Visiting Friends in CA Wine Country

My friend Holly flew out from Florida to spend a few days with us in California Wine Country. We stayed in Napa Valley, but didn’t actually go to any wineries there. Instead we visited some amazing wineries in Sonoma thanks to my friend Sue. More on that later.

First we picked up Holly at the Oakland airport and since San Francisco was “sort of” on the way back to our campground in Napa I thought we should really go see the Golden Gate Bridge. If you know us, we avoid large cities like the plague! Since our mode of transportation is a large dually truck we prefer wide open spaces and San Francisco would be the exact opposite of that. I would love to visit that city, but until we are traveling in a smaller car I’m not sure how that’s going to happen.

Anyway, San Francisco being “sort of” on our way back to the campground means about a 2 hour detour if you are at all familiar with California traffic. 🙂

I think it was worth it to see this awesome bridge!

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The next day it was time to visit some wineries! My friend Sue who used to live in Fernandina Beach now lives in CA. I kept telling her we would meet up with her eventually in our travels and it finally happened. She knew I wanted to visit some wineries and she knew of some great ones to take us to in Sonoma. What a blessing Sue was to us that day! I like wine, but I’m not at all familiar with what is good. I mean I typically have wine out of a box in my RV fridge if that tells you anything. Sue took us to 3 great wineries and I have never tasted wine so good before. What a great day we had with her and her daughter and grandson! My kids enjoyed playing with her grandson all day which made it not so boring for them to spend the day visiting wineries. 😉

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Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards

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Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

The next day the kids got to have their fun. We participated in the Six Flags Read-to-Succeed program this year and got free tickets for the kids to go to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vellajo, CA. Strangely I realized I hardly took any pictures and I have no pictures of the kids! I guess that’s what happens when I’m hanging out with my friend.

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Chris likes to call everyone a “joker” so this was perfect for him. It happened to be one of our favorite rides that day too!

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The next day we went to the Jelly Belly Factory Tour which was so cool! This was on my bucket list of things to do in CA.

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It’s a self-guided free tour that is very informative. You walk around the entire factory viewing the different stages in the process of creating a Jelly Belly jellybean. At each area there are videos and information plaques to explain what is going on.

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Look at all those jellybeans resting!

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This is where they made assorted bags.

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The pictures in the background are made of Jelly Bellies.

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Sue and her grandson joined us for this also.

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In the gift shop you can sample as many different flavors as you want. They also have really gross flavors like rotten eggs, dirty socks, vomit and some others. Eww! You can buy a game with those flavors mixed in with normal “good” flavors and dare people to try one and they hope they try the right one. This game is called “Bean Boozled” and you just have to hope you’re not the one to pick the wrong flavor. My kids bought a bag of those and have been having fun with it, but I refuse to participate. I do not want to take a chance on eating a jelly bean that tastes like boogers, gross!

On our last day with Holly we went to Point Reyes National Seashore. We didn’t get to explore much of the park because we didn’t realize it would take so long to get there. Again… California! I should know it takes a long time to get anywhere in that state.

There is a lighthouse there that I really wanted to see, but they told us at the Visitor Center that it was a 45 minute drive to get there, which would mean another 45 minutes back to the entrance afterward. Nobody felt like driving that far after the drive we just had so we ended up just going to one of the beach accesses which was beautiful!

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And we got Junior Ranger badges while we were there! The Junior Ranger book is quite long and we didn’t finish it while we were there, but the rangers were kind enough to swear them in as new junior rangers on the honor system that we would complete the book on our own which we did.

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We had so much fun hanging out with Holly and Sue that week! As with all visits with friends, the time went by way too quickly. It was time for Holly to head back home and we moved on to the Redwoods in Northern California. Stay tuned for a post about that later.

Categories: California | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Visiting Friends in CA Wine Country

  1. Wow, you were able to fit so much in! Sonoma wineries, six flags, Point Reyes, even the jelly belly factory! Glad you had a wonderful visit with your friends! It really does take too long to get anywhere in CA, sorry you had to experience our terrible traffic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like you all did a ton in our home state! My kids still talk about the Jelly Belly factory, it is really fun. I hope some day you can make it back to Point Reyes, the drive to the lighthouse is phenomenal. And I agree, the traffic…well it’s ridiculous (a major factor in why we do not plan to settle there again). Happy travels as you move north!

    Liked by 1 person

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