Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Weekend Adventures

Ridiculous adventures this weekend as my parents and sister and her boyfriend visited us in Mountain View.  Ashley and Scott came up from Los Angeles late Friday night, and stopped only for some quick pho before crashing at our apartment -- a long drive!

The next morning, Mom and Dad arrived early and called us for breakfast.  Will was already up having risen early for meditation.  We ate at Oregano's Woodfire Pizza, which amazingly began serving breakfast recently.  A good find in an area without many breakfast options.  Mom and Dad and Will all had breakfast burrito's.  I had chocolate pancakes -- Yay!

Then back to the house to pick up Ash and Scott, and we were off to Napa before 9:30 AM.  Arrived at Viansa , where Anna and Nathan got married, and enjoyed the beauty of the place even through the 11:00 fog.  After tasting a few wines, Dad picked up a 2005 Ossidiana, with a great smell because of its exceptionally long aging in oak casks.  You could really smell it.

We were done with Viansa much earlier than expected and no one was hungry for the picnic lunch that I had planned there.  We moved on to the Sonoma town square where a "Wine and Jazz" event was in full swing.  After some time meandering through the boutique shops, we found a Himalayan restaurant with a live jazz band playing in front.

Then more strolling through the square (including a stop for ice cream and another to pick up a necklace for Gina) and we were off again, headed for Sterling Vineyards.  Signature attraction is the air tram that takes visitors from the ticket booth up to the winery.  Sterling served white wines as we moved through the exhibits explaining the wine making process, and which culminated in a beautiful terrace with great views and more ... white wine.  Then into the tasting room where we sampled red wines and the dessert wine, including a Malvasia Bianca, which was our favorite.

Then back on the tram to our cars, and we headed for dinner.  Auberge du Soleil has a fantastic restaurant that sits on a terrace overlooking the vineyards in the valley.  We sat and watched the sun set.  When it got too windy and people started getting cold, they brought out lovely pashminas to keep us warm.

The next day we drove back to Mountain View and set up for Gina and Lauren's birthday party.  We grilled burgers, hung out, and talked about Arnar and Solveig's beautiful kids.  Best of all was the pink and rainbow unicorn pinata that Gina brought.  Arnar and Solveig's kids got a chance to hit at it, and so did I, but Gina beheaded it in one mighty blow.

It was a great party.  We were pretty tired at this point, but Mom, Ash, and Scottie still had the energy to go to Santa Clara for a professional women's soccer game.  Mom got to see Marta Vieira da Silva, her soccer idol, whom Mom says is the best woman soccer player in the world.

Meanwhile, Dad and I both took a nap, while Will played Wii Cheer with Gina, Vishal, Vivian, and Anthony. The game was on the Wii and was Gina's new birthday present.  Hopefully we'll get some videos up at some point  :)

Then we closed the day with ... Go Kart racing!  We were all pretty tired, but immediately perked up when we saw the go-carts.  Whizzing around the track was great fun, and Albert scored in the 99.77th percentile of all racers ever at the Go Kart place.

Today we went to Joanie's for breakfast, had a quick tour of Stanford to show Scottie, and said good bye.  What an amazing time!  It was such a treat to have a birthday party with Mom, Dad, Ash, Scottie, Will, and Gina all there.  I only wish Grammy, Grampa, Kung Kung, and Shirley could have been there as well.  Hopefully another draft of this post will go out, with pictures this time!


Love, Lauren