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Vacation Journal: As our journey comes to an end, it’s all about the grapes

Our west coast adventure has culminated in the beautiful Napa Valley.  What a gorgeous landscape.  Vineyards of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and other lucious grapes line the roadways and hillsides in meticulous rows dotted by olive, orange, lime, and Meyer lemon trees.  Nearly 500 wineries exist in the Napa Valley, a place many consider the wine mecca of America.  However, I was surprised to learn that Napa wines comprise less than 5% of wine produced in the state of California.  Even so, some of the wines from this region are considered the best in the world and this community of wine growers and their employees take great pride in the Nectar of the Gods that they produce.

The winery employees taught us about the grapes, the fields, the history of the region, ampelography, and the methods they employ for creating distinct wine profiles.  They let us sample the grapes (mmm yummy), and they taught us how to maximize our enjoyment of the various wines. For example, did you know that it takes at least 3 sips of wine, swishing it all through your mouth, to acclimate your taste buds and olefactory glands to the distinct flavors of the specific wine you are drinking?; and that the cherry, citrus or other fruit notes listed on the label are not ingredients but an indication of the magical quality of grapes to mimic the flavor of other fruits? These are just a few of the things I learned while traveling the Napa Valley and engaging in some extreme wine tasting (anything past a 2 oz. sample is enough to get me lit; what I ingested burnt the house down.)  Oh, and those who really know about wine, i.e., the winery employees, hate those people that act as though they are wine snobs.  Real wine connoisseurs are unpretentious about their wine knowledge.  I’m neither, so I guess I’m safe.  I just enjoy a nice glass of pinot noir or pinot grigio – my personal favorites.

Our family will take so many memories home with us of this trip to the central and northern areas of California.  The spectacular landscapes of Yosemite, the breathtaking cliffs and rocks of the coastal areas, the uniqueness of San Francisco’s architecture which follows the steep inclines of their streets, and the stunning beauty of the Napa Valley, all stand as reminders of how fortunate we are to live in a country such as ours and how blessed our family was to have this opportunity.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice glass of Napa Pinot Noir.  It’s on me.

Oh…and Big Dawg is my hero!!  This is an open thread…


68 Responses

  1. LOL, I love the pic of Bill.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip, SOD!

  2. I am so glad you are having a great time. Isn’t northern California beautiful?
    Continue to enjoy enjoy enjoy.



  3. WaPo has axed Mouthpiece theatre. Dana and Chris can go cry into their beers now.

    • I think my letter to the Ombudsman sealed the deal. Of course, I demanded that Milbank be fired because of his inability to be objective about Hillary. I guess the firing with be announced today. 😉

  4. Wow, I’ve loved the pictures from your travels. It’s wonderful that you and your family were able to enjoy so many beautiful places.

    On a totally different topic, I had no idea about this …


    Okay, okay, I know people won’t be comfortable with the site I linked to, but the video was very concerning. I hadn’t heard anything about this new law to allow laptops and other media devices to be searched, and believe it’s been in the works for a while.

  5. I was just reading the SF Chronicle (online) and see that Squeaky Fromme will be released from prison later this month:

  6. BTW, the grapes in the picture are from the Robert Mondavi vineyards. I was struck by the importance of Mondavi’s generousity with his wine production innovations. He allowed others to copy them so that the overall quality of wine in Napa Valley was improved.

  7. Glad you’re having a great trip!

    CNN is about to do a story on “manufactured outrage being created by people with a vested interest in the outcome” and I swear the irony might kill me. Maybe they’ll explain astroturfing with references to how they continuously reported false, Axlerod generated bs about Palin.

  8. I’m sorry I voted for Obama. Please forgive me.

    (edited to reveal inner truth)

    • Ha!Ha! They are getting nasty again – on my blog too…Not very happy little B0bots these days, are they?

      • Me too. Strange. Astroturfing perhaps?

        • They’re probably running the new Ministry of Reported Forbidden Opinion from Birfer. 🙂

        • I think they’re just immature.

          • There’s immature, and there’s severely maladjusted. Those of us in group A are snarky and annoying, but we’re not running stalker blogs and writing weirdly overintense, overinvested “warning” rants about nothing. I think they think they’re somehow helping guard America for their personal friend Barack like Junior G Men, or something. Now life has purpose!

          • I was just talking about the timing of the outbursts. I think it’s gotta bug them people they look down on are catching up on community organizing and social media. It’s as if they thought they owned the future all to themselves. I remember having a discussion with an Obama supporter during the primaries and asking this person how exactly would change unfold, and the answer was that Obama’s voters would put pressure on Congress to do singlepayer for him and they’d get “his” agenda through (as if his agenda was really single payer). Well, I guess that’s really working out for them.

          • missed a word there..

            I think it’s gotta bug them *that* people they look down on are catching up.

          • I’m sure it does, but then again, Obama’s supporters’ antics have always freaked people out. I remember talking to numerous good Dems who weren’t even aware of stuff like their behavior at caucuses, getting in people’s faces and yelling abuse and all that, who were nonetheless very uneasy about Obama’s supporters and how weirdly they tended to overdo things. Obama supporters were living in a bubble if they couldn’t see how offputting their behavior was to a lot of people, and I mean, thinking they could influence Congress is like thinking a love-in would raise the Pentagon. As far as being upset about people they look down on adopting their techniques, yep, totally, it’s like idiot punk kids who have no clue or common sense but think we know everything. Now we (Obama Gen) are mad, and as usual, we’ll Blame everyone else but never stop to think how stupid and unnecessary our behavior was and how unrealistic we were. We thought we could act any thuggish way and justify it by the virtue of our cause, we were self righteous fools.

          • They hate us the most because we retained our sanity throughout and everything we predicted is coming true.

    • You are forgiven. But – DON’T LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN!

    • You don’t need to say it was edited. The lack of the obligatory misogynistic slurs and unintelligible gobbledygook makes it obvious.

    • Iron my shirt little boy and I will forgive you. Now don’t vote again until you have a clue.

  9. I also believe the earth is flat and the sun revolves around the earth. I don’t understand anything that requires abstract thinking yet I make comments. I also believe that any liberal criticism of “the One” must come from folks as crazy and prone to slavish adoration of propaganda producers as me because after all, I am THE true believer upon which all other slavish believers of propaganda have been posited.

    [edited for clarity]

    I also wet myself in public and sniff my own armpits constantly.

    [edited for realism]

    • Yes, many PUMAs are birthers.
      They’ll fade away…..and would be history even sooner, except that Obamamedia needs to exploit them to minimize Obama’s craziness.

    • You’re obviously not aware that there a many folks wearing the PUMA mantle and not all of us ascribe to whacky theories like you … are you making money from perpetuating this meme or just unable grasp differences that are not so subtle?

      I keep dumping you in the spam can, but for some reason, some folks prefer to mess with you.

      Now, go away before I announce your email address and ISP to the universe.

  10. Cleaning request in aisle 11:03!

  11. So pleased you had a great vacation in such a lovely spot. Best wishes for the rest of summer until school starts.

    Fascism is here–do the obots get it yet? Commerce and finance control Congress and kill our democracy, to paraphrase Walter Cronkite. Corporations own the media and both own bho the fraud. Brownshirt tactics of bullying, threatening, cheating in the primaries and then blaming the GOP for stirring up town halls now–what a CROCK! Website to report dissidents who holler too loud at town halls. bho the fraud and the oligarchs who pull his strings are bankrupting and corrupting our country.

    Thank heavens for Hillary and Bill, and Americans from every stripe who are speaking up about the robber barons in Congress, big insurance, big media, big banks, big corporations and the lowlifes on Wall Street.

    Free Speech is not just for obots. Go, We the People!

  12. Judge delays sentencing Chris Brown! The judge wants him to do community service but there’s no one to supervise him.
    Are police departments resisting Brown because a celebrity under their jurisdiction would be costly and break some police budgets?


    • probably no one to supervise him because the state is completely broke… everybody is “furloughed” or laid off…

  13. Hi SOD!
    There’s that pic again-is that for me??
    now I’ll NEVER get to sleep 🙂

  14. Ooooo, you put the Bill-with-sly-smile pic up! *swoon*

  15. Ooooh! Stop it with the saucy pics of Bill! I have a feeling that if it gets late enough this thread will descend into Big Dawg fan fic. LOL! Don’t get me started.

    • tee hee! It’s a big fan club. I think there’s even a special club for lovers of that picture!~

  16. Now that you’ve written a love letter to our beautiful state, California, you can imagine how horrible it was for two Californians to be stuck in North Korea.

  17. Sounds like a great trip.

    In the interests of education, and so we can tell the players without a score card, here’s a little piece so you can
    “Know Your Town Hall Mob Agitators”.


    • OMFG, that is too hilarious! Love the comparison photos of “grassroots” vs. “outside organizer” groups. LMAO!

      myiq needs to see this.

    • This one is even better. An excerpt:

      Enough is enough. It’s time for us to get out our pitchforks and tell the Outside-the-Beltway gang that we’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it any more. We are the little guy, the junior senator from some godforsaken Nebraskansaw, just looking to make that subcommittee with the big contributor action. That fresh young regulatory agency head who only wants to test that bank nationalization idea from her Harvard term paper. We are the people who get up every day, work hard, and play inside the rules. Most of the time. And if one of us accidentally plays outside one of those rules, then, by golly, the rest of us will make sure to modify that rule so he’s still playing inside the rules. And we’re tired of getting pushed around the town hall by the likes of you, Big Voter.


      • “angry mobs of unregistered self-lobbyists”


      • >>>And if one of us accidentally plays outside one of those rules, then, by golly, the rest of us will make sure to modify that rule so he’s still playing inside the rules.


  18. You guys don’t have to be so mean, I’m only doing my job.

    How would you like to sit for hours in a windowless room with pimple-faced geeks who should bathe more and talk less, talking trash to total strangers?

    I hate my life.

  19. Bill Clinton looks good..I agree..but he also helped obama to look good. That’s not a good thing as far as I am concerned. Al Gore..giving Bill a hug after all these years. Trashing Hillary and campaigning for obama. Oh what a different world this is.

  20. Betty, Al Gore didn’t trash Hillary, nor did he campaign for Obama.
    My collection of images

    • In fact, from the NYT article today
      and was viewed in Clinton circles as implicitly supporting Mr. Obama in his competition last year with Mrs. Clinton — though one associate of Mr. Clinton said the former president was appreciative in the end that Mr. Gore had sat it out.

      • The NYT’s….now that’s a great place to get information. Guess there are different ways of trashing. Not supporting someone that was the first lady and letting the media know what he was going to do..isn’t exactly friendly. Letting the media know who you are supporting is not sitting it out. But that’s over with…and so am I as a democrat.

  21. Is Kim Jong Il a puma?
    Apparently, he rejected Gore, he rejected Judah Richardson.
    He only wanted Big Dawg for the mission.

    Here is a dreadful thought for thsoe of you who wanted to go to NK to be rescued by the Dawg.
    When that door opens, what if you see…the judah?
    You say “I want to go back to pounding the rocks.”

    Have a nice day.

  22. turn in your neighbor reward .what reward.
    what happened to free speech.

    • Bush asked us to do the same – but of course, that was an effort to catch terrorists.

      btw – re: the man that killed himself and 3 women at the fitness center. The media seems to focus on the neighbors that didn’t sense anything was wrong.
      But he was working everyday – maybe co-workers noticed something?

  23. While Bill Clinton was making plans to rescue the women in North Korea, Biden was fulfilling his VP duties – drinking beer with the Gates-gate crowd,

  24. What is my avatar? It looks like a coat of arms doing calisthenics.

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