Sunday, August 19, 2007

August 20

Last day of the honeymoon! So sad!

At one point the day before I had written out instructions on how to get to Korbel, as the plan was to hit Korbel and then Iron Horse and head to Oakland. It may not have been a coincidence that I wrote down the instructions that led us straight past the hamburger shack (Taylor's Automatic Refresher in St Helena, the whole town looked oh so cute) that we had been to the day before (Mike needed a cheeseburger after all that horrifying mud, and I'm not one to turn down the prospect of a chocolate milkshake). The food all looked so good that I wanted to try it again when I was actually ready for a meal, instead of just for a snack.

Waiting YEARS for my chili dog to be ready... Hello, bra strap!
Usually I don't eat onions around Mike, but for this I made an exception. My chili dog, Mike's cheeseburger, my onion rings, and his fries all lined up deliciously.
I didn't make it all the way through that chili dog, but I conquered the onion rings. As a side note, this meal was $25. This place is making a KILLING.

After getting lost and taking more than a few wrong turns, we were running dangerously behind schedule and decided to hit up Iron Horse first. Like Bella, this place was in the middle of nowhere, CA. Iron Horse made the jeroboam (3 liters) that my Dad bought for the wedding, so seeing it was kind of special.

Jeroboams, everywhere

They must drink alot of bubbly around these parts
The Iron Horse tasting room was an outside wooden bar overlooking the Sonoma countryside, and was so beautiful. We both decided that the guy serving the tastings, Damon, had a pretty good gig - serving wine in beautiful weather in shorts and a t-shirt. He said it got a little chilly in the winter, but other than that he liked his job. Everyone at this winery was ridiculously nice. We started talking about our wedding champagne, and next thing you know, Damon was giving us a free gift of wedding cuvee. He was so fun and great to talk to and the bubbly was SO GOOD. They call their wedding cuvee the "swiss army knife" of sparkling wines, as it was intended to be liked by people with all kinds of palates. They are right, too, it's sweet but not overly sweet and a bit dry but not too much so. It's the perfect wine to serve at any occasion where there are different types of people. I would highly recommend it for your next party or wedding!
We also inquired about the price of a jeroboam for Katie's wedding, but the new wedding cuvee only ages optimally around 3 years, so we figured we would wait until she got engaged for that one. Ours was a Brut champagne, but they no longer make that in the jeroboam.
After Iron Horse, we dropped by Korbel for a little tour and tasting. The woman at the information booth told us a bit about the Korbel family history: mainly that they didn't originally make their fortune from wine, but from all the redwoods that were cut down on the property. She told us that the redwoods on their property were just babies (2nd growth) and that to see the big guys we should stop by Armstrong Woods down the street on our way out of town.

Our tour guide, Scott, seemed to not be very enthused at all with his job, but it was a fun tour nonetheless. Interesting, kind of janky and corporate-ized, but fun. These huge wooden casks are still in the basement only because they are too large to fit out the door. No other reason.

After doing a complimentary tasting and learning that Korbel makes more than that cheap 7.59 champagne at the Jewel Osco, we were all bubblied-up and ready to see some redwoods.

We even found a road that lead to the top of a nearby large hill/baby mountain. Mike corrected me when I called another mountain a baby mountin, saying that smaller mountains are older because they have had longer time to be worn down. To-may-to, To-mah-to. I say "baby mountain" to indicate it's smaller, not younger. As in, "Look! It's just a little guy!"

While we were there, we had to do a little redwood hugging...

And pose with Colonel Armstrong. 310 feet tall! HOLY COW.

While we were at the park, I kept asking Mike "How do hippies get up in those trees?!?" Because the darn things have no branches for the first, I don't know, hundred feet. Seriously, when an activist climbs up a redwood to prevent it from being cut down, how does that work? Mike says there is climbing gear for that, but it still seems like it would be really difficult.
Anyways, after that we just headed for Oakland, stopping in Petaluma for Thai food along the way. Can you believe I got Mike to eat sushi AND thai all in one week? I mean, he ordered pizza to the hotel afterward each time, but still....