Our trip to Napa California wine country

My sister invited me to join her tennis group,eight ladies counting me, on a wonderful girls trip to Napa and San Francisco, California.  We began our journey on a Thursday where we flew into San Francisco and traveled into Napa where our first adventure began at Domain Chandon.  The group, with the exception of me, likes Champagne and this place has some of the best. It was a beautiful setting and while they sipped on the bubbly, I roamed around and took some photos.  After that we made our way to a lovely house we had rented that had a pool and backed up to a vineyard (can I just say really wonderful setting).  My flight was very early and I was on central time, so by the time we made it the house, I was ready for bed.  Since we had a full few days ahead, I did not want to begin sleep deprived.  We had many activities planned including the rental of a limousine where we tasted at four different wineries – we determined driving would not be a good idea since we were all going to imbibe.  Some tennis was played (this was a tennis group after all – I on the other hand don’t play.  Again, some photo taking time for me). We shopped, we ate, a lot, and we drank, a lot. On Sunday we had brunch plans at a french restaurant in Yountville named Bouchon.  While trying to decide on which dish I wanted, the server was telling us about the wine selections.  My favorite wine is a Chardonnay and she described this one as having a buttery flavor and a hint of oak. Great!  My favorite!  I heard her say the wine was $25.00 a carafe.  Wow!  I thought, that sounds great.  That is the perfect blend of flavors I like in a wine so I ordered a glass.  It was so good, I ordered another glass.  The food was a bit expensive, but I could see that on the menu.  It was truly wonderful food.  Then the bill came.  Well, my hearing was off, because it was not $25.00 a carafe, it was $25.00 a glass – and I had two!! That is the most expensive wine I have ever had.  And the worst part is I don’t even know the name of the wine so I can impress someone with casually mentioning I had a couple glasses of ????I Oh well, I was on vacation wasn’t I?  When I got home and was telling my husband the wine story, I mentioned only the one glass.  Sometimes he thinks I don’t listen well, and I saw no need to confirm that thought.  All in all it was a wonderful trip, and I appreciated my sister asking me to tag along.


Chihuly Nights Denver Botanic Gardens

It was a beautiful fall night at the Denver Botanic Gardens.  It was just warm enough and I was viewing with a good friend.  The photos look like there was much more daylight than there actually was.  The Pentax K3 did a great job with the low light, because I did not use any flash, but did use a tripod.

After our first circle of the gardens, we had a nice snack at the outdoor patio with a table that overlooked the pond with the purple spires.  The first photo was taken from our table.  I really love the photo of the bee habitat with the green ceramic pot in it.  The wood structures were built with solitary bees in mind with bamboo pieces and blocks of wood with holes drilled so that solitary bees could make their home in them.  I think I will have to make one of those for my yard.  Pat and I might make this a fall/winter craft project.  What a creative idea for making habitats for little creatures that looks good wherever you might place it.  I love to steal other people’s very creative ideas.  We all need to do our part to help keep a healthy bee population.  Solitary bees are easy to make room for, it does not have to be bees that live in hives.  A little less pesticide, a little more consideration of what will allow bees to grow in population so we can continue to have the volume and variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers that we all love.

As it got dark, many of the sculptures were beautifully lit, so well lit that they were hard to photograph with my meager skills.  Our botanic garden is just so well done, such a lovely place to spend an evening.  The gazebo shown in the photos with the green roof would be a great place to have an afternoon tea party,  a birthday party or just a cozy lunch with friends.

Once I am retired, there are very interesting classes offered by the garden that I would love to take.  This garden is a real testament to why we need green spaces in our urban centers because there is something so intrinsic about being close to living, growing green spaces with all the variety of natural beauty that can be maintained in a small space.