Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Vist in West Sacramento, California

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

Miss Taffy

Taffy and Bucky, wrestling with the ball


Pensive puppy

Whose ball is it, anyway?



Feeding frenzy

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! 


  1. Hey, this was fun. I thoroughly enjoyed this, Carmen. Beautiful kids!

  2. Anonymous4:49 AM

    Lovely post, Carmen, and have fun on your cruise!

  3. Anonymous6:26 AM

    Thanks for sharing such great photos. YOur son and soon to be daughter in law are beautiful. Loved the pictures, I bet the wedding is going to be fAB!! cannot wait for the photos. I feel as I read and view your posts I am travelling to places I have never been and may never get to see, but with you I can.. SMILES./ I googles the oasis of the seas, as My daughter has friends that dance on these cruise ships, this one looks breath taking. WOW!! How nice they gave you two free days.. ENJOY!! your time.. Have fun. see you when you get back

  4. Alex and Laura are adorable together. I love the reflection river scene and that pirate ship. These are great shots Carmen and I'm glad you had a good time.

  5. Wow, where to start.
    1. you son is so handsome and his fiance looks very friendly and gorgeous too!
    2. My other-mother (we adopted each other when I was 30) gave me her set of the Wedgwood Wild Strawberry, I love it! Every time I use those I think of her and smile.
    3. Your date at the Tapas restaurant was one hot tamale!
    4. Enjoy your cruise, sounds like a relaxing respite.
    5. Can't wait for the corn recipe. THANKS!
    Bon Voyage!

  6. I so enjoyed this post Carmen, you have a lovely family....enjoy your cruise, sounds like so much fun.......:-) Hugs

  7. Willow, they are terrific kids..I will be so
    happy to add a daughter!

    Icy, I board the Oasis tomorrow - in the
    meantime, I had dinner last night, and lunch
    today, at Tutto Pasta - fabulous. Tonight,
    Claire and I will go to Zucchero, Jucca's
    other( new ) Miami restaurant. I haven't
    seen him yet as he spends most of his time

    Inky, so you already know what a fancy ship the
    Oasis is - a bit large for me..but I'm glad
    to be one of the first ever to experience
    her. If you watch "Good Morning America"
    tomorrow morning early, they'll broadcast
    from the ship before we board. I'll be out
    of touch, I think, till Sun PM. Internet on
    the ship is too expensive!

    Poetic Shutterbug, I didn't know the Sac River
    did pirate ships! I wonder if they serve
    rum on board. Now if they just play Sony
    Holland, I might go for a sail!

    abby jenkins, I am taking that Gulliver's corn
    to my son's for Thanksgiving so I won't
    forget you! Now you can think of me, too,
    when you use that Wild Strawberry. I think
    it is so beautiful. I am a nut for straw-
    berries. My whole bedroom is covered in
    them - crewel, cross stitch, decoupage, and
    all kinds of collectables, etc.

    Bernie, a big hug to you, too! I probably won't
    get another blog out till Sunday evening's
    the Oasis of the Seas!

  8. love seeing what you get up to. really? $15 for a corkage fee... why does that depress me? besos- and have a wonderful time!

  9. It is wonderful autumn scenery.
    Colors are vivid.