July 23rd 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1

Woke up when Meher returned from taking Aneema to school – Val shot up and went to have a shower, and then we ate breakfast.  Bill called, and returned from work at about 10.30, since today we were driving up to the Napa Valley.  We swiftly got together some lunch, packed the van, and were off.  It was a pleasant enough drive, apart from when we went past a disgusting-smelling refinery or chemical works or something, but after Yosemite the previous weekend, was rather undramatic.  We stoppe4d at Mondavi winery, and first of all pulled up in the car park to have lunch – it had been impossible to stop anywhere else; all the land was private, and taken up by vineyards.  We joined onto a tour, then, the whole thing lasting about an hour.  First we took a quick look at the vineyard, thro’ the factory part of the place, and then on to the tasting room.  The tour was pretty interesting, and the guide was entertaining enough, tho’ we got the feeling he didn’t know all that much about everything.  In the tasting we sampled 3 wines – a rose (so-so), a red (fairly nasty) and a Reisling (nice.)  Bill bought a box, for Aneema, and Val a post-card, and then back to the van.  We drove on to Calistoga, to take a look from the car at some more of the valley.  We bought some ice-creams, and then turned round and drove back to SF.  We had to pick up Aneema from school at 5, tho’ in fact we didn’t get back till 5.30 or so – tho’ in fact it didn’t matter.  Home for dinner – more food! – a nice meal of ham and pineapple, and then we went round to a friend of Meher’s.  Some English friends of hers had left a car there once they had finished with it, so we went to look it over.  According to Meher, originally they had wanted $200 for it, but had recently upped the price to $400.  It was a Pontiac, and really wasn’t in such a bad condition (and the price dropped to $300 while we were there.)  We said we’d think about it.  Back home we sat and drank tea, and talked for a long time with Meher – about our family, about Dad – nice.  Bed late.

Not sure about the quality of my wine-writing: so-so, fairly nasty, and nice seems a bit limited.  Though I do think they were a pretty cheap operation if they only offered us three wines – on a similar expedition four or five years later, we were offered samplings of the full range – nine bottles or so…. At three different wineries.  Fortunately, it was our friend Tom who drove us – somehow or other.

My dad had died very soon before we set off, and so I had  had very little time to deal with this – and Meher was a very good listener.

  1. Pamela J Blair

    Glad you’re making it out of SF. Do you ever go down to Big Sur? It’s my favorite place and the beach is one of my favorite in the entire world.

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