Monday, June 29, 2009

From Bathing to Bodega to Biscotti

Girls' Trip to Napa

Day 3: Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's SPA DAY! Lo & I brought our robes from the hotel because I was confused about the whole robe situation. We ended up using the ones at the spa, which were different because they had hoods. We had arrived early for our appointments, so we took a look around, placed our belongings in our lockers, and sat in the jacuzzi outside. A water aerobics class was taking place in the pool, and we couldn't go into the special Watsu pools because somebody was receiving their Watsu massage there. We were glad that we didn't choose that particular treatment, because anyone in the spa could watch you since it's outside.

When it was about time for our massage appointments, we slipped out of our bathing suits and went into the bath house. When we got there, we were advised that do the Bathing Ritual, which included a scrub shower, then sit in the jacuzzi, then the mineral pool, then the steam room, then the sauna before our massage. Well, we didn't allow time for that, nor did we have our bathing suits anymore because they were in our lockers. I wish that we had been told about the Bathing Ritual timing when we made our appointments, but I guess we were asking way too many questions anyway and perhaps our receptionist got distracted. Anyway, this was not the place for us to walk around nude, since this spa, unlike the one I'm used to, was co-ed. So we opted to just sit for awhile & munch on a little snack so that we wouldn't starve until lunch time.

My masseuse was Soledad. Lo & I had both chosen the Personalized Aromatherapy Massage, which was on special this month. Soledad had me complete a questionnaire while my feet were soaking. The questionnaire asks how I'm feeling at the moment, as well as what I'd like to feel like after the massage. I ended up choosing "Restorative," and Soledad blended together scents of Sage, Rose & Lavender. We then went upstairs and I received my massage and aromatherapy. Aaaaahhhh. The only problem I had was that my nasal passages were acting up, and when I was lying on my stomach with my face in the face cradle, I kept thinking I needed to sneeze or something, but the feeling always went away whenever there was a break in the massage process. Otherwise, it was very, very nice. When Soledad was finished, she advised me to be careful when getting off the table, and I'm glad she did, because my legs were kinda jelly-like, and I could have really fallen down hard if I had just gotten up without thinking about it.

As I was walking down the stairs, Krina was walking up the stairs with her masseur. Mo was already in the mineral spring. Soledad had recommended that I sit in the steam room for awhile, so I went in there and almost suffocated when the lavender-scented steam rushed in. Then I was hungry and went for the snacks again, which were baked veggie snacks, and had some tea. Later on, when Mo, Lo and I went into the steam room together, and Mo had the idea of placing our faces in the chilled washcloths, which really did help me breathe better, although it was awkward to talk to each other through the washcloths. Eventually, though, I couldn't take the steam anymore, and sat in the dry sauna for awhile. Mo & Lo joined me for a moment, but I think that I enjoyed it more than they did. I then went back to my locker to put my bathing suit back on, and joined Mo & Lo in the jacuzzi and pool. I did try the grapeseed scrub shower for a bit with my bathing suit on, which was awkward. Mo left, but Lo and I stayed until K came down to join us, and we marveled at our wonderful time. We figured that Mo was probably hungry, as were we, so Lo & I went back to the lockers to shower and get dressed for the day. I should not have used whatever gloss stuff they had available for the hair. Or I shouldn't have used so much of it, because my hair was just blech for the rest of the day.

We had lunch at Big 3, and Lo gave me the evil eye. I can't remember why she did that, but I'm sure I said something wrong, as usual. Funny thing is that Mo, Lo and I all had some kind of eye problem during the day after that. Mo had allergies, Lo's eye was really red (we think it was the pressure on her face during the massage, but who knows?), and I had a stye or something on my eyelid. OK, maybe it wasn't so funny as it was a little bit eerie. Lo cursed us, man! K & I both had the All-day breakfast (of course, because this is Sherry we're talking about, here) and I had some iced tea with lemon-flavored syrup. That was interesting-tasting.

After gulping up all of our food, we were ready for more wine tasting. K belongs to the wine club at Chateau St. Jean, so we needed to go there anyway to pick up her wine club selections.

*2007 Pinot Blanc Robert Young Vineyard (honeydew melon, toasty vanilla)

*2007 Chardonnay Cold Creek Vineyard – I convinced Mo to buy this so I could come over & have it with her. Yes, I actually liked a chardonnay! Not enough to buy it myself, but enough to want it again.

2007 Pinot Noir Sonoma County

2005 Merlot Sonoma County

2005 Syrah Durell Vineyard

I didn't buy any wine here for myself. Something was wrong with me! Krina talked me out of coaster thong wine holders, which I thought were cute, but she just couldn't see them working for me. She felt bad that she talked me out of buying something, but friends don't let friends buy things that they'll regret as soon as they unpack them at home. :)

The courtyard had pretty arches, and we took lots of pictures under them.

