Phyllis comes to visit. July 31-August 6, 2019

I suggested to Phyllis that she might like to come out for a visit while she is not working. I was so amazed and pleased when she agreed to come. I plan a busy week that mostly works out well. We both have a great visit.

Our first adventure is on Thursday, August 1. With Sarah as our driver we take a trip up to Sonoma Wine Country. We stop at the Olive Press in the Jacuzzi Winery. We sample and buy some olive oil and vinegar and then do a small tasting of their wines. It is not busy and the man behind the bar looks like he could use some patronage.

Phyllis and Mary in front of Jacuzzi Winery

After this we go to Imagery Winery where we have a very nice tasting. I am so glad that Phyllis enjoys the wines and the experience. She even joins the wine club! Then we hurry over to Sonoma Square for our lunch at The Girl and the Fig where we have a tasty lunch and even order dessert, a fig bread pudding with salted caramel and cocoa nibs.

Fig bread pudding with salted caramel and cocoa nibs

Our last tasting at Three Sticks Winery in Sonoma is our least fun of the day. We had to make a reservation for a pricy tasting and tour of their adobe. The person assigned to us has a very lackluster attitude towards us. We sip their very few offerings because they are mostly sold out of everything. The tour is interesting, the wines are good, but the presentation is really lacking.

Room in the adobe complex where we have our tasting

Then we are stuck in horrendous traffic on the way home.

On Friday we have a date for tea at Tyme for Tea in Niles, CA. Sarah comes with us and we order the sparkling Victorian tea which comes with a glass of champagne, scones with clotted cream, lemon curd, and jam, various sandwiches, and desserts along with a personal choice pot of tea. It is all pretty delicious but there is so much food!! We have to bring some of the desserts home because we just cannot eat it all. And speaking of home, once more we are stuck in horrendous traffic on the way home.

Tea and scones
Phyllis and Sarah at Tyme for Tea
Tea sandwiches

On Saturday after a giant breakfast at Bill’s Cafe Phyllis and I brave the Farmer’s Market in downtown Pleasanton. We are looking for ingredients for a vegetable paella which we are planning to make tonight. There are so many stalls with so many vegetables and so many people shopping! One of the vendors is particularly aggressive with me. She keeps shoving samples that I do not want to eat in my face. We quickly buy the rest of the produce we need and head home. Later in the day we stop at the grocery store for the rest of our ingredients. The paella comes out very well and John, Phyllis, and I enjoy it. (Plus we enjoy the leftovers for several days!)

Vegetable paella

On Sunday we meet Jonathan and Ryan for lunch at Zeni’s. It is a favorite of ours and we are really hoping that Phyllis likes it. I took Peggy to lunch here and I am not sure that she really enjoyed herself although she says she liked it. Anyway, it is so great for Phyllis to see Jonathan again and he remarks to me later that he did not remember Phyllis being so funny. We all have a wonderful time with each other and the food although Phyllis cannot quite get over that the injera looks like Ace bandages!!

A platter of veggie combo and sizzling lamb at Zeni’s
Phyllis using her “Ace bandage” for a taste of Ethiopian food while Sarah watches

We head to Jon and Ryan’s afterward to meet up with Leigh, Sam, and Alex. The visit does not go quite as planned since an old friend from Iceland stops by with his daughter. The kids get very rambunctious. The friend does not seem to know that he should leave so we do.

Monday and it is time for another trip to Wine Country, this time in Napa. Sarah is our driver again. We have a lovely tasting at Sherwin Family Winery off Spring Mountain Road. The wine is good and the setting is beautiful. Phyllis signs up for the wine club and I buy a bottle of their Cabernet Sauvignon. Sarah busies herself taking selfies around the grounds while Phyllis and I enjoy the wines.

Mary and Phyllis toasting
Sarah takes a nice picture of us
I try a selfie of Phyllis and me but I need longer arms!!

For lunch we stop at Gott’s Roadside, the iconic place to eat in Napa Valley, We stand in line to order and sit at picnic tables. We all have hamburgers and French fries. Remembering the terrible traffic from Thursday we decide to head for home after lunch.

Mmm, burgers

Is it Tuesday already?! Tonight Phyllis is catching the red eye so at least we have today to continue our visit. We have lunch and a nice talk at Delatorre’s and for dinner we use up the rest of our Farmer’s Market produce and Sarah’s bounteous tomatoes.

Caprese salad
Yum! Brentwood corn

Around 8:30 PM we head to SFO. I can tell that Phyllis is nervous and we are glad that we go into the terminal with her because everything is pretty confusing. Luckily she has gotten TSA pre-check so at least security is less of an ordeal. Very bravely she waves good bye and I feel teