the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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Still Alive, Having a Great Time

Just a quick note to let everyone know that we're still alive and well here on the left coast! We traveled without incident to the Oakland airport on Saturday, checked into our first hotel down by the pier in Berkeley, and hung out with Don for the day. Had a nice bit of pizza and wine at Jupiter that night, with a cool band playing some guitar-and-drum based jazz. Sunday we hit Scharffenberger and toured their factory--yum! That night was sushi at Tanaka, a new place in Berkeley that thoroughly rules. Monday we drove up to Sonoma, went to the Charles Schulz museum, and then went to two wineries and a champagnery on our way to Napa. Dinner in Napa was at Celadon, which was quite tasty. Tuesday was the wine tour in Napa, which was a total home run; our driver was also a vintner (winemaker) and the president of the American Food & Wine Association. He got us into some places that weren't otherwise open to tastings, as well as getting our tasting fees waived everywhere we went, and even getting us a discount on bottles at some wineries. We had a lovely day there (how can you NOT have a lovely day when you drink wine from 10:00 to 17:00??), caught dinner, and then drove down to San Francisco. Stopped at Battery Point to take some pictures, catching the very last of the sunset on the bridge. Then across the bridge to our downtown hotel. Today we rode the trolley from the Embarcadero down to the pier, took the ferry over to Alcatraz for a tour there, had lunch in Ghirardelli Square, and did some shopping in Japan Town. We are now just back from dinner at The Stinking Rose (all of their dishes strongly feature garlic) with Don and some of his friends. Tomorrow we'll ride the traditional cable cars, take the obligatory photos of Lombard Street, and go to the Museum of Cartoon Art and the Metreon (which has a Bandai Store--w00t!!). The plan for the Fourth is to ferry over to Angel Island for a picnic. Then that night we're back out to a hotel by the airport, since our return flight leaves at some horrible 6:30ish time.

Everything so far has been quite beautiful, and I have a ton of pictures which I'll upload when we get home. We're having a great time! (Don't you) wish you were here! :-)

More later. For now... Vacation totally kicks ass. 8-D

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