18 June 2017

Napa


Napa Countryside (view from about mile 27 on my bike ride).

One really nice thing about Michael's new job is that he gets a credit each year towards Continuing Medical Education, which can cover the costs of dermatology conferences and travel expenses. It's a fun new thing for us, since his previous job didn't offer this. 

Plus, this year we signed up for a Southwest Airlines credit card. We had never gotten an airline credit card before because we had never wanted a card with an annual payment, but with how many flights we've used in the last year I'd say the $99 payment is well worth it. So far, we've used the card to fly Michael, Kolby, Elijah, & myself to Utah and Bach for conference and a tour at BYU, booked my flight for the genealogy conference next month, and gotten me a flight to go along with Michael on this dermatology conference to Napa this weekend. 

This weekend has been fun. We flew into San Francisco on Thursday evening and went to Tadich Grill for their famous cioppino (it was great, but we'll have to remember next time that one dish would have been plenty for the two of us).
Cioppino at Tadich Grill.

Then we walked along the bay and saw all the piers, watched a juggling act, saw the sea lions, & had a little dessert at Ghirardelli Square.
Alcatraz Island in the background.


Then the best part of the night was the trolley -- we watched while they pulled the trolley into the turnstile and manually pushed it to get it onto the other track, then we each got a spot to stand and hang off the side of the trolley for the ride up and down the steep streets. I'm so used to modern laws and regulations prohibiting any actions that are even remotely risky, that I loved the fact that people can still hang off the side of a moving trolley and ride up the San Francisco streets. It was so fun!

(I loved the cobblestone road at the trolley station).

Once we walked back to the car we drove down the windy Lombard Street in the dark, then drove across the Golden Gate Bridge on our way north to Napa.
video


The Golden Gate Bridge at night.

On Friday while Michael went to his conference, I rented a bike and rode through the Napa countryside. I had decided on a 22 mile loop, which sounded great except for the fact that it was supposed to be a high of 98 degrees out that day and I was a little concerned about the heat. I had rented a hybrid bike that had airless tires (because I was going to be alone all day in areas without great cell coverage, I liked the idea that a flat tire would be impossible), plus these were a lot less expensive to rent than road bikes.  Even though the bike wasn't quite as easy of a ride as my mountain bike at home, it seemed to work well. I got about 13 miles out and was still feeling good, so I decided to add an extra optional loop, which went well until on my way back I hit about the 25 mile point and I was beat!  The heat got to me, and even though I'd taken my camelback I was pretty concerned that my water might run out before I got back to the bike shop. Up until that part of the ride I was feeling pretty proud of myself that I hadn't stopped to take a rest or walk my bike (I had only stopped to check directions, reapply sunscreen a few times, and eat lunch), but after the 25 mile point I stopped a few times, and walked up a couple hills. The last few miles my butt was so sore from the bike seat (I'm glad I wore bike shorts it probably would have been a lot worse without them) and the last couple hours my arms were so sore I could hardly hold the handlebars. I reached the point where I would have given up if I could have, but I had to get back to the bike shop, so I did. I rode 33 miles. I was dead beat, but it had been a really cool ride overall. I wonder if I had sprung for a road bike how much easier it may have been, but oh well.


I came back and met Michael after his classes, and we jumped in the pool before eating dinner at a great little Thai place downtown, and then coming back to the hotel and crashing about 7:30pm. 

Yesterday Michael went to his classes while I went to the Napa farmer's market, and had a yummy brunch of blueberries, figs, and a mini orzo salad. Then I walked around through the Oxbow Public Market -- a pretty cool combination of shops and restaurants all in a large warehouse-type building.  I tried to find a scenic drive that I had read about, but the part of it that I ended up at wasn't especially scenic, and I went back to meet Michael for lunch, and then just relaxed. We walked around downtown Napa in the evening and ended up finding a little hole in the wall Mediterranean place for dinner.
Napa Farmer's Market

This morning we packed up and Michael caught the last few classes of his conference. I felt like I had a migraine coming on, with the strange blurred vision that accompanies that (I'm glad I only get that rarely), and I rested. My vision is back to normal, and fortunately I didn't get the bad migraine pain, but my head doesn't quite feel back to normal yet. Hopefully soon. We checked out of our room and I'm just waiting for Michael so we can do a quick lunch and head to church before driving back down through San Francisco for our flight home this evening. 

It's been a really nice weekend away. And we're so grateful my parents were willing to watch the boys for us!   

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