This past Sunday, I decided to drive the hundred miles up to West Sacramento, CA to visit my middle son, Alex Vukasinovic, his lovely bride-to-be, Laura Winterhalter, and my two granddogs, Bucky and Taffy. I hadn't seen them in a couple of months and, though they will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in their new home, I was missing them. It was actually a nice drive, for a change. Somehow, I picked a time when there wasn't much traffic and I made the trip in a little under two hours and enjoyed a book on tape.
I had taken up a piece of my china and one of my mother's to see if Laura might like to have the set of either. She took mine. I am pleased since I rarely entertain anymore and I still have eight place settings of Wedgewood Wild Strawberry as well as my mother's china if the mood hits me to pull out all stops. I'll haul up the entire set of the china she chose when I go up the day before Thanksgiving. Also, I offered Laura either my set of sterling silver or my mother's service for eight. She chose my mother's. I think it is wonderful to have these special pieces continue in our family.
Since it was such a lovely day and both of the children were off, they decided to take me to Scribner Vineyards which is where they are going to be married in May. It is about fifteen miles from their home, along the Sacramento River. As luck would have it, a wedding was taking place so we couldn't visit. Instead, I suggested we go to Bogle Vineyards, nearby, whose wines I enjoy. We were able to do some tasting and had a nice afternoon.
The vineyards are turning brown now
There are very few leaves left on the trees
Hanging on till the bitter end
Laura Winterhalter and Alex Vukasinovic
The Bogle Winery cat
The Bogle tasting room and some of its awards
Lovely reflections in the Sacramento River
Another river scene
A modern day pirate ship!
Late afternoon shadows
Back at my son's house, we played with the dogs for awhile. I just love them now since they are not at all shy around me and seem to know I'm family. Taffy always jumps right up and sleeps with me and Bucky sleeps on his pillow by my bed. Of course, if the door to Alex and Laura's room is open, they abandon me in an instant!
Alex and his dogs
Taffy and Bucky, wrestling with the ball
Whose ball is it, anyway?
For dinner, we decided to try out a new restaurant in downtown Sacramento - Tapas the Town. We opted to share assorted tapas, rather than have a main course. All of them were very good but the wine prices were really outrageous! The corkage fee to bring your own was fifteen dollars so we just drank water and went home to drink our wine! It kills me that so many California restaurants charge such high prices for wines that are grown right in their own back yards. There was a very good Spanish guitarist which really added to the ambiance.
Me with Chris Rumble, Alex and Laura's delightful housemate
Some of the decorations at Tapas the Town
Laura and Alex
Carmen Henesy, Laura Winterhalter, Alex Vukasinovic
This gentleman played wonderful Spanish guitar for our enjoyment
I might not be online for the next few days! I fly out of San Francisco at 6AM tomorrow. Will spend tomorrow night at the Hyatt Regency Miami so I can eat at one of my favorite spots in the world, Tutto Pasta, a great little restaurant, with an Italian flair. The chef and owner, Joao Carlos
Olivera is actually from Brazil and his creations are unbelievable. I discovered this place years ago when I was cruising out of Miami and we've become friends. I never miss a chance to eat here! I'll have dinner there Wednesday night and probably lunch and dinner Thursday - though I must try his new restaurant and club, Zuccero, as well.
Friday, I am going to be the guest of Royal Caribbean in a balcony cabin on a two day cruise to nowhere on their new ship, the Oasis of the Seas. I was allowed to take one guest with me so a forensic nurse friend will be joining me. Its national debut will be on Good Morning American from 7 - 9A on Friday, November 20, 2009. We board a few hours later! It is very exciting to be among the first guests to sail on this mega ship, and for free! Even our drinks and gratuities are included. Thank you, Royal Caribbean. I have loved every one of my cruises with this company the past 14-1/2 years and this one proves to be just as wonderful!
Will let everyone know about it when I get back!