Most days, I wake up to work. Occasionally, I wake with a few hours left into the evening. But sometimes, I wake up with an excitement that is hard to measure in just words. For days, I've been reminiscing about that exciting day which happened more than two years ago. To me, it is one of the sweet memories that inspire me to continue exploring.
It was a bright and sunny morning in Vallejo, California but the breeze planted a kiss on cheek that was as cold as the air in my fridge. I went into my cousin's back porch which was overlooking a golf course. The scene looked like a photo out of glossy magazine.
Breakfast was quick since we had to travel north to Napa Valley where the vineyards are. I wasn't going to Italy, but I was hoping it would be something like it.
The first stop was at Sterling Vineyards. I was lucky to be around with my oldest cousin who planned out the tour herself. The tour began with a ride on the aerial tram. I felt so excited since it was my first. The vehicle was shaking but I moved around like a hamster who just got out of a cage. My cousin was thrilled that I didn't have fear of heights. The ride was very short and quick though.
It was winter and like any other plants in this region, it would have to shed its leaves to survive. So the vineyards were mostly brown patches where there was no grass. Nonetheless, the view was still breathtaking. Wine tasting came free with our tickets and so I tasted my first white wine. I remember it was sweet and I realized I still prefer red. There were a lot other choices in the menu but my cousin was the designated driver and I'm not so fond of wine so we decided to skip the rest.
We explored the architecture of the building and thought them to be a lot different from where I'm from. I don't have a very good eye for design but I appreciate the modern and classical feel the it had.
We continued driving until we reached the Culinary Institute of America. We did a quick tour inside. We were hoping to witness some cooking classes were ongoing but they weren't starting anytime soon. Our bellies were growling but time was also ticking so fast so we quickly took some photos and headed to the next stop.
The determination to explore was so high that we decided to have a quick stop at another winery along the roadside. The wine shop looked too interesting to pass up. As usual, we just took some photos and skipped wine shopping.
Finally, we reached V Sattui Winery. Cheese tasting was free and so we grabbed the opportunity. There were too many kinds and I opted to try a few. I couldn't even remember the name of the cheese I ate. I guess I was too hungry that I just wanted something down my throat.
I ordered a turkey and cheese panini which is basically just a sandwich by definition. The sandwich was so good that it puts me into a dreamlike state every time I recall it. But judging by the condition that I was so hungry that time, I couldn't be so sure now. The picnic area was right beside the breezy vineyards and there was no better way to spend a late lunch. It was actually very late that I had considered the meal to be my dinner as well.
The sky was starting to dim and so we had to drive back home. We stopped by the roadside for the final time just to get one closer look of the vineyards. As I played around with the camera, a flying V went past us. I raised my camera to the sky and pressed the shutter button quickly. It was the perfect way to end the day.
Location: Napa Valley, California, USA
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