Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cloudy Day at Clear Lake

Jimmy and Drew have been buddies since they were 12 and played little league baseball together. He was one of the groomsmen in our wedding nearly 17 years ago.But in the past 21 years since graduating from high school, they hadn't spent more than a few hours together. Sound kind of familiar? It's reminiscent to my visit to Alaska and rekindling a friendship with my high school friend, Linda. In our junior year, before Jimmy and I started dating, both Jimmy and Drew were in my American History class. That's the class that we all became friends. We sat in the same row, Jimmy in front, Drew behind him and me behind Drew. They called me The Flip. One test day, Drew was absent and Jimmy sat in front of me. That was the turning point in our relationship when Jimmy prevented me from cheating on the test. Oh yea, this isn't about me, but about Jimmy and Drew, huh? Anyway, after graduation, Jimmy and Drew kept in touch, but didn't see each other much aside from the occasional get together with other buddies, once every 6 or 7 years whenever we'd get back to the high desert or San Diego. Fast forward 20 years and Drew's parents found their own little hideaway in Northern California about 3 hours from us. Drew was here for the week to ride in the Konocti Challenge so we went to visit him for a couple of days. He took us to a few historical sights, showed us the scenic views from his ride the weekend before, took us wine tasting and brought us to a couple of really great restaurants like the Blue Wing Saloon and TNT on the Lake for great Mexican food right on the lake.

The Lakeport Courthouse built in 1871 served the county until 1968. It's currently a museum that houses many county records along with artifacts from the local Native Americans.

Jimmy and Drew check out some of the historical data. We were pleasantly surprised that we could freely browse through these old books.

In my previous post I probably wasn't very convincing about the fall colors. But as you'll see now, we were surrounded by autumn's beautiful bounty.
Walnut groves for miles and miles.

Ranch horse among the trees.

Clear Lake is about an hour north of Napa and the vineyards have steadily crept more and more north.

One of the wineries Drew took us for wine tasting was Ceago.
We don't really drink, but with a purchase they give you 5 tastings. Drew bought a bottle and gave me the tastings. I don't like wine and in general I don't typically like the flavor of alcohol. And Jimmy doesn't drink at all. So I started out skeptical and the first 2 tastes were bitter as I expected. But the 3rd taste, which happened to be the same one Drew bought, was actually decent. It was their "Del Lago" Muscat Canelli. I ended with that and forgo the other 2 tastings. After the tastings, we walked around the winery awhile.

Lavender fields at the winery.

Ceago has a dock to the lake. Clear Lake is the largest fresh water lake in California.

Enjoying the views at the winery.

Our last and most creepy visit for the day was to see the Castle near the northern shores of Clear Lake. It was originally a lake resort ill-timely built in 1927 just before the Great Depression. As can be imagined, there are rumors of ghosts that haunt the tower. Despite it's look of disrepair, it's currently used and operated by the Castlepoint Ministries.
After our long day touring the area, we headed back to his hideaway, had some dinner and the boys stayed up talking and laughing about who knows what for who knows how long. I hope we can make this an annual thing. We had so much fun!!


susan d said...

like fine wine, these two guys improved with age (and haircuts)!

Lilli & Nevada said...

Loved the history and the winery and all the photos. Just for that might have to do another Calif trip but don't know when.

Ragged Around the Edges said...

I love reunions! And the photographs are beautiful... I gotta come to California.

Nan said...

Love the photo of you and Jimmy! You sure know how to make every minute count!

Jodi said...

I'm so behind in my blog reading and commenting! Those photos are gorgeous! Sounds like a fun time.