Road trip to Sausalito, San Rafael, Napa, Davis (Part2) 北加州一路玩(趴兔~)

The third stop of my road trip was Napa valley. Although I also have been to Napa with my family long time ago, I really didn’t have much memory about it. Last time I went to Napa valley was only reaching the south Napa and to spend a little time to taste a little wine in Domain Carneros Winery.

This time, I made my mind to go further north and spent a night to experience more in Napa valley. I first arrived in Napa city and would spend the night in Napa River Inn. Although it’s called an “inn,” the hotel is in a historical building and decorated delicately with a classical nostalgic ambiance.

Napa River Inn locates in the Napa city center, connecting the downtown. The downtown seemed rather new to me, perhaps it was a newly established community. I must say it was not very lively, and many stores seemed to close at dusk.
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My room in Napa River Inn was quite cozy. It’s not like the modern type of hotel but the warm color and floral bedding made me think of the Victorian era or the movie– Gone with the Wind. The room was of a decently spacious size.
P1040986 The reason that’s called Napa River Inn was because it’s on the bank of Napa River. Some of the more luxurious rooms got a nice view of the river. P1040991 P1040992 The complimentary breakfast was served in a bakery store just next to the hotel lobby.P1040994

I was not sure what this machine still preserved in the middle of the bakery shop was used for originally, however, it’s an evidence that this bakery shop was a barn house many years ago. P1040996 The facades of Napa River Inn are still kept in their very original appearance. P1040997 I drove across the Napa city downtown toward St. Helena in the north. P1040998 P1040999 Since it’s January, the vineyards were empty. I imaged the scenery would be much more beautiful with ripened grapes hanging in the vineyards. P1050001 P1050002 P1050003 Since this was supposed to be a completely relaxing trip, I only checked a guidebook for some wineries in Napa valley that might be interesting. One of them was this V. Sattui WineryP1050006V. Sattui does not only sell wines, it also has its own marketplace to sell deli. The yard serves as a picnic ground for customers to enjoy.
P1050004 P1050005Of course, a wide selection of wines are available.
P1050007 The wine tasting course cost $10, which was the least expensive wine tasting course I’ve known. The wine tasting course was held in the center bar table of the wine shop and consisted of 5 different wines of your choice from a given list. The lady who served me was the 5th generation of the Sattui family. Her ancestors immigrated from Italy and started wine business in California long ago. I even found out that Castello de Amorosa, the exceptionally elegant winery with a castle which my good friend and I wanted to visit previously but didn’t make it, is also owned by the Sattui family. However, the lady told me the wine selections were very different. P1050008 P1050009 P1050010 The wine cellar is also adopted as a petit museum, displaying the huge wine barrels, some old tools for crushing the grapes, and introduction of the Sattui family history. P1050012 P1050017P1050014P1050020 P1050021This Southbridge Napa Valley hotel belongs to the group of “Small and Luxury Hotels.” However, it looked very low-profile from the outside.
P1050026 P1050027 After leaving St. Helena, I drove across St. Helena’s downtown toward Calistoga. P1050028 P1050029 Actually I had no plan in Calistoga, but since it boasted the high-end wineries and spring water, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to drive by and see what it’s like.

On the way, I found this culinary school. It almost looked like Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizerdry. 😀
P1050031 P1050032 P1050033 I also saw Beringer Winery, which was so pretty!P1050035 P1050036I didn’t find the Calistoga downtown particularly special actually. P1050038 The famous Calistoga Ranch is probably the most expensive resort/villa in Napa valley. It’s hidden so well in the woods that the environment wasn’t shown clearly on my GPS system. However, there’s nothing much to see. The individual villas are scattered around the hill and I read that you have to park outside after you check in, and you need to call the golf cart to be taken around. Isn’t that a bit immobile?? P1050039 P1050040 P1050041 The last stop was Davis. I mainly visited it for sentimental reason. The downtown was still quiet because the school hadn’t started yet. The downtown generally didn’t change much but with more refined restaurants and cafes now. P1050044 The Music building is perhaps the most colorful and artistic building on Davis campus. I remembered registering for piano practice room there as I didn’t own a piano in Davis. P1050046 P1050047 The main library was one of my favorite spots on campus. (Another was Cowell center where you get pampered when you get a bad cold. 😛 ) P1050048 This statue reminded me of a guy I used to see in the library. Every time he would drop down his books on the desk then fell asleep on the pile. P1050049 Ah… this reminded me of the endless study and report-writing. What a good old memory. P1050050 The library remained generally the same, but I could see that much more circuit jackets and network cable jackets were installed. Now we can’t survive when getting around without a computer and network, can we? P1050051This is where students hangout for lunch time, and this is also where I saw a guy chasing his escaping bagel…
P1050052 Inside the Memorial Union was the bookstore that’s like a little department store on campus where I used to hang out when I got bored. P1050053 The famous (and infamous) “Starship Enterprise” building in which I got lost several times. Many of my professors’ offices were unfortunately here and it’s really a pain in the butt to find them. Oh, I remembered that the evacuation plan on the wall–someone wrote “Run!” on it… P1050059 P1050060 P1050061 P1050063

I thought to visit the barn area, the creeks, and the woods on the campus, but I ended up not going since it was getting very windy. The winter in Davis was quite cold. Though there’s no snow in Davis, the winter time was freezing with icy sharp winds. Sometimes I had 8-o’clock class in the morning, I had to ride my bike in the cold windy winter to the class. Now I had no idea how I did it that time!

While I was at Davis and swamped by exams, projects, and reports, I wished I would graduate as soon as possible and I did manage to graduate early. My mom used to tell me that being a student was the luckiest time in life and I didn’t believe her. However, after working for several years, as much as I don’t want to admit, I miss the school times when I *only* had to deal with exams, projects, and reports.

The squirrel was obviously having a good time observing me from the tree… P1050066

There’s a store named “The Inconvenient Store.” I didn’t check out what “inconvenient” stuff it sells…
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So, this concluded my first road trip. What’s your relaxing, busy, extravagant, or funny road trip? Please share! 🙂

Road trip to Sausalito, San Rafael, Napa, Davis (Part1) 北加州一路玩(趴萬~)

This time while I was in California, I thought about traveling a little without striving to make a perfect plan. A few places that were not that far away came to my mind and I could certainly spend a few days for a relaxing trip.

I’ve decided on driving up to Sausalito, San Rafael, Napa valley, and Davis, then I’d come back from Davis.

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I have been to Sausalito long time ago with my family, but I had a rather vague memory of it. It’s a little gem nested in between the hills and ocean; I drove across the mountain and had to go across a “hidden” residential area to arrive.
P1040936 The town has been described to be “European” style little town. However, I didn’t find it’s that European to be exact. The town consisted of many artistic little shops and the very wide shoreline overlooking San Francisco bay. P1040937 P1040939 P1040940 P1040941 The San Francisco city skyline was very interesting–I think it could make a good silhouette wall sticker!P1040943 P1040946 P1040948 P1040949 P1040950 The town square was full of people basking under the January sunshine. Most shops sold paintings and artistic souvenirs like clocks, mugs, and table clothes. P1040954 I really had to take more photos of the beautiful blue sky and the ocean, despite it was actually still quite chilling under the sun. P1040955 P1040956 P1040957 P1040959 Another side of the town was full of restaurants. Some were dessert shops that people enjoyed ice cream and gelato. Though the sunshine made the weather seem very nice and warm, it was windy in January. P1040961My second stop was San Rafael Marin County Civic Center. The reason I wanted to visit it because it was a backdrop for one of my favorite films–Gattaca. The building was designed by famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. It must be a very unique architecture in that era as Frank Lloyd Wright was well known for his creative designs. It still looked like a modern construction today.

It was difficult for me to capture the whole building due to its vast size and the tall trees around it. Though I wished I could jump off from the car while I was on highway because the view was so much better from there.

This was the best shot I took from the parking lot.
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This is the photo I found on the Internet, depicting a much better view.

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The 2 main characters in the movie, Vicent and Eugene, looked at the building at night from some distance away. (Copyright to Columbia Pictures)

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The interior was also set as the stage for the Gattaca‘s aerospace facility. P1040966

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Here are the captures from Gattaca: (Copyright to Columbia Pictures)gattaca10

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The roof of the civic center: P1040967

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And the roof where Vincent always stared at to see the spaceship launch: (Copyright to Columbia Pictures)gattaca05

There’s a small exhibition room displaying books and photos of the history and construction process of the civic center. P1040968

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A small fountain is outside the top floor right next to the cafeteria. The breach on the side of the fountain allowed the water to flow down the building, making a small waterfall. However, it was not easy to observe. P1040970

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The civic center, built 1950s, is obviously an old building. Several reconstructions and reinforcements were done. Although the design is quite modern, when I walked inside, I found the old style offices and drinking fountains still remained, giving it a rather old movie-like atmosphere.  P1040975

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When I was about the leave, I found this electricity car enjoying getting electrocuted…oops, I meant getting charged. This was the first time I saw how an electricity-powered car got its “gas”. 🙂
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To be continued~

Carmel, here I come again!! (Carmel~我又來了~~~)

 

What to do with the last day of 2012? In the chilling and windy winter time in bay area, California, the best way to spend the last day of 2012 would be sunbathing under the Californian sunshine in picturesque town–Carmel-by-the-sea.

Although Carmel-by-the-sea is tiny, the oceanic view and delicate scenes attract tourists (and me of course)  to come back again and again.

The small but really cute library–good for sunbathing and people-watching…
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“LUSH” was having an after-x’mas sale. The luxurious and fun bathing products boast of natural and eco-friendly ingredients that emit mouth-watering fragrance. I didn’t have to see the store to know I was around one because of the smell.
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Some of the products looked edible enough–the color, smell, and shape are all very tempting…
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Of course, the marvelous oceanic view is one of the biggest assets of Carmel-by-the-sea.
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The mansions with floor-to-ceiling windows, don’t we all want a vacationing house like this?

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Oh… guess who’s enjoying the winter sun too?P1040860

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This is the same fellow I met more than 2 years ago!! Oh, what could beat sunbathing AND petting a big head cat in Carmel-by-the-sea??P1040863

Some unknown mushrooms peeking out from the tree truck, kinda cute~P1040867

The miniature merry-go-round and the ferry wheels are music boxes to bring back nostalgic memories…P1040868

Ah ha! This is the “battle between cats and dogs” chess set I saw two years ago too! This time I had a closer look at it and was amazed by its creativity and humor! The dogs and cats were of various breeds to reflect their “dog-nalities” or “cat-nalities” in each chess piece!P1040869

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The little shopping center still got some holiday atmosphere left. P1040872

Tiny trip to Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz 超小旅行)

As I’ve lived in California for a long time, of course I’ve been to Santa Cruz. Funny enough that I seemed to remember the most about “banana slugs” in Santa Cruz and forget all others, perhaps I was freaked out by these slimy animals…

This time I came across Independence Day while staying in California and decided to pay Santa Cruz a humble visit. I checked online and found this place called “Natural Bridge State Beach,” in which, consisted a stone natural bridge not far from the shore.

It’s less an hour drive to go to this beach from my home. It was quite sunny and warm all the way until I reached Santa Cruz. Similar to my trip to Half Moon Bay last time, it was cloudy and windy on the shore.

The beach was much smaller than I expected and located at the end of a residential area. From the fact that many people came here on Independence Day, I guess it was still a popular beach. 

This is the “stone bridge” that has earned this beach the name: 

At first I would expect a lot of people swimming in the ocean, since it was over 90 degrees F in Bay Area. However, only few of them were even touching the water since it’s actually quite chilly. You’d think to get a glimpse of some bikini-cladded beauties enjoying the sunbath–wrong, that day I was glad to find a jacket in my car. 

I still saw some people trying to surf. For this weather, I’d rather surf online… 

On the rocky shore was where the fun (for some people) begins. You can climb up and find some oceanic animals left by high tide swimming in the dents of stones. If you’re lucky, you can find little fish, anemone, crabs, or some unknown aquatic babies. But no luck for me this time. 😦 

Some houses are up on the cliff. The view is wonderful, but I’m not sure how windy it gets when the winter comes… 

Some houses are further from the shore but still looking over the magnificent ocean view: 

This one seemed newly built, not bad eh? 

Remembering the sunshine in Guam (凜冬中回想關島暖陽)

Today is Christmas Eve, and it’s cold. Yes, the wind is blowing, and even I regard myself as less affected by cold winter, I still need a scarf while walking on the street at night. However, I still see myself loving cold weather more than any hot days. It’s actually a bit awkward for me to write about my trip to Guam during October. Perhaps I don’t intend to do this purposely in this chilly night; just because I was too lazy to write about it so it’s dragged until now.  (Oh… The truth is I’ve been busy… for all of you who know me well know that I’ve been swamped by work, whew!)

Guam was full of sunshine while I was there, and it got quite hot since there was hardly any shade near the beach. Asides from remembering the very warm climate there in the winter time now, going to Guam was my most “brainless” trip ever. Yes, I finally decided to do NOTHING but just being there to relax. The unique experience mostly sprouted on the fact that I did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, no research, no nothing, before the trip, as opposed to my trips to Japan, France, England, Italy, U.S., and many others

Guam is an U.S. military base-turned-into vacationing island, shaping like a dog bone, most of the tourists spots situate in the west, as large part of the east side is under U.S. military surveillance. It’s not difficult to rent a car and drive around the island, and visiting all the tourists points on the west side could be done less in one day.

There’s a reason why Guam is a famous vacationing island. The warm weather, bright sunshine, and indigo ocean make it a perfect gateway for relaxation. However, Guam also rains a lot; the rain comes quite often but doesn’t last long.

Two Lover’s Point is on the cliff looking over Tumon Bay:

Catholic Church:

Have I mentioned that I love blue ocean?

Bear Rock at Agfayan Bay:

Talofofo waterfall located inland on the Talofofo-Inarajan border, including two large falls. It’s hidden inside the forest and can be reached by cable cart. I didn’t get any mosquito bites in Guam until I walked around here… 😦

Guam is also a shopping heaven. All the things are completely tax free, and you can find various brands here for accessories, bags, watches, cosmetics, etc… Souvenirs stores, general stores, and restaurants are scattered around the street. It doesn’t hurt to do some (window?) shopping at night, enjoy a nice dinner, or just simply walk around this most lively district.  🙂

And of course, the view is free and for your eyes only–beautiful sunset in Guam. 🙂

Finding the greenest lake in Tahoe (尋找最綠的湖)

This was not the first time I came to Lake Tahoe, just that I had no impression whatsoever about the previous time that occurred a while ago. I had no idea why–I didn’t even remember seeing the lake!

Lake Tahoe is a famous ski resort for people from California and Nevada, but since I’m into any sports that require a lot of gadgets, ski is certainly not a sport for me. (The most gadgets-required sport I can accept is fencing, ha! 😀 )

This time I went to south Lake Tahoe. The lake itself, known just as “Lake Tahoe,” is a freshwater lake that stands on altitude over 6,200 feet. Asides from being a ski resort, people come here for camping and vacationing because of the beautiful natural landscapes.

  

The lake shore consists of sandy beaches, making it look a bit like an ocean due to the size of the lake.   

Very cute stores cluster in the cottages in downtown. 🙂
    Fallen Leaf Lake is a much smaller lake that’s situated about one mile south of Lake Tahoe. It’s so well hidden in the forest and took me a while to find it. I personally like Fallen Leaf Lake better, since it’s of this very enchanting emerald green. The shore is mostly rocky, giving it a “Zen” ambiance.     

Lazy afternoon in Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay (閒逛半月灣麗池酒店)

I’ve known Ritz-Carlton as one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, and was favored by by Coco Chanel who had resided there for over thirty years.

When I stood at Place Vendome while visiting Paris a few years ago, I only admire the night light and the very humble exterior of Ritz-Carlton hotel, as I had no idea that there’s another Ritz-Carlton situated not far from my California home.

Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay was only less than 1 hour drive from my place. I remember that while I was a child, I went there with my parents for pumpkin-picking and with family friends for Christmas tree-farming. I have been always an ocean-person and loved the oceanic sceneries.

One afternoon I decided to visit Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, which situated right on the cliff. It’s so well-hidden that I only saw a very low profile sign on the street. After turning into the street, I had to drive in a long road until I reached this also-very-low-profile front gate.

Although being the most luxurious hotel in the world, Ritz-Carlton always gives a sense of calm and tranquility. The color of both the exterior and interior was serene, and the design was elegant. The cafe I had a light meal had big windows for people to gaze to the amazing ocean.  

Outside the window is the garden that people can sit around a fireplace and read, doze, or gather with friends. Most of the time Half Moon Bay was chilly due to the wind blowing from the seashore.     

It seems it’s not easy to get a lot of sunshine in Half Moon Bay. I remembered that there was no single time there was bright sunshine there. I’ve heard from a friend who told me that she only knew of bright sun in Half Moon Bay during mid-summer. Else it’s misty and a bit cloudy. It was September when I came here, and it was a bit “gray” there as well, but it didn’t decrease my excitement of enjoying the peaceful atmosphere here.

   

“I LOVE NY” part 2 (“我愛紐約” part2)

Central Park is like a “green heart” of New York City. The lakes and trees decorate the crowded New York, providing a relaxing and refreshing location for busy New Yorkers.

Not far from the Central Park is Rockfeller building, a famous NY landmark. The ice rink of Rockefeller plaza is open to public for ice skating or show exhibition.

While I was there, a skating show exhibited 3 girls wearing some kind of pink unitards with a cape connection all of them, making them a “triplets,” and twirling around the ice rink. (I was more curious about how they put those unitards on!?!)

Around the Rockfeller Center is a series of shops, including this “Logo” store. The works displayed there overwhelmed me, as I never had the patient with this kind of toy. 😀

Most people are familiar with the night scene of Brooklyn Bridge. I tried not to be “too tourist” but couldn’t help the desire of taking a photo of it. However, what a silly mistake I made–I took the subway all the way down and night and walked with the direction pointing toward Brooklyn Bridge while the wind was blowing and the temperature was only 4 degree C… Finally I was on top of the Brooklyn Bridge…but how would I take a photo of Brooklyn Bridge while I was ON it?? I managed to take several photos on top of the bridge, and no… the photo is not Brooklyn Bridge but Manhattan Bridge which can be see ON Brooklyn Bridge…

Another stop I visited was headquarter of United Nation. Honestly I didn’t find it that interesting but as advised by a guide book, I wrote a postcard to myself. The stamps sold there were unique and the postmark was solely used in the postal office in the basement of the building. However… when I received the postcard, the stamp was gone, and the postmark was washed away… 😦

“Serendipity 3” is a restaurant in mid-Manhattan that was used as the backstage of the movie–Serendipity. I haven’t seen the movie actually, but I’ve read that this restaurant supplies the most mouth watering sundae and frozen drinks. So did I get to taste them? Not a chance… it was already packed in the restaurant and with people lining outside…

So, you may not be able to squeeze into Serendipity 3 , why not stop by Dylan’s Candy Bar to get a few sweets to enjoy? It claims to have the world’s largest Gummy Bear!

New York’s Central Station is worth a visit–the building is more of European style, and the interior is classic. The roof is painted with light blue and illustrated with zodiac signs. Movies and photos shoots often use Central Station as background too.

For “Apple fans,” Apple flagship store in mid-Manhattan is the temple for them to worship, but as a beading fan, I had to worship in Swarovski’s beading concept store in Soho area. The store has a rather low profile on a busy street. The interior is simple because the shiny crystal beads and pendants it’s selling already decorate over 90 percent of the walls!

New York University is not far from Soho area. It does not have a real campus but independent buildings scatter among several streets.

Other popular landmarks of New York include Empire State Building, which was romanticize by the movie–Sleepless in Seattle.

Another is Flatiron Building, which is famous for its triangular shape particular with an acute angle it’s forming.

Though not far from the crowded 5th Avenue, Madison street much quieter but as beautiful. It was very nice to stroll on it and not worry about stepping on other people’s feet! 🙂 It’s the last day I was in NY, and also the warmest day during my trip there.

“I LOVE NY” (“我愛紐約”)

My impression of New York City was solely gained from watching movies, TV shows, and reading book. Being a Californian for so many years, I did not get to visit the New York City for no reason, yet the most east side I have been in the US. was Florida. Some said that New York City was messy yet exciting; it led you both ways–you either hate it or love it. After I finally made my mind to experience it for 5 days during April, I realized that it was a much more interesting place than expected, and the many facets of it certainly made it one of the most exciting cities among the places I’ve been.

I arrived in an evening in the Time Square and spent the most of time of my stay in mid-upper Manhattan.

The Time Square rarely sleeps as restaurants close close or beyond midnight and the lights hint the none-stopping night life in New York City.

New York City Library is a combination of classic and modern eras. The facades are of old British style and interiors are still decorated with paintings on the roofs. Of course, the facilities are updated to the most modern time. This is also the backstage of Carrie and Mr.Big’s unfortunate wedding in the movie–Sex and City.

Not far from the city library is HBO store in which I picked up a copy of the production notes of Sex and City, the TV series, and discovered this: apparently it’s something from True Blood as it’s the big hit running on HBO currently–bottles of crimson red juice made out from blood oranges?!?

5th Avenue is just as exciting as all the books/movies/novels/whatever have depicted. Yes, it’s crowded, disoriented, and noisy. However, at same time I found it elegant, extravagant, and very fashionable. This is where you get to squander if you got all the money in the world, but if you haven’t, be careful it’s VERY tempting!

Of course, as a museum goer, I couldn’t leave without paying a respectful visit to Metropolitan Museum:

The collection is vast, you can stay here the whole day! Like the British Museum, it’s also divided into various sections according to the ages and civilizations. Some bigger pieces have been brought into the museum and set up as a complete backstage. It made me feel like I was right on that location in that ancient time!

The super modern, fast-paced New York City certainly does not lack of art cultures. In fact, it’s one of the cities that possess the most concentrated amount of art, museums, theaters, and performances. Therefore, how could I just visit one museum only? Especially there’s a free-ticket-happy-hours in Museum of Modern Art?

The “happy hours” for Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is every Thursday from 4:00PM to 8:00PM. You just need to get there during this time, line up in line to receive your ticket, and off you go! The downside is that it’s always crowded…however, it’s still bearable. The “downer” side is that if you carry a backpack or big bag, you’re asked to send it to custody during your visit! Now that’s the LONG line!!

MoMA is a 6-floor building with artistic exterior designs. I’m not a big fan of modern art to be honest, in fact, I can’t understand nor appreciate it. However, when I finally dragged my sore legs to the 5th floor, I was delighted by the artworks by Dali, Picasso, and a wall-sized Monet! By that time, I was too beat to enjoy these fully. After coming back from New York City, I suddenly realized that…there’s a purpose for holding the brochure–it tells you which exhibition on what floor… oh well, bummer! 😦

So, what else can you do in NYC? How about pay a humble visit to the “Apple Temple?” This flagship is in the center of Manhattan and opens 24 hours! It’s always ready to receive worships from fans! I was, however, more amazed by the exterior design and the transparent staircase leading to the store in the basement.

An extravagant city has to have extravagant hotels to go with it and make you squander even more money! So, how about choosing among Athenee, St. Rigis, or The Plaza? (I have read that there’s Ritz-Carlton near Central Park, but I didn’t find it.)

In the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, St.Rigis was used as the backstage for the hotel in which Andrea and Miranda stayed in Paris.

To be continued…

Bubbly in Napa’s bubbling champange (沉醉Napa酒香中)

Ok, I admit that I don’t know about wines. I drank cooler during college and later occasionally red and white wines in parties. I couldn’t tell which wine was better than another, nor could I really understand certain highly praised wines. After all, wine isn’t in my study list; as long as it’s not too bitter, sour, or trying to choke me, it’s all fine. Recently, it seems there’s a new trend of “how to appreciate a wine”–books about wines have been published, wine tasting classes are advertised, and even comic books featuring stories about wines are widely loved!!

Fine, I’m not particular about wines, but who says one that doesn’t possess a good knowledge of wine can’t appreciate the understated landscapes of wineries?

Napa is about 2-hour drive from my place. Living in California for a long time, I’ve paid my humble visit to Napa before but didn’t get much impression about it. Not until after watching “Letters to Juliet” which reminded me of my wonderful trip to Siena, Italy a few years ago, a friend told me that the sceneries in Napa were no any less than in Siena.

Since one free day couldn’t afford me to construct an extravagant trip, I managed to get some info from a friend, who told me that Domain Carneros Winery offered wine tasting tours and very good sparkling champagne.

Indeed, Domain Carneros is beautifully built with its facade just like a French chateau on the hill.

It’s already November so all the grapes had been harvested.

The tour began with visiting the grape collecting site outside and going inside with the wine process container while guests sipped the first bubbling champagne.

Domain Carnero’s sparkling champagne is famous for its fine and fizzy tiny bubbles emerging from the bottom of the champagne flute when it’s poured. 

Along the tour, I tried several different champagnes, and one of them was even a beautiful blushing pink! Nowadays, wines were not processed mainly by human labor but machines controlled by computers. After the wine is bottled, the bottles need to be settled tilted upside down on the racks and turned every few hours. Before there were workers turning the bottles manually; now the bottles are stored in special cubical cages and turned by robotic arms. 

Honestly I couldn’t remember the names of champagnes I’ve tried. I only noticed that I drank 4 or 5 types of sparkling champagnes and a red wine. The sparkling champagne was certainly very tasty, but I found most bubbling things tasty anyways, even just the plain sparkling water!

Just like most of the people who visited here–I would certainly drink more if I didn’t have to drive all the way back home. Therefore, every guest tried each champagne and wine for only a few sips. After all, it’s a wine tasting tour so you’re supposed to just taste stylishly and not tackily getting drunk there! Haha!