AMERICAN WINE COUNTRY (added 17.06.10)

As I mentioned before, San Francisco has turned on its charm during the week we have already spent here.  We packed the 8 of us into a conveniently sized 8 seater car and set out on a road trip.  Crossing over the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, we made our way to Sonoma, driving along the stunningly beautiful coastline with views that reminded me of the Great Ocean Road.  One glimpse of the ocean and feeling the sea breeze on my skin instantly awoke me, making me feel whole and complete. 

I have travelled to many locations, many different countries, and as amazed and impressed as I always am by beachside destinations, my mind always wanders back to my own country Australia, and I am reminded of how spoilt we are there, and how truly lucky I am to live where I do, and to be able to live out the easy and enriched life that I do there.

Sonoma is less famous than Napa, yet some may argue it is more beautiful, and it is definitely less touristic.  On Saturday the temperature hit 35 degrees; taking full advantage of this, we drove down to the Russian River, where the rest of the people from the area shared the same idea, all trying to cool down on a hot and sultry day. The river was lined with umbrellas, water craft of every variety and men with man boobs larger than mine.

We hired Kayaks and kayaked down the river, slowing to marvel at the picturesque scenery surrounding us, and jumping out when the river became too shallow in parts to row.  With the sun on our faces and the cool breeze gently washing over us, we smiled and relished in the knowledge we are on vacation.  We are enjoying the outdoor living, and spending time with loved ones, life really is simple when you break it down to a few simple pleasures.

The following day  was spent driving from Sonoma to Napa Valley through the vineyard paved highways.  With two young children with us stopping at multiple wineries is not the most viable option, we instead chose one, and I couldn’t be happier with the one we chose; an Italian style castle ‘Castello di Amorosa’, we paid our $16 and walked around the castle in the heat admiring the vast landscape beneath us, when the breathtaking beauty and heat became too much, we descended into the dungeon and sampled the many delicious wines on offer.


Californian wine has not disappointed me yet, and I believe if we didn’t have the kids with us on that journey I would hav suffered a huge headache the following day.


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