California Vacation 2011 - Part Five
After a quick stop at Domaine Carneros, our next destination for the day would be Mumm Napa. They are a sparkling wine producer and offer tastings out on a picturesque veranda. The Ansel Adams photo gallery was another highlight to this unique place.
|The French Laundry restaurant|
|Courtyard at Andretti|
The Jacuzzi winery is right next to the Sonoma Valley airport so I drove us by to see if there was any airplanes we hadn't seen before on the ramp. A T-6 and Stearman were taxing out for rides as we pulled up. I was taking pictures when Walt, the owner of the Ryan ST we saw earlier in the week stopped to visit with me. We talked vintage airplanes for a few minutes before he went on his way. It is always good to meet the owners of the airplanes featured on my web site face to face.
|Walt Bowe's Ryan ST|
Once back at the Fairmont we saw that the pool side seating was quiet and fairly empty so we snagged our books and a notepad to go sit by the pool. There was a light breeze and the temperatures were coming down. We found some seats in the shade to enjoy being outside knowing that the Texas summer heat wouldn't allow much of this when we get home! Candice did some reading while I jotted down my notes to write up this trip blog. The sun light faded after about an hour so we turned in for the night. Our last night before returning home.
Our final stop on this California trip was the Livermore airport to see a gorgeous Spartan Executive. The connections I have made through my web page featuring Spartan Executives lead to a meeting being set to see Spartan Executive serial number 11. Steve Marini was gracious enough to take time out of his day to open the hangar for us to see his beautiful ship. He shared his story of seeing a Spartan at a young age and how he came to own a Spartan of his own. To say he is enthusiastic about owning a Spartan is an understatement! He gave us the full walk around tour and let me sit in the cockpit. Our visit was too short as I could have listened to Steve's stories all day! Take a look at the pictures below of his magnificent ship. Thank you, Steve, for your time. You have an amazing piece of aerial art! (Look for Steve and his Spartan on display at the Reno Air Races this September.)
|Steve and Dan|
The clock was ticking and now we needed to race towards SFO. It took awhile but our Prius finally got up to highway speed. We made it across the San Mateo bridge and slid right into the rental car return at SFO. Candice and I both let out a big sigh and breethed in our last deep breath of cool California air. Time to go home.
It has been about two weeks since we returned from our vacation. Texas has been on a hot streak with over 20 straight days with temperatures over 100 degrees. You can imagine that my wife and I have mentioned almost every day that we wished we were back in northern California where it is about 20 degrees cooler! Maybe next summer we can stay longer.
Links - see our Ryan and Spartan web pages at Another Time