Scott and I were lucky enough to travel to the San Francisco area and Yosemite this past January. It was a whirlwind of a trip, but so worth every moment. We are planning to visit the areas again, but it will be a while.
Getting up extra early on Saturday, January 16, we were taken to DFW airport to catch a plane to San Francisco. Neither Scott or I had flown in a while so it was a new experience since so many things had changed. One of the biggest changes has been security. It was an experience to say the least, but not as horrible as we have heard. This doesn’t mean every pass through airport security will be easy, but for it being our first time we found it to be less horror story and more “oops, sorry, we’re new to this.”
Once we blundered our way through the security area, we were able to find coffee and food. Then we sat ourselves down near our gate and waited patiently to be called for boarding. Soon we were called to board, found our seats and stowed our carry on and backpacks. We were lucky enough to have a window seat and next to each other. Scott was ready to take some morning light photos from his window and enjoy a short two and a half hour flight into LAX.
Our layover at LAX was just long enough to get some lunch (breakfast was small) and then sit near our gate and wait. We were lucky enough to not have to wait too long and were were quickly on our way to San Francisco Airport. I had forgotten how beautiful it was to see the mountains, rivers and lakes from thousands of feet above. It was amazing. We were able to see snow covered mountains, the Hoover Dam, and the ocean. Unfortuantly it was raining in San Francisco so the closer we approached the bay area, the more clouds there were. This caused us to not be able to see the San Francisco skyline as we approached; all we saw was water from the bay and the guiding lights then the runway.
We were met by our friend Barbara who had a wonderful afternoon planned for us. She drove us to a very pretty area called Gate Vista Point in Belmont (The photos at that link are not ours, they belong to Robert Gourley). Everything was so green, purple and blue! Explaining this wasn’t always the case, she told us about the rain and how wonderful it was to have in the California region.
Once we took the appropriate tourist photos, we piled back in the warm car (it was extremely chilly) to be driven to a winery she loved to visit. Along the drive we saw mountains, trees, and did I mentions mountains? Apparently this is a very mountainous area with twisty, turny roads. It was beautiful, but she assured us there was more to come as we neared our turn onto to Montebello Road in Cuppertino. The road twisted this way and turned that way all while going up, up, up. We passed cyclists riding up the road and I found myself in amazement of their bravery to cycle up such a steep incline AND along side the edge of the road that went down, down, down. Suddenly this narrow two lane road turned into a very narrow one lane road still twisting and turning showing some of the most fantastic views I have ever seen to this point in our trip.
We finally reached our destination, Ridge Vineyards. It was truly a relief to get out of the car and stretch knowing we were on level ground. Both Scott and I took a few moments and tried to breath in the view while taking as many photos with his camera and my phone as possible. This vinyard is only the second vineyard Scott and I had been to so we were not exactly sure what to expect. We were able to taste many of their locally grown wines and I am not a red wine person, but it was some really tasty stuff! Their best wine was the 2012 Monte Bello, well worth the money!
Once we finished the wine tasting, we started down the long, winding road. I was so nervous but Barbara was very good at driving this road. She took her time and didn’t care what the crazies behind us wanted. The rain had cleared up a bit so we were able to see San Jose and Sunnyvale in the distance.
We headed to the San Jose house we would call home for the next week and a half. I was shocked when Barbara explained we were in the middle of the Silicon Valley! For some reason I thought it would have been more flat and industrialish. I am not sure who laughed the hardest, Scott or Barbara. Silicon Valley was so beautiful and I had just seen the tip of the San Francisco Bay Area; there was so much, much more Wowing to come.