Sunday, June 18, 2006

fammin' in san fran part two: fam takes NorCal

in the second and final installation of this volume of Fammin' in San Fran, we leave the City and head for the countryside of NorCal (that's Northern California, for all'a y'all Outta-Staters). we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge (continually being painted: International Orange~~ ), drove thru the dairycow-dotted hills of Petaluma, into Wine Country. we toured and we tasted we sight-saw and we got lost, and found. . . our way to Field Stone Winerey, where we picnicked on fine local cheeses and breads, dips and sauces (the BEST dipping oil i've ever tasted: Stonehouse Extra Virgin Dipping Oil), local organic strawberries and grapes, and enjoyed Field Stone's 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon. the scenic route back to Sac, and dinner Chez Tif. girls-against-boys for late-night Cranium. next morning was Our Favorite Breakfast at:
the Fox and Goose~~a local English-style pub with housemade scones, and menu-items such as crumpets, Welsh Rarebit, Bangers, and free-range eggs. we did a quick tour of the State Capitol Building, and extensive tours of the succulent and rose gardens outside on the grounds. the roses~~soaking up the intense summer rays~~were SOOO incredibly brilliant and fragrant!!! each variety had its own nuanced nose-rainbow of perfume. i wanted to smell every-single rose. unfortunately, we had to hustle back to san fran to deposit them back at the hotel for their flight home. :(
this was the longest and best visit i've had with my mom in years. the last time we had a full-on vacation together was probably when i was in high school. i felt really comfortable with her and was pleased to be able to show her my happy life out here in Sunny California. this was also the first time she had ever gotten to spend any time around Sealion, and it went totally smooooth (we all know what a lady-charmer that boy is.. !). another first: Mom and i drinking together! HA! that manages to take any Edges off a possibly awkward visit with New Family. her new husband Chris is a sweety. he is very sensitive and considerate and easy-going, and treats Mom like a queen. frustratingly (and amusingly) i experienced some of my teenage Bitchy Critical-ness in Dealing with Mom's Men bucking hard to rear its head. i hope i didn't make it too rough on the poor guy!! his daughter~~my new step-sister~~Becca, is a trip!! she is full of spice and spunk and independence. she loves to try new things and do things on her own, and at the same time is always tending to everyone to make sure they're taken care of. i really enjoyed getting to know her.
i was sad to see them go.

photos here:
the griswolds do NorCal,
Roses at the Capitol ~ so bright! so fragrant!
Mom strikes a pose,
fammin' at home,
Sonoma picnic

please peruse the gallery, "fun for the whole family!" at:

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