Mixed Emotions

It’s Saturday and we fly home tomorrow.  This past week has pretty much flown by as most vacations do.  And that in itself is perhaps the wrong term.  A ‘vacation’ is usually a term used in the context of a break from work.  For us, that’s not so much the case.  It has really been a chance to return to a place that we have not really paid a visit to in over 40 years.  And we’ve been able to do it in a much more relaxed state.

Leaving Sunday morning gives those same feelings that always materialize on ‘the last day’.  A thirst to go back home plus the craving to stay are almost like conjoined twins.  Mixed emotions fight internally, yet the home-front yearning always wins.

The original plan was to drop by Kendall Jackson then cruise down the highway to swing by Heitz Cellars.  But the reality of the time to do so and still keep our (now extended) return time for the car simply wasn’t going to work.  So, Kendall won out.

A long time ago the Grand Reserve Merlot from KJ was favorably discovered by my nose and palate.  It’s never been forgotten but it is so rarely available at home that opportunities for enjoyment are slim and very far between.  It just seemed apropos to make an appearance at the home of that most delightful beverage.  It did not disappoint.

The entrance and the surrounding grounds are stellar and immaculately kept.  The tasting room large, well staffed and replete with not only their wine but requisite souvenirs that beckon all that frequent.  Our tasting host, Chris, provided not only good pours of the wines but displayed a full and proper knowledge of just WHAT he was pouring.  While sharing with him our story of why we were here, and how long it’s been since our first visit to the SF area, he felt it would be proper to do his own sharing.  He very willingly offered to extend us an additional pour of something not on the list, but of a more refined selection.  It would have been very rude indeed to decline. 🙂  As it turns out, that 2017 Jackson Estate Camelot Highlands Chardonnay found its way into our car to join our flight home tomorrow.

Our next stop (now NOT at Heitz Cellars) was the Petaluma Premium Outlet Mall.  Save your time should you have the opportunity.  There was no joy for us.  As a for instance….Tommy Hilfiger had a huge number of items outside the store on sale at various reduction levels.  I found a very nice shirt that was marked 70% off and the marked price was $60 USD.  Ok…that should work out to about $18.  Good Deal!  No, no no…the $60 already was the marked down price.  REALLY?  Somehow they feel they can justify a short sleeve shirt for $200 simply because it has that brand name on it.  Even when I DO win the lottery that just makes No Sense.

Out of there in a hurry and on to our hotel to drop off the luggage then on to Costco to fill up the car before its return.  And might I add, at a price that was 90 cents a gallon cheaper than I had paid previously at a different store a few days before.  Even more luck, the Costco gas station was minutes away from the Hertz drop off which was also minutes away from our hotel.  That all worked out well.

A street-car was now on the menu for a trip to Pier 39, the heart of the wharf area of SF.  Again, decades since we have wandered about down here.  The hustle and bustle has become more intense, traffic around the immediate area is nuts, and the sheer volume of everything has been turned up many notches.  More and more of this and that.  Some constants exist though.  Ghirardelli chocolate is still easily available and just as fabulous (and non-caloric! 😉  )  Food is as plentiful and certainly some choices remain outstanding.  And, of course, the Harbour Seals still laze around, taking in the sun.  Continuity is a good thing.

Now sufficiently fed (probably good til Tuesday) we Uber back to the hotel.  We asked a readily available cab driver for an approximate price and he quoted about $50.  Uber cost us $28.  ‘Nuff said.

We had checked our luggage, as mentioned, because we really were too early for our room, and we knew that.  Fortunately they were happy to set our stuff aside in a locked room (with many others) to await our return.  As we checked in at the reception area, the wonderful lady behind the counter felt sorry for us because our room wasn’t ready when we arrived.  Before I could explain it was simply due to our own early arrival, she said she would upgrade us to a suite because of the inconvenience.  How could I disappoint her by turning her down?  This trip has truly been one of many surprises, almost all of which extraordinarily good.

Think we can get a free upgrade on the flight tomorrow???  (HIGHLY unlikely – it’s Air Canada)

This will be the last post for this journey.  I hope everyone that has dropped by got a kick out of our exploits and will return when the next adventure begins.  BTW…I will post more pics in the next day or 2.  The other thing I manged to forget to pack was the proper cable to download pictures from the cameras to the laptop.  YES there will be better accouterments management next time.

Dasvidaniya (now THERE’S a hint…)

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