Forests, Donkeys, and Wine! Oh My!

Following up on my previous post, on another free day, Leigh Anne (LA) and I went up to Muir Woods and Sonoma through the Extranomical Tours.  We had initially discussed renting a Zip Car and I would drive us up to wine country but going on a tour was a much much wiser idea.  Why?

Reason 1:  The curvy roads up to Muir Woods was scary.

Reason 2: I passed out in the backseat of the tour bus at the end of the day from too much wine.  I’m a very good friend for doing the tour with LA and not letting her drink alone while I played DD.

And, so it begins The Wino Day where  we were picked up in front of the Fairmont Hotel at 8:15 and started our day in Muir Woods.

Muir Woods was incredibly beautiful and colder than I expected (the weather in San Francisco was a sunny low 50… erhm Farenheit for my Canucks who might be mistaken).   My hands were freezing and I wish I brought up a pair of mittens but kept repeating to myself Barney Stinson-style during the hike to “Canadian up and bear the cold”.

I felt a little Hansel and Gretel in the woods.

I’m always a little apprehensive with tours since I hate being dictated by a schedule but we had a good amount of time to walk around.  LA and I had close to 1.5 hours to wander around the woods, take loads of picture, and try not to fall down a cliff.  Each trail had postings to explain the animals that habitat there, if any significant history occurred in the area (e.g. One area held a UN meeting and had an FDR dedication).

At the end of the 1.5 hours, I was pretty happy that there was a time limit – it gave me an excuse to end the hike and go back to the bus and try to warm up snowman like hands.

This reminded me of The Fox and The Hound.

After Muir Woods, we headed over to our first wine tasting at Jacuzzi Family Vineyard.  Yes… somehow this Jacuzzi family is related to the Jacuzzi. The Jacuzzi family got their start through a series of patents and from my fuzzy memory (blame it on the wine), I believe one of the patents was for a hydraulic pump in a bathtub which turned into the Jacuzzi we know today.

The vineyard was gorgeous and coming early on a Friday morning in December meant little tourist and tons of wine.  As we were part of the tour, there was no limit to the amount of wine we could try.  An added bonus to the vineyard was that in the same house as the wine tasting there was also an olive oil tasting.  LA and I decided the best way to do this was wine –>  run to the olive oil tasting –> eat bread dipped in olive oil –> run to the wine tasting –> down the wine, back to the olive oil –> eat bread dipped in olive oil –> saunter over to the bus.  #bestideaever

In and around Jacuzzi Family Vineyard

The tour then took us into town and gave us some free time for food.  After lunch we headed over to Cline Cellars where we had our tasting outdoors under a tent!  How very cute and how very Californian.  Unlike Jacuzzi, where LA and I spent most our time indoors, Cline Cellars has so much to see.

The property included phoenix (I’ve never seen one in real life and I’m pretty sure I thought it was a dragon #fail), pigeons, and two cute donkeys.  Pictures of the donkeys and other parts of the day are posted below.

Cline Cellars also had the friendliest staff.  I tweeted a few times about how I was on the tour and Cline Tours staff came round and greeted me by name.  As well, Extranomical gifted me with a free bottle of wine from Cline Cellars for my tweets.  It was a nice surprise!

Overall, LA and I had a great day and the fact that I can’t remember the ride home is evidence of what a fun and relaxing experience it was.

Look out for a new blog post soon on LA and my road trip along the California coast real soon… or better yet, subscribe and get the post in your inbox!

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  1. March 22nd, 2012

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