13.01.2012 - 13.01.2012
The one shortcoming of our wonderfully located San Francisco apartment is that there is no weekday >2hr street parking in the vicinity, so we decided to hit the road for the last day of the work week. The Jelly Belly Factory is about an hours drive away so that was our morning destination, and the Napa Valley our afternoon destination.
We managed to find our way courtesy of the obligatory GPS, and were all just a little excited (Will more than just a little!) to arrive at the factory just in time for a factory tour. (They run constantly I think.) A very interesting hour or so (98 flavours, and around 20,000 jelly beans made per minute) which culminated in a salivating splash in the Jelly Belly store. Significant damage was done as we sought to make the most of the 5 for the price of 3 Jelly Belly Flop (seconds) 2lb bags (it doesn't warrant converting to kgs - you will be disgusted!) and an assortment of other bits and pieces for the kids friends back at home. Luckily we had the "truck" to carry it all - would have been a tight fit in anything smaller!
We were thrilled to get a call from Sam just as we were leaving, to hear that he has arrived back at Lane Cove from his trip, safe and sound and with the house in good order. We miss not having him with us, but know he had a wonderful experience with his friends in Mexico, Belize, Vegas and LA.
The afternoon was then spent cruising through the vineyards of the Napa Valley with an afternoon tea break in a beautiful little town call St Helena. Very picturesque with lots of boutique stores (too expensive to buy in!) - reminded me a bit of an upmarket version of Greytown. There were some amazing homesteads but we passed on any of the wine sampling opportunities. Too much concentration needed keeping directions and staying on the right side of the road! (In fact drove past a nasty head-on on the way back.)
We arrived back via the Golden Gate Bridge as a lot of locals looked to be heading out of town for their long weekend - Martin Luther King day on Monday.
We are looking forward to leaving the car behind tomorrow and tramming down to the waterfront for the day. It will be a relief for me not to be driving, and to be honest I think an even bigger relief for Brig not to be sitting in the front seat with me driving!
It has not been unusual in our travels to see down-and-outers with placards asking for money begging homelessness etc., and or the odd "honest" one asking for drinking money. Nothing unique in that and certainly not peculiar to the U.S. We were more than a little amused yesterday however in our wanderings around this area, to see a slightly older bloke standing still and silent with his placard in a street mall - completely and utterly stark bollocky naked. Everybody else seemed to be going about their business in the vicinity as if nothing was amiss.( I suspect only in San Francisco.) We had walked past him from behind, and I wasn't brave enough to turn around and read the placard to be honest. I asked Brig if she had, and she confessed to having turned around - but not to having read the placard!! (In her defense she initially thought he was a statue.)
Dad/Pa, we are all thinking of you and wish you a speedy recovery. You know you will be in good hands when you arrive home tomorrow.