It’s been a while since I have written, several things have kept me busy and I wanted to save up for the big #600 post.  It started when I decided to take my youngest son with me to San Francisco and then on to Hong Kong, a kind of ‘bring your kid to work day’. I booked the tickets, made plans for a day of touristy stuff in the bay area and confirmed that one of my friends was going to be there so we could take the kids to an ice skating rink.  You see, my #3 boy and daughter (he is 12, she is 10) skate competitively, synchronized teams, theater on ice and ice dancing.  His goal was to skate San Fran and Hong Kong.  I was happy to oblige.

The problems began a month before the trip when I ended up with a stress fracture in the my left foot, from too much gyming.  My trainer is a beast and had my old body doing jumps and squats and other inhumane forms of torture.  Why, oh why do I pay him for such treatment?  Anyway, I initially thought all would be fine by the time the trip rolled around.  I left my somewhat stinky boot at home, boarded our flight and headed west.  That night upon our arrival we were met at the airport by my friend and we headed downtown to take in some pizza before our public skate.  On the way I felt the need to have an emergency bottle just in case we got thirsty, a stop at the local quick mart yielded a decent Malbec for $12.  I carry a corkscrew at all times and some red plastic cups took care of the rest.  Jet (my son’s nickname) got to the ice and we opened the vino.

Day two was preplanned with a tour of Alcatraz followed by a Segway tour, by far the highlight so far. It’s amazing how natural those things are!  Funny thing is that my son rode the same exact Segway his brother rode nearly two years previous, out of 100 units that’s pretty weird.

Then it dawned on me that my foot really was not better.  A visit to the urgent care confirmed my fears.  Our Asian adventure was now going to be a Cali adventure.  A few calls, some internet time, map gazing and I had secured a car, hotels and a few sightseeing ideas for the next 4 days.

Our trip started with a drive to Santa Rosa so that Jet could visit the Charles Schultz museum followed by skating on Snoopy’s Home ice, he was so excited!

Our next day was insane…. We drove to the Sonoma airport and took a look around.  We made enquiries and ended up driving over to the Alexander Valley Vineyards, where we got a tour and I got to taste some very delicious wines.  I brought some home and will be reviewing them soon.  The people there were super nice and the free tour of their property and cellars was well worth the drive.

We returned to the Sonoma airport and toured the museum, which was stuffed full of old gems.  Next up was a 45 minute tour of the Russian River in a Cessna.  I made sure Jet got some stick time and he loved it!  Our pilot was a retired firefighter and was super cool.

We drove through the petrified forest to Calistoga where we ended up at Cosentino Winery.  Moxie and I had visited previously but I was unable to partake as I was working that afternoon.  This trip was different!  Cosentino makes outstanding wines that I have enjoyed for several years, tasting the full range was certainly a treat.  I ended up on the mailing list and just got my first shipment.

We trekked south from there to Santa Clara to spend the night enroute to the Monterey Peninsula.  We stared out the day at the aquarium nad did some sightseeing. Our hotel had a pool and jacuzzi so Jet got to buy a swimsuit and get wet.  That night we had dinner in Carmel and a friend’s restaurant, Lugano Swiss Bistro.  If you are in the area you must stop by and sample the Schnitzel or Fondue.  Both divine and worth a detour.

Our last full day and we headed back to the bay.  Our two attempts at different go-kart venues proved fruitless, but a trampoline experience was a close second.  Jet was all tuckered out and hungry for dinner.  We met friends in Burlingame for a leisurely evening meal and finished it off with some Nitrogen chilled ice cream, certainly a treat!

Our flight home was uneventful and we were both glad to be in our own beds, yet thankful of the great father/son week chock full of great memories.

The turning point

The turning point

When at Fisherman Wharf...

When at Fisherman Wharf…

Guess where?

Guess where?

Jet gets another rink under his belt

Jet gets another rink under his belt

My turn for fun

My turn for fun

A decent collection of Zins

A decent collection of Zins

The museum

The museum

Top Gunner

Top Gunner

The ride

The ride

The Russian River

The Russian River

Alexander Valley Vineyard

Alexander Valley Vineyard

The barrel room

The barrel room

Buddhist Temple high in the hills

Buddhist Temple high in the hills

Aquarium time

Aquarium time

Relaxing

Relaxing

Me, relaxing

Me, relaxing

Dinner at Lugano

Dinner at Lugano

Yup, it's cold

Yup, it’s cold

The same Segway both my boys rode

The same Segway both my boys rode

The traditional pose

The traditional pose

Touristy things to do in SF

Touristy things to do in SF

Our arrival into the Bay Area

Our arrival into the Bay Area

The photobombed proof of destination

The photobombed proof of destination

Jet and our friend's daughter

Jet and our friend’s daughter

The 'goods'

The ‘goods’

The Alcatraz Ferry

The Alcatraz Ferry

The Island

The Island

Self explanatory

Self explanatory

The tour

The tour