Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A view from the road

We spent a lot of our time during vacation on the road. But it was great because we got to observe a lot of beautiful sights!


Ronny got a lot of this view....

And I got a lot of this view...

But then we saw beautiful views like these...

 We saw corn!

Lots of winding roads...

 A copper smelter that I almost missed, but it was so historic!

This rock was painted by early settlers like a beagle...

 And when the stoplight needs a little help, 15 minutes later, I can help...

See more CA pictures here.

All the pretty vineyards

After leaving Janet's and retrieving our bags in Sacramento, we traveled through Napa Valley (this route) to tour the Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Valley wine growing regions of Sonoma County. Janet suggested going to the Healdsburg area to tour vineyards and taste wine, so we decided to take the scenic route through Napa just to say we'd been there, then wine tasted in Sonoma County.

We got a great tour from Janet's friend, Matt, who is a winemaker at Mauritson Family Winery in Healdsburg. Here is another winemaker filling the oak barrels after some of the wine has been absorbed. They want to keep the barrels as full as possible with no oxygen. Oxygen is only good for the wine after the bottle is opened and it is ready to be consumed.

We brought home 10 bottles of wine. :)

You can see more vineyard pictures here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

California friends & agriculture

After leaving Sacramento Thursday afternoon (with no bags) we drove north only 25 miles to Zamora where my K-State grad school friend, Janet, grew up and lives!

She and her sister live in this awesome over 120-year-old house that has been in their family, with amazingly rustic, yet fashionable wood floors, cute little rooms and a great porch.

The agriculture around there is so diverse and interesting. Ronny and I kept asking her, “what is that crop?”, 2 minutes later, “what is that crop?!” We probably were starting to get annoying – but it was just so cool to see so many different varieties of crops in a close area!

On one side of her house was the great field of tomatoes. This is in the valley, can you see the mountains in the horizon?DSC_0074DSC_0076DSC_0077

On the other side is a wheat field that is near harvest time.DSC_0123

Near her parent’s house, they just planted an almond grove (pronounce ahmen because when they harvest them with shell attached, they knock the ‘ell out of ‘em!"). They used GPS to plant the trees and Ronny and I thought it looked like Arlington.DSC_0084DSC_0085DSC_0087DSC_0088

Janet was a great tour guide as you can notice from the picture above!

We drove around the area, looking at olive tree groves, pasture, cattle, sheep, onion seed fields, sunflowers and bees. It was so pretty to see how close the valley, rolling foothills and mountains really are – in Colorado they seem so much more spread out.


Ronny took these next two pictures early Friday morning, and I’m pretty impressed!DSC_0128DSC_0184

Probably the best part of Janet’s weekend though, was getting engaged on Friday! Congrats Janet and Jeff! Thanks again for the great tour and great visit!!DSC_0466