My wife Anne and I went on one of those destination trips last week when we traveled to San Francisco and Sonoma County, California for our 40th wedding anniversary. It was a good trip. The airlines ran on time, we never got lost, and never did we feel unsafe.
Our biggest worry was renting a car and driving through San Francisco, which was no big problem heading north to Marin and Sonoma counties except for the crowded traffic. One stalled car close to the Golden Gate Bridge had cars backed up for miles. On our trip back into San Francisco, it was a bit more dicey. We had to drive downtown to the financial district to drop our luggage at a hotel and then return our car to the airport. That was a challenge.
Our next biggest problem was the 3-hour time change. By 7:30 p.m. PDT we were dead tired on that first day. That was 10:30 EDT, which our bodies operated on. But that gradually improved over the week and we quit waking up at 4:30 a.m. every morning.
While in the Wine Country, we traveled to Bodega Bay (where the movie “The Birds” was filmed), winding along curvy mountain roads that reminded me of North Carolina. From a cliff we saw the Pacific Ocean as best we could through a heavy, cold fog. While in Sonoma County we stayed in or visited the towns of Sonoma, Napa, St. Helena and Healdsburg. We visited several wineries and made a tour of the Robert Mondavi vineyard and winery to better understand the wine-making process. It’s a science, to say the least.
Our accents had most people guessing we were from Texas. Some were surprised when we told them we were Floridians, until we emphasized Tallahassee and the northern part of the state. But everyone was nice and accommodating. Of course, we were spending money with most of them.
In San Francisco we did the usual stuff that you hear about most people doing. We visited the Golden Gate Bridge, actually walking it from end to end. We saw Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, Lombard Street (curviest street in the world) and of course the colorful street cars clinging and clanging up and down the steep streets. We attended a bayside baseball game at AT&T Stadium and saw local favorite, here and in San Francisco, former FSU star Buster Posey play against Pittsburgh. As a bonus, we saw sailing teams from New Zealand and Italy battling it out in the bay to see who would face the American team for the America’s Cup trophy.
As always, it was nice to get back home. And after a couple of days of once again adjusting to the time ... not to mention the heat and humidity ... it’s like we never left town.