Thursday, May 19, 2011


It's easy to know you have a true friend when he is willing to meet you at the train station, miles from his home at midnight.  Don was there on time with a smile!

Day One - We started our visit with a bang!  An afternoon with Todd Taylor at the Sugar Mill in Clarksburg.  Todd makes the Zinfandel wine that Stanley and I think is about as good as it gets and he shared all his secrets with us that afternoon.  What a treat!

It was hard to plan any outing that would live up to the visit with Todd, but Don and Trish kept trying.  Here are some highlights:
A visit to one of my favorite retail garden shops
 The farmer's market

A drive through Gold Country, right past Sutter's Mill
 Lunch in Auburn.  What a great place for a sandwich and beer.  The view is outstanding.
 A visit to Molly's garden.  It's pretty much unlike any garden I know.  Thanks, Molly, for sharing with us.  You are a jewel!
And, then there were the wine tastings.  Harny Lane may be my new favorite Lodi winery.

This, however, is my new favorite Lodi wine maker.  It isn't every day that the wine maker plays classical music for his clients, but that's what we found at Heritage Oak.  Not only that, but the wine was excellent!

Of course, at the Lodi Visitor Center everyone is treated like family. 

We went house shopping in Walnut Grove.  The place was too much of a project for us to consider, but the little Chinese town of Locke made the trip worthwhile. 
And saving the best for last was my visit with Bobbie, one of my dearest Alaskan treasures.

The outings were wonderful, but the quiet times were just as good:  shopping at those wonderful grocery stores, cooking with Don, newspaper devouring in the mornings, and wine drinking at night.  It was a beautiful visit.