So today I took a day trip with Tim. Just the two (2) of us. Elise really wasn’t up for going out. She has seemed more tired lately. I understand that need to just retreat into her shell, and hibernate. I get that way sometimes too. Other than taking trips to the store, or running errands, she is attached to Tim. She rarely has the house to herself, and gets to just vegetate.
So after being reassured by her, and Tim, that she was okay. That she really didn’t feel left out, in some regards. And that for her, she understood that I wasn’t upset at her not joining us. That I didn’t feel short-changed, that she didn’t want to come along. We headed off for a day trip adventure in the Foothills.
Tim had planned a route for us. 😀 We headed up, along the interstate 80, turning off onto SR49, into the foothills. More like mountains if you ask me. LoL We went up 1,000 feet above sea level. That’s pretty far up, for me. Especially considering that I’m the one doing the driving. And the roads along mountain, (okay hills) are not just straight lines. They are curvy things, that go back and forth. Hugging the side of the mountain.
We drove up to Auburn (not the SEC school 😉 ) and took a little tour of the town, before heading out on the winding road, that is SR49. I saw a winery, advertising, the way that they do, with a sign about hours, now open, etc. I missed the turn of course, so I made a U-Turn. Tim wasn’t sure that they would be open, but I said, let’s give it a shot. Who knows. It could be some undiscovered gem. It was.
Hart 2 Hart was one of those great little wineries. Complete with tasting room. Things for sale, which Elise would have loved. They had facilities that made it easy for Tim and I to get around. The patroness was very accommodating. We were having a lovely tasting of some interesting grapes that I don’t normally see in FL.
Then an RV of people came in. There was a group, traveling around for the day, complete with a couple of children. All, but 1, of the adults, doing some tastings. Having a good time. Then of course, did what tourists do… wanted something for free. 🙂 The elder of ladies stated, in that ‘I can’t believe this’ voice: “What do you mean there is a $5.00 tasting fee? We were just here a couple of months (meaning: a year) ago, I never had to pay before.”
Please note: That more and more wineries are going with such a fee. This particular place went beyond what is normally served, by not only giving you back your $5.00 towards any purchase; BUT also a snacking plate, with meats / cheeses / crackers / nuts. Heck, even the small wine shop, that I love to shop at, has a Tasting Fee, when they do their monthly tastings. That they, also return to you, against any purchase.
I have to hand it to the owners. They did the right thing. He kindly explained to the complaining woman, that unfortunately they were getting large groups of people in limos, (* He did good not to mention their RV *) who were coming in and just drinking for free. They were losing money, because they were ‘tasting’ more than they were selling. This offered to keep their wines at a lower fee, instead of having to increase the prices to cover such a loss.
We found a new grape that I like a great deal: Voignier. (*check spelling*). It’s very much like the Sauv Blanc that I like, with the citrus finish. So that bottle, along with a red blend, that I actually enjoyed, are coming to me later this week. Knowing that I am not a great big red drinker, to find one that I enjoy, I think make Tim’s day. He’s a big Merlot fan. I’m trying to expand my palate.
We had good time, then drove along the curvy road, and went to the place that Tim had destined would be our destination. Gold Hill Winery. Recent winners of the California State Faire. Which gave them a write-up in the local papers. Which is why Tim picked it for our adventure. Another winner, despite the crowds. I think half of the bay area had also picked this winery, for their destination. Probably because of the newspaper article.
The male half of their staff was great, the female, must have been having a bad day. (shrug) Noticing that we were unable to come inside to sample the mustards, he brought us our own sampling plate. She on the other hand, questioned me, as to the type of wine I had just sampled, when I asked for my next one. There was little room inside, so we were forced to stay out on the balcony. The noise level was deafening, in their room.
Despite the crowds, and overly stressed patroness, we sat upon their balcony and enjoyed the scenery of rows of grapes, on vines. The beautiful day. The wine. Although Tim enjoyed a local brewed beer. A treat for him. It was nice to just sit in quiet enjoyment of the day.
For Elise, she said that it was her greatest blessing. She didn’t have to worry about Tim; because she knew that I would take good care of him.