Day 4 - I finally was able to get up in time to hit the road for a run. While I’m quite out of shape, I was still able to cut 25 seconds per mile off of my new-normal running speed while in the oxygen rich California air! Almost enough to get me to go out and do it again on this trip… Almost…
Much like yesterday, today was about doing the things that Jenny and I had planned on doing on our last trip but were prevented from doing due to the wildfires in Wine Country. So after our typical morning routine of breakfast, Starbucks, and now donuts, we headed NORTH this time to the Napa/Sonoma region for some wine stuff.
Our first stop was Santa Rosa. This stop was specifically for my purposes. It’s the home to one of brewing’s new “legends,” Russion River Brewing Company. All told, they just make some pretty good beer. Realistically, a LOT of breweries make really good beer now-a-days, but Russian River is one of the more famous of the new batch. We got there at 10:30, parked outside, and had to get in line already. Think about that - I had to get in line at 10:30 in the morning just to go pay for some beer. I don’t care, we did it anyway. The beer was really good, and I purchased a hat to commemorate the occasion.
After our brewery visit, we had lunch at another brew-pub in town, Third Street Ale Works. Then we consulted Siri for a “family friendly winery” in the area, who informed us of the Baletto Winery just outside of town. We aren’t typically wine people, but when in Rome… The locals were interested by how The Grady’s travel to these locations. We treated it just like a brewery visit. Jenny and I ordered drinks, and we all played a spirited game of Uno while we enjoyed the drinks. One of the employees came by and commented on how well we seemed to travel.
After our obligatory winery experience, we got back in the car and started towards Sonoma and Napa, locations that are storied for their beauty. Once we got to Sonoma, however, we had already sort of had it with wine country. I think we probably set ourselves up for disappointment by visiting Muir Woods and Muir Beach the day before! Nevertheless, we stopped at the Sonoma Springs Brewery where they were having some sort of festival and cornhole tournament. It kind of reminded me of TLM, so we stopped for a beer, then headed back south to our home base.
We were back in the room by 5:00. Dinner in the room again, swimming… You know the drill.