Day 13 :: 2 February 2007 :: Pinole to Napa
Aka "Angel Island, Here We Come!"
So the drive over to Tiburon ended up being less chaotic than we'd expected, and we arrived with nearly an hour to spare before the ferry left. So we found a nice little café and had a light breakfast before making our way to the pier. There was a beautiful male yellow lab there that was making friends with everyone that walked along his pier. Such a fun, silly dog! Turns out he was owned by the people running the ferry. There were 7 of us on the ferry over to Angel Island, and we had an easy trip over, including seeing a harbor seal near the island.
Once we hit the island, we started walking along the perimeter road. Jenn wasn't feeling too hot, having caught the remnants of the cold John2 and his folks had been getting over a couple days earlier, so we weren't planning on going very far. I really wanted to go all the way around to the bunker where the castle would stand if Poltergeist: the Legacy was real, but I also didn't want to overtax Jenn, so we compromised and walked as far as we could within our timeframe to make the only ferry back to the mainland.
As we walked along the perimeter road, we got some lovely views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, despite the hazy ML in the bay. We were even escorted at one point for several hundred feet by a black tailed buck, who coincidentally disappeared when I mentioned the name Derek [Rayne, character from PtL]. We also saw three does a little further along, presumably from his herd, as well as seeing a harbor seal out in the water.
We ended up going to the first bunker just east of the west garrison for our picnic/stopping point. We had a lovely picnic with the food we brought with us, accompanied by a couple of ravens. We left them [and the local spirits] a few little food offerings, and disposed of all of our trash [including what we picked up along the road on the walk up] in the trashcans there. I pointed out where both the mine and the other bunker [and therefore the castle] were to Jenn. We were kind of bummed that we couldn't make it all the way over there, but we wouldn't have made the ferry if we tried. Thankfully, there were a few of the serpentine/sodalite stones along the road, so I didn't completely go without my favorite souvenirs. Perhaps we'll have to get a rock tumbler and I'll polish up some of my stones.
On the way back, Jenn got some sand and water from the bay for us and then we had an uneventful trip back to Tiburon. It was so good for my soul to go back to Angel Island again. I know it's kind of silly to be so attached to a place based on a TV show, but there's actually more to it than that. Angel Island feels very…safe to me, even with Jenn having the sensation of a cougar crouching in the grass on the hill behind us at one point. It's hard to explain, but suffice it to say I like being there.
Once we got back, we headed up toward Napa and our next motel. Along the way, I had a potty emergency and we stopped in at the winery visitor center in Sonoma. This was more than mere coincidence and quite a boon for us. We got postcards [duh! This should be a given by now] and found out that Jenn's favorite vineyard, Ravenswood, wasn't terribly far from where we were, so yeah we headed over there. Duh! It was a lovely trip thru the Sonoma Valley and Ravenswood was beautiful! We ended up finding a zinfandel that Jenn actually liked and a red that she didn't. There was also a lovely Muscat that we fell in love with. Jenn also learned that she's got a better palate for wine than she thought, and we learned how to describe the finish [aftertaste]. So Jenn bought the zin and 3 bottles of the Muscat [it was on sale], as well as a few other fun souvenirs. Of course, we can't forget the license plate cover for the front of the Tribeca.
And then we made our way over to Napa and our motel. The guy at the front desk totally cracked us up. When we mentioned going to my favorite winery the next day, he gave us a card that would allow us a free wine tasting of one of the "limited edition" wines. How frakking kewl is that? He also gave us a recommendation of a great restaurant for dinner, which was actually pretty decent [even if we got a bit lost getting there *g*]. And the 'net access? Fabulous!