Saturday, September 13, 2008

A wondrful weekend

Well, the 50k didn't quite happen for Ed. Despite his great training and attitude, the over 100 degree heat didn't agree with him (that and the PB&J he ate before the race that refused to stay down). Even with feeling pretty miserable for most of the time, he completed 30k, which is pretty awesome. He reasoned that he wanted to enjoy his first 50k, and since that wasn't happening here, he'd try again later. While that post DNF depression hit a little the few days after, he's since signed up for PCTR's Santa Cruz race in the 27th of September and is just about to leave for an 18 miler on the race trails :) He feels much more confident running his 'home trails' (he's done pretty much all of his trail training over in Santa Cruz) and is excited about the river crossing(s).

Now, with the title 'wonderful weekend' you might be wondering where the DNF figures in. Directly from the race, Ed and I took off to celebrate our one year anniversary. Can you believe it's been over a year since we started dating? It's flown by as the most wonderful year I've ever had.

We decided to go up to Calistoga for a short romantic weekend (it's hard to even leave for 24 hours with all the work I have to do), but it was just perfect. We stayed at a bed and breakfast set in an 1890s farmhouse that had only 4 other guests.

Our sitting room

Our bedroom

Our clawfoot tub

The grounds

After resting and relaxing in the room with fresh squeezed lemonade, pistachios and cherries, courtesy of our B&B, we enjoyed a lovely evening out downtown.

(the view from our room)

The next day we did what you pretty much have to do in wine country - go wine tasting! We went to Sterling first, where you take an aerial tram ride up the mountain to the winery to taste 5 different wines.

Next was our favorite, August Briggs. This was a very small, personal winery, which is what made it so charming. After trying a few wines, Ed told our server (sommaelier?) that I was only beginning to like reds. The server warned me that I might not like the next one because it was very "full bodied". I tried it, and of course, loved it, and said so.

Those, apparently, were the magic words, as the man immediately invited us to try something in the back. He took us through the large class doors into a room filled, floor to ceiling with wine barrels. In this room, he allowed us to try 3 wines straight from the barrel! It was amazing. The last wine he let us try was the same wine as the last tasting wine, but a 2007 versus and 2005. We wanted us to be able to compare what the barreling does to the wine. Both Ed and I ended up liking the newer wine best, surprisingly. Apparently it is going to be a very good wine in a few years.

I felt like I learned a lot at that winery, including why wines are often described as having the flavors of different foods. The vanilla taste is from the oak barrels (which is why chardonnays, who spend more time in barrels, taste more vanilla-ey). The fruit flavors are because the grapes have in them certain chemicals that are are also found in those fruits.

Needless to say, we bought a lovely bottle of wine there, that will be saved for a special occassion.

Our last stop before home was a third winery V. Sattui (we had a coupon for free tastings there). It was the most crowded of the wineries, in part because you could have picnics there. We had a lovely snack of bread and cheese and salami (no wine, because we still had to drive home!).

A perfect end to our celebratory weekend :)


Jean said...

(Channeling my inner Homer Simpson) "!" :)

What a beautiful trip that must have been! It looks like you two had a fantastic time!

Rick Gaston said...

The 100 degree weather was probably the reason why that PB&J wouldn't stay down. Heat causes so much havoc but I'm glad he pulled back, he's totally right, no need to be miserable on your first 50k. It should be a pleasant memory:) Just training for his next one at the end of the month.

Congratulations on the anniversary! Great pictures.

The last time I was in Napa we ended up in Sterling. We were lost and I decided to take a chance on Sterling. We loved it; the tram ride, the informative tour, the wine, the patio and the gift shop where we bought some wine. We also ended up at V. Sattui for some food at the end of the day. So crowded in there but oh so yummy.

Journey to a Centum said...

It's good to get those DNF's out of the way early! They make you a better runner. Ed will have his day.

Looks like a fun weekend!


GandaMan said...

Glad you had a nice anniversary.

Tell Ed not to sweat the DNF. Better to ease back and run another day.

Take care, Addy.

Backofpack said...

A lovely weekend. Happy one year anniversary! I guess ol'Journey to a Centum didn't mention we are coming up on our 29th wedding anniversary - and it's been 34 years since our first date! We're celebrating with a 50k this weekend.

Rick Gaston said...

Just saw the notice on the ulra list. Happy Birthday!!!

Southbay Girl said...

What a wonderful weekend! I'm very jealous!

Sorry Ed's 50K didn't go as planned! I'm sure he'll do great in Santa Cruz!