What a weekend! I kind of still can’t believe how beautiful it was. We had a fabulous weekend, and I hope you did too. I started mine with a terrible, horrible, no-good 22 mile run. It was raining, which normally doesn’t bother me, but I was just achy all over. My knees and hips hurt the worst, and I was a little bummed, feeling like my body wasn’t ready. That is, until I ran up the three flights of stairs to our condo and saw my training shoes outside the door where I left them after my last run. I looked down at my feet and realized I was wearing really old running shoes, which completely explains all the pain. It didn’t make it any better for that run, but it made me feel a lot better about my fitness level. Crazy how much running shoes affect every single part of your body. My spine hurt that night!
Saturday we were up and at ‘em to watch Ireland lose to England in rugby, had a family barbeque, went grocery shopping and had an early night re-watching Shutter Island. And Sunday we spent the day with my father-in-law. He’s visiting from Ireland, and we celebrated his birthday at Alma Nove yesterday afternoon. It was delightful.
It’s my birthday week, so I am feelin’ pretty good today. The big day is tomorrow, and even though I am going to be 32, I still really love birthdays. Getting older is a gift that not everyone gets, and I have had it pretty good in life. I will be celebrating all week!
It’s no secret that I love Northern California, and I hope you all aren’t tired of posts about Sonoma and Napa. I have a recipe coming tomorrow, I promise.
But, for now, I am going to take you to Sonoma on our journey from San Francisco International Airport. We rented our car, quickly made our way through Golden Gate Park, and were on the majestic Golden Gate Bridge before we knew it.
Sonoma isn’t far at all from San Francisco, and we have come to know the drive very well over the years. We toyed with the idea of stopping for lunch right outside of San Francisco, but we wanted to be in Sonoma as quickly as possible so we kept going. One amazing sign of spring in wine country, fields of mustard, paint the whole valley yellow.
Our first stop was one of our wine country favorites, Gloria Ferrer, It’s one of the first wineries you encounter on your way, and the sparkling wine and views are pure bliss. Below was the view from our place on the patio.
Gloria Ferrer produces a range of sparkling and still wines, and I love them all, but I love bubbly the most. I went with a glass of their Anniversary Cuvee which offers that lovely, toasty brioche nose I love, with flavors of lemon and lots of bubbles.
We made some new friends from the Bay Area while we sipped, and the heat and lack of food caught up with me pretty quickly. Our tablemates suggested that we head across the street to Cornerstone Sonoma to grab a bite since it was the closest place to buy food. I was grateful for their advice; when I get hungry it gets ugly pretty quickly!
Cornerstone is a complex that combines wine, food, and art with relaxing indoor and outdoor seating areas. Meadowcroft tasting room greets you to one side as you arrive. We skipped tasting because food was my #1 priority.
Cornerstone was pretty empty, and we got to order and sit down in the shade with water pretty quickly.
Since we had dinner plans in Napa a couple of hours later, we split a pulled pork sandwich with pickles and cole slaw and a side of potato salad. Paired with a Blue Bottle iced coffee and lots of water, it woke me right up and made my hunger pains go away.
Lunch gave us renewed energy to explore Cornerstone’s sculpture gardens. They’re free to the public, and you can spend hours there checking out the various pieces of outdoor art work, in addition to indoor galleries.
Wine country was everywhere, from the surrounding mountains to the fences covered in grape vines.
The art was really fun, but I was kind of in vacation mode and didn’t take any notes on the artists.
One of the parts I loved the most was the actual garden, food as art
This area represents Tomato Mania. I love the idea of crops as art; they’re always changing, you have little control over them, and they can yield something beautiful and nourishing.
The sculpture garden also featured a children’s area with brightly colored bird houses, their very own grape vines, and play houses. It was really hands on and a fun way to be able to expose kids to art.
I loved these “rain clouds”; aren’t they pretty?
We really enjoyed our walk around Cornerstone Sonoma. After a long flight and lunch it was nice to stretch our legs out, take a little break from wine tasting, and to take in something new and fun. It made for a blissful afternoon!
How are you enjoying this blissful weather we are having?