Sher in her favorite pose

We then went to St. Francis winery, mostly because we were kinda feeling the Franciscan theme.

Our server, Augustine, was entertaining and handsome, so we were happy to stay there for awhile. :) Augustine joked that he built the building, painted the grape painting, started drinking at age 4, but doesn’t till the fields because he doesn’t want to work too hard. I don't think he was telling us the truth that whole time, though. ;)

Augustine & his painting

The Meat & Cheese pairing was not available that day due to private event held earlier in the day, so, of course, Mo would not stop talking about the cheese plate that we couldn't have. Mo loooovvveees cheese.

I opted for the Classic Tasting (free with Visa Signature) which had all wines available through retailers.

*2007 Rose Sonoma County (crisp acidity, honeysuckle)

*2008 Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County (nice summertime wine with notes of cut grass, citrus rind & grapefruit pulp)

2005 Merlot Sonoma County (spicy herb & vanilla, black fruit) Winemaker Tom Mackey was named Master of Merlot

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County (black cherries, dark chocolate, spicy oak)

2005 Claret Sonoma County (Richness, backbone, cassis)

* Free tasting of 2003 Reserve Kings Ridge Vineyard Sonoma County (bought) YUMMMM! K bought a bottle for herself as well.

After making our purchases, we went outside on the back patio and enjoyed the scenery of our last full day in Sonoma.

K & Sher at St. Francis Winery

You can't see them very well here, but in the gardens were some Metal alloy oscillating pinwheels. I wondered if they were daisies. It was just so pretty there that I took a picture with my cell phone and it is now my new wallpaper on my phone. As we sat around and chatted, I arrived at my new pickup line: “I’ve decided there’s only one thing wrong about you. You don’t have me yet.” (Yeah, like I actually talk to people).

Out in front of the winery was a really pretty tree, which K climbed. I thought of doing the same, but chickened out. Perhaps if I had been as drunk as yesterday, I would have done it...and been in the hospital by dark.

K drove us around a little bit, and we saw signs leading to Bodega Bay, site of Hitchcock's movie “The Birds”. So we decided to check out some more scenery. APPARENTLY, Tippi Hedren is going to make a personal appearance on July 4 weekend. Darn. Missed it by *that* much.

Sher scaring away birds at Bodega Bay

Not actually by the bay, but inland, we took pics of the church & the schoolhouse shown in “The Birds”. Here is the church and the steeple, but there were no people. Except us.

After taking our pictures, we drove back toward St. Francis winery and decided to go to a nearby restaurant that was recommended to us: Café Citti Italian Trattoria. (Yes, we had thought of Sante for just one more time, but we needed a break). It was like a deli, where you order up front, and they bring the food to your table.

We all ordered Luca’s Garlicky Caesar (Slice of anchovy, lots of garlic bits). Mmmmm....garlic.

Our entrees were as follows.

Krina: Gnocchi with garlic cream sauce

Lo: Gnocchi w/Bolognese sauce

Sher: Linguini with White Clam Sauce made with wine, garlic & lemon

Mo: Mattagliati alla Citti -- Homemade Mattagliati pasta served with a tomato cream sauce w/sauteed pancetta and garlic (Mo ordered extra garlic, which I think she loves more than she loves cheese). Lo & I giggled as soon as she asked if they could add garlic to the dish when we were ordering our food.

Afterward, K and I ordered Homemade Almond Biscotti, which I had with Decaf House Blend. Mo & Lo had the Chocolate-dipped biscotti. Yes, they had chocolate, and I didn't order it. What the heck? Anyway, this was the BEST BISCOTTI I've ever had in my LIFE. I'm serious. I contemplated bringing some home to keep in the freezer, but then I'd actually eat it all, and that's just not good for me. It was soft, but not crumbly, full of almond goodness, and the perfect level of sweetness.


We closed the place down. The busboy noticed that it was Father’s Day and only women were at the table, & wondered aloud to us what happened. We told him that the fathers were spending the day with their kids.

We went back to the hotel and packed up Krina’s stuff with the wine. Lots of wine. The trunk was drunk. Since K had to work in the morning, we said our goodbyes to her and she went home. Mo hung out in our room for awhile before going back to hers.

What a strange day. I liked a chardonnay, I didn’t buy wine everywhere, I turned down chocolate, and I wasn’t drunk by 5:00. WTF? I guess that means that our vacation was winding down. Sadness. But at least my last taste of the evening was that wonderful biscotti.

Next up: Spending the day in Burlingame

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