"....enough to eat, enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink, for thirst is a dangerous thing...."

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After the joys of San Francisco, we headed to Napa Valley to enjoy a day in the wine country. Oh, if you've never done that, you really must! Of all the places we went in California, it was the place that we all thought would be the greatest to live (not that we're moving, you understand!).

We went on the tour of the Mondavi vineyard--I know, I know, it's very corporate. But they do a good 2 hour tour, from grapevine to bottle. It's a good way to see the process for those of us who know nothing. We tasted three wines at the end, but we didn't buy anything there.

From there, we just cruised the little towns and stopped in where it looked interesting. We bought a case of wine at the Sattui Winery in St. Helena and had it shipped home. 6 bottles of their Sauvignon Blanc, 3 bottles of their Pinot Noir and 3 bottles of their Muscat--a sweet dessert wine that to me is like drinking cake. Cold, tinkly cake. YUM.

We also bought a bottle of Port from the Cuvaison winery. We could have filled the trunk with wine, but then where would we put it?? Or where would we have put our suitcases??? Ah, the questions....

And the other excitement for this day???? In and Out Burger. What a trip! A hamburger joint with 4 things on the menu, and speedy, speedy service (at least at THAT location). I want one here! (We did eat at one later in Los Angeles that wasn't nearly as good.)

What a yummy day.

The next day we went first to Muir Woods to see the coastal redwoods. It was a spectacular place--so cool and green. We hiked the whole circuit trail, and it was refreshing.

Then from the sublime to the commercial! When we left Muir Woods to drive to Yosemite, we passed an Ikea store in Emeryville. Zteen and I started chanting, "We want to see Ikea. We want to see Ikea!" PapaC thought we were joking at first, but he obliged us. We spent nearly THREE HOURS in Ikea, just looking at stuff. Especially the display of the "House for Four in 500 sq feet." What an interesting place. They are opening one about an hour from us in August. It'll be interesting to see if the concept goes over in the land of McMansions that is North Dallas and beyond. And what quality is the stuff? It seemed so inexpensive. Does it last?

We ended up, after a beautiful drive, in Oakhurst, near the south entrance of Yosemite. And there I'll leave you 'til later.


IKEA stuff lasts pretty well, especially considering that it is basically MDF board with a super thin veneer. Almost all of our (grossly overloaded) bookcases are IKEA. For pure fun, you can't beat the kitchen department, with lots of cheap glasses, cheap flatware, etc. And the children's eating ware is unbeatable. Plastic, bright colors, fun shapes.

Of course the unknown joy of the Emeryville IKEA is eating at the cafe. Decent (not great, but decent) meatballs at dirt cheap prices with a Bay view. It is a fun place, but one that you can't get out of without buying something.

MamaT, I too, had good experiences with IKEA furniture when I was a bit younger and lived in the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic.

Stitchwitch grew up on the stuff, too, and still likes it. We're very much looking forward to the opening of an IKEA in N. Texas.

Family of 4 in 500sq ft -- I'd be interested to see that.

Erik, sorry I neglected to call you back in May when my wife and I headed out to the West Coast. We never made it farther south than the Seattle Airport, and that was for about 3 hours.

My brother-in-law works at that In-and-Out Burger. (dh's family lives in Napa). He's one of the shift managers, I think. He speaks highly of the place, and working there has helped him pay for college.

My entire living room is IKEA (except for the Futon which was Costco and the rocking chairs which are old!). I love IKEA and I miss it horribly. They've been promising us one near BOston for about 3 years - damn yankkes with NIMBY attitudes have blocked at least one location. I'm not ready to drive to Montreal just to shop for furniture.
I love the shakes at InNOut but I'm not as big a fan of them as my kids are.
If you liked the Napa vineyard tour, plan your next vacation in the Oregon wine country. Even nicer, in my NSHO.



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on July 28, 2005 5:53 PM.

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