Friday, March 25, 2011

Wine Country with the Painters

My sweet family was here visiting for their Spring Break this past week. It was SO nice to have Grammy, Papa & Uncle Joe here every day for six whole days, though it went by too fast! The kiddos had a super time hanging out with their family, and it was so great to have fun together.

For the past two days we headed up to wine country to have a mini-vacation together. It had been a while since we toured the Russian River country, so that's where we headed. First stop: Santa Rosa. We visited an awesome spice shop, the candy store (see lollipops below), and a brewery.

We went wine tasting at DeLoach, a winery we had visited way back when Maddie was just a teeny little baby, in July of 2007. We snapped some pictures around the property. Sam was all about the "cheese:"

Maddie enjoyed "fishing" for algae in the small water feature and they both ran around burning off their lollipop sugar. We re-created one of our favorite Grammy-Maddie photos of all time:

March 2011

July 2007

They both have much more hair now. :)
And Grammy is strong, happy, and cancer-free. That's a very, very good thing.

After DeLoach we went to Harvest Moon, where the winemaker delighted Ben and my Dad with many more tastes than their fee was supposed to cover. I started feeling sort of yucky so I hung outside with the kiddos while they explored the property (thank goodness for a break in the rain!)

We spent the night in Windsor, where the kiddos enjoyed their very first same-bed sleepover. It was BEYOND exciting for Maddie. You can sense her extreme giddiness in the photo below:

Amazingly, it went off without a hitch. They both fell asleep quickly and easily and slept through the night! Operation Sleepover was a great success! It was so, so sweet listening to Maddie as she whispered sweet words to Sam and couldn't stop kissing him. I glanced over by the light of my cell phone to see Sam all snuggled up between the pillows, Maddie holding his hand and kissing it over and over. Be still, my mama heart.

After a good night's sleep, we headed north up the river to Robert Young and deLormier. I was still not up to wine tasting, but deLormier was a real hit with everyone, as evidenced by the case of wine purchased within the family. Ben and my folks especially loved the Primativa, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cab. The kids especially loved the paintings of wildlife and the outside water fountain.

We snagged lunch at the Jimtown cafe. I'd love to live in Jimtown, wouldn't you? Beautiful landscape, cool trucks, good eats, tasty wine.

After lunch we stopped at Hanna, our final winery of the day. I snapped some photos and then snagged a semi-nap in the car while the fam tasted some final wines. Sam, Maddie and Ben all passed out asleep in the car on our way east to Calistoga

We headed over to Sonoma to see the mission and explore downtown. So fun. I've never been, but the town has a lot of character. Sam was so excited about his juice that he screamed "Ju! Ju!" throughout the mission until I finally brought him outside to sit and enjoy his martinelli's in peace. The big bench with the little guy made me think of Edith Ann. (What's not to love about Lily Tomlin, by the way? This sandwich clip is the one I remember most.)

History was most exciting in the form of jungle gyms. The kids climbed all over an old cart and through an oxen yoke. Good times, good times.

After hitting some much-unanticipated, frustrating flooding and detours, we were forced to stop for dinner. The Boon Fly Cafe, one of our all-time favorite breakfast places, served up a filling, delicious dinner. Kobe beef burgers, chicken and waffle specials, flatbread pizzas. Need I say more?

The adventures are always worth the craziness. The kids were fantastic, it was great to hang out as a family, and the food and wine were amazing! Thanks Russian River! Thanks family for the fun times! We miss you already.


bonnieb said...

So happy for all of you! Sounds great. Sorry you had tummy troubles. yuck

mel @ the larson lingo said...

What fun! So glad you were able to have a mini vacation to wine country with all your family! Sorry you weren't feeling well!