Archive for May, 2012
Always refreshing it is for me to find people not operating from a place of rules and rigidity, but rather graciousness and openness. And since this usually breeds a sense of freedom and enjoyment, these are the people with whom I want to move forward in life.
This is how I feel when I am in the company of the people at Berryessa Gap. Their annual ‘Springtime in the Vineyard’ gathering over Memorial Day weekend, for instance, was like a breath of fresh air ~ with wine flowing, food in abundance, expansive views and friendly folks from all over. They just have a way of attracting and pulling fun, friendly people together; including the talented, folksy musical duo Misner & Smith, who painted the backdrop with their beautiful blend of harmonies.
Sipping a glass of Verdelho as Tom finishes his second shrimp and carnitas burrito, with the sun glistening on the just-sprinkled upon vines, it seems to me exactly what ‘The Good Life, Sacramento’ is all about. For if you listen, look, take a whiff, and happen to detect a slice of the good life… I’d say you were right on the money with this vintage. If you go, nevertheless, prepare for potentially rapidly-changing weather, as the same moisture that encourages the plumpness from the coastal range’s grapes has been known to make a sudden appearance on a perfectly sun-shiney day.
Berryessa Gap is known for their Spanish varietals and ‘Life is short so enjoy them now’ philosophy. They have two tasting rooms in Winters – one downtown and another in the winery – and plenty of great events (from small Friday night gatherings to the annual Paella Contest).
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I wish I didn’t work so hard.
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
I wish that I had let myself be happier.
But we can also learn from those more innocent and carefree, like children who see life as a safe, magical and happy place with a world full of potential for them. So why should it be any different for us? Sure, we have responsibilities as adults, but those can be managed. And if you’re managing them, then there’s no need for worries. In fact, the only use for worrying is to compel us to do something about the situation causing us concern. If it’s out of our hands, the best we can do is find the silver lining and slip into it (or point to it for others to see as well).
In keeping with this respectfully lusty take on life, we’ve changed the name of http://www.SeeingSacramento.com to http://www.TheGoodLifeSacramento.com. We thought it a more fun and fitting name for all that the Greater Sacramento area has become and all it has to offer. So whether you’re a resident of this fine land, a visitor, or just an onlooker, we hope you’ll take some time out of every day to wring the good stuff out of your very own life!
Driving in, I see an Inn and Mexican restaurant to the right, machine shop and trailer park to the left… an entrance to the fairgrounds, plenty of trees and open space… a little grocery store and breakfast spot with small town names… You could easily miss the charming historic downtown if you don’t take a left before the yellow brick roads and rolling hills yield sip, glass, bottle, barrel and egg (yes, egg – I’ll get to that later) of delicious Sauvignon Blanc, Barbera, Sangiovese, Zinfandel and plenty of luscious nature and palate-inspired surprises. But you really don’t need a map – unless you really want to know where you’re headed – for the roads before you will lead the way as you discover precious view after view and liquid gem after gem.
The scenery begs for picnickers and cameras, the vistas so looming and long you’ll want to linger. Luckily, the folks are friendly, and it’s always fun seeing how far some people have come to taste these delicate creations. As for the wine-cradling egg, you’ll find that at Andis Wines, one of the area’s newest, freshest and ‘greenest’ wineries with one of the best views around. They have a great patio for sipping wines by the glass, and an expansive tasting room with large screen TV to invite lingering and lounging during special events (such as the Kentucky Derby, which was upcoming that weekend).
Andis’ special event coordinator Kimm chatted us up as we sipped white, rose and lots of red, later offering us a tour of the winery where we met winery assistant Steve and fore-mentioned egg (both charming and a little elusive too). Through an open door the powers that be at Andis were sharing a bottle of Rose over an afternoon meeting. And in the blissful quiet of that rural-drenched Friday afternoon, I couldn’t help thinking that all was just as it should be…
11000 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth, CA, 209-245-6177, http://www.andiswines.com
For more on Sacramento area wine regions, also check out the new wine guide website! http://www.sacramentowineguide.com
MOVIES ON A BIG SCREEN –
For the kookiest, raciest and most absurd film fun, visit MOBS in May and break out of that blockbuster film rut. Catch movies like ‘Quicksand’ with Mickey Rooney, the extra gory ‘The Brain that Wouldn’t Die’ and ‘Gamera the Invincible’ (the giant flying turtle). Why is May extra special for MOBS? Because it’s their last month at the historic Guild Theatre, with a new location yet to be determined. (Think you can handle all that excitement?
For the Kiddies:
FARMS, FRIENDS & FAIRYTALES –
The 5th annual FF&F will take place at FTT on Saturday May 19th, with a celebration of all-things agriculture! Featuring live sheep shearing, wool spinning, a mini-farmer’s market, hands-on art activities, and plenty more fun from the farm for the whole family. See the twin Babydoll sheep and other rare and miniature animals, make your own ice cream… and as usual, climb through the giant Swiss cheese.
Fairytale Town is a unique environment where children can learn how animals contribute to society, as well as represent the fairytales children know so well. Farms, Friends & Fairytales is made possible in part by generous sponsorships from Whole Foods Market and Farm Fresh to You. (Aw, shucks – thanks guys!).
http://www.fairytaletown.org, (916) 808-7462.
If you need lodging, there’s hardly anyplace closer or cooler than Le Rivage Hotel. Right on the Sacramento River, it’s an “affordable luxury” with pool, fire pits, spa services, terrific food and town car service. Heck, even locals might want to consider escaping here for a night or two! http://www.lerivagehotel.com, (916) 443-8400
Just a few more great reasons to get out there and experience Authentic Sacramento at its finest~
There’s another option for seeing the Sacramento region – and California for that matter – on the horizon, and while it’s not a new name, it might just be a more viable selection than it had once seemed. Yesterday was launch day for Greyhound’s Premiere Express service in California, a new service designed to give riders convenience and comfort at a cool price.
The pros are that the routes involve very few stops (in some cases zero), passengers are said to get guaranteed seating, and every trip is run on modern, environmentally-friendly buses with free Wi-Fi, power outlets, extra legroom and leather seats. Now, I’m not sure how far it’ll get you, but trips start at just $1.
“The goal of Express is to give riders a better overall travel experience by combining affordable prices with amenities usually found in more expensive forms of travel. In other words, travelers no longer have to sacrifice comfort and convenience for affordability, and vice versa,” said Greyhound’s public relations team.
Greyhound Express works for daytrips, weekend getaways or business trips, and the cities currently operating in and out of Sacramento are Stockton, Modesto, Fresno, Bakersfield and Los Angeles. I’m always up for reliable, affordable, comfortable and convenient public transportation, and may myself consider riding this grey pony all the way into the Sacramento sunset… or off into the distant horizon.
Greyhound’s main bus terminal is downtown at 7th & L streets.
Phone is (800)231-2222