We drove pretty far up and stopped for pictures– I was not, however, prepared for the huge gusts of wind and FIFTY DEGREE FARENHEIT weather, esp. after hitting the upper 90’s back home in the past couple days.
Needless to say, the view was… astonishing. Breathtaking. I’ll let the pics speak for themselves:
We then took a drive over the Golden Gate bridge and stopped off to admire it at one of the lookout points just beyond.
Because we hadn’t really eaten anything since a brownie J and I shared at the airport, we were kinda starving so we met up with J’s extended fam [owners of the place we’d be staying at for a couple nights] at Mary’s Pizza Shack in Santa Rosa. We ordered BBQ chicken [J’s fave!] and it was *heavenly*.
When we arrived at J’s mom’s cousins, we started the hunt for new rental properties, as the wildfires near Yosemite have only seemed to intensify [the fire jumped TWO HIGHWAYS like what????]
After what seems like hours of surfing AirBnB, we found a place up in Truckee, near Tahoe, so we’ll probably be adventuring up there the day after next if the smoke isn’t too bad.
To relieve ourselves from searching and to fuel some hunger, we made a trip to Paradise Ridge Vineyards for wine tasting and chic food truck food. We also scored some home-made artisan cookies, so there’s that.
The atmosphere was probably the coolest part about this place, though. Upon entering, you saw a sign saying “Welcome to Paradise” [ha, get it] and I didn’t really believe it until the sun started to set over the vineyard. There were great scenic overlooks, rails to lean against and tables that granted us a spectacular view of the mountains in the distance and the vineyards below. There was even a platform where a small, jazzy band of mostly elderly members were playing older classics [that also managed to give me some PTSD from working at the Italian restaurant] like a jazzy rendition of “Route 66” [when we first walked in] “Try a Little Tenderness”, and “Save the Last Dance for Me”. There were people old and young dancing, and one elderly couple in particular was KILLING IT on the dance floor. It was so sweet.
|“A flask of wine, a book of verse, and thou beside me singing in the wilderness – Ah wilderness, were Paradise enow!”|
After eating and soaking up the sunset [these pics can’t even begin to convey it] we visited the sculpture garden nearby. We found some sculptures AND some llamas- dunno if they were wild or not… We tried to get close to them to take pics and try to pet them but they kept galloping away. Oh well, next time.
We then stopped to take pictures with the “L O V E” letters and pet a multi-poo on the way out. The radio was cranked up and “Brighter than the Sun” by Colbie Caillat was blasting, followed by “Roller Coaster” by Bon Jovi.
We’re currently fighting off being completely consumed by tiredness, but it was a fantastic first day.
Til next time,