hell out of my way” or “if I have to stop on this ridge I’m going to fucking kill someone” or “ where the fuck is the top of this goddamned hill”. There was brief moment of respite at the top and then it’s down the other side. Instead of feeling like the car is going to flip over backward and slide all the way down upside down on the roof, it then feels like it might tip over forwards and crash down the hill end over end. Great.

We made it anyway although I think my blood pressure is still high from this episode.

We hit the Golden Gate in high spirits. The presence of a tour bus beside us full of tourists snapping pics of Alcatraz somehow added to the whole thing in a hilarious way. We, of course, with our white liberal sensibilities, were far beyond taking pictures of stupid tourist traps. Right.We just took pictures of the tourists taking pictures. So ironic of us. It reminded me of a time when Mel and I were in Disneyland when we were 19 or 20 and I got almost all the way through a 36 roll of film taking pictures on the Jungle Cruise before coming to the realization that perhaps I didn’t really need all these pictures of plastic elephants.



It’s an easy drive to Sonoma and it was made even better by the fact that the temperature was rising steadily so that by the time we arrived, it was 25 or 26 Celsius. Tough day in paradise, my friends, a tough day but we were happy to take one for the team. Someone has to do it after all…

Our plan was to make a brief stop in Sonoma, do a bit of shopping, and then head out to a winery or two for some tasting etc. Well, suffice to say the shopping in Sonoma is excellent. Add to this a Cinco de Mayo festival going on in the square, the divine smell of orange blossom, and one beautiful hotel courtyard serving up mojitos and whatever else you want and well, we didn’t actually make it very far. After we had been in said courtyard, with its spreading fig tree, billowing curtains, and handsome waiters, for about 30 minutes, I declared that it was perhaps, the best winery I had ever been to. Everyone agreed and we all ordered another round.


Cinco de Mayo in the Square- mmmmmmm


This is us on our way into Fleurtique – one of my favourite stores ever and home to the Slipper Boot, which I still wish Sandy had bought for herself. Tow days before, she had declared the world void of a certain product that it sorely needed, known as the ‘Slipper Boot”. Plans were made to invent such an item, achieving global domination in the process, or at the very least, comfortable cosy feet in which to laze around the house. So imagine our surprise when we came across just such an item in Fleurtique:


There is only one solution, and that is to return to Sonoma so that we can all get a pair.

We eventually made it around the square to this little piece of Heaven.




The awesome Pam in one of her awesome dresses, deciding which beer to order…


Well… if I must.

We reluctantly wrapped things up and headed back to San Francisco, laden down with shopping, food, you name it, including a cooking pot that Mel bought at a very cool kitchen shop. More on that later.

Dinner that night was one of those memorable affairs comprised of cheese, bread, olives, fruit, more cheese, crackers, chocolate, pink lemonade, and generous lashings of wine to wash it all down.





I really think I was meant to eat like this all the time.

I will admit here that I, teetotaller that I am, actually had a glass of wine, up on the roof top deck, because you would have to be out of your mind not to.


We spent a very enjoyable evening considering all manner of things that needed considering, coming to no conclusions, and solving no problems, just enjoying the excellent company and enjoying the view.

DSC05946 DSC05942 DSC05943 

Pam and I lingered a little longer and just about peed ourselves taking terrible pictures and declaring after each one: “Well that’s the album cover right there!”

DSC05941DSC05949 DSC05940I’d be hard pressed to choose an actual album cover for this trip , but I think this might be it: four big smiles.


Stay tuned for the final day which will include my musings on Sky Mall and what not to say in the airport…