Low light in the Cakebread Cellars in the Napa Valley this afternoon meant a very shallow depth of field and an equally grainy appearance to my photo today. Iíve now done 731 days of my photo diary Ė thatís a full two years as we had a Leap Year last year. I've never missed a single day - not even when I went into hospital or when I was ill.
What better way to celebrate this than with a tour of the Napa Valley in a stretch limo with Jeanne, Tony and DM? What a day! Iíve never been in anything so decadent as a stretch limo before. Iíve never been in California before and Iíve never been wine tasting in the Napa Valley before either so itís firsts all the way. If Jeanne had been able to arrange me a 57 Bel Air instead then this would have been the only possible way of making it a better day out.
The sun shone down on us all day as we meandered around the valley, dipping into three vineyards Ė two for wine tasting and a third to go and see a Tucker. (An extremely rare car made in 1948 for anyone who has never heard of themÖ..and that included me until this afternoon.) They only made fifty of them and one is in Francis Ford Coppolaís vineyard, in an upstairs room(!) Ė DM was in his element Ė he photographed it, smelled it and even managed a sneaky fondle when no-one was looking, taking great care not to scratch it or otherwise cause it harm of course!!!
Our intrepid tasters were sipping from a $95 bottle of special Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon and declaring it positively delicious, (complex, dusty and with VERY loooooooooong legs) while Jeanne and I got competitive taking shots so we can enter the vineyardís annual photography competition.
Later our guide took us into the winery itself so we could see the fermenting bins and the final product being labelled and boxed ready for sale.
Lunch was a toasted sarnie, olives and kettle chips while we sat in the sunshine in front of a wonderful deli. If it hadnít been for the fact that we canít take food home, Iíd have spent serious money on stuff from there Ė Iíve not seen such a well-stocked deli so full of interesting stuff since I left Oxford.
Itís been a fantastic day Ė what could be better than a day filled with sunshine, wine and great company? Why did we end up here, in this land of sunshine and hippydom? One reason and one reason only Ė PotD. No PotD, no Jeanne or indeed any of the folks we have met this weekend. So it seems extremely appropriate that we are here now celebrating this event. David finished his second year ten weeks ago and now I make it to the end of mine too.
The Californian leg of our whistle stop tour of the USA is reaching its climax and we head off tomorrow to see our Lara in a bitingly cold NYC (-7į C in the daytime is forecast for Wednesday). BBBBbbbbbrrrrrrrrrrr. Good job we packed lots of warm clothes as well as all our floaty, hippy, warm weather gear!
A year ago I was holding rainbows.
A note to my family and friends - if anyone wants to get hold of me, for now pbase is the only way - the tri-band phone doesn't work after all and for whatever reason I can't access my home emails. So, if anyone needs me, let me know via my guest book and I'll find a way of getting in touch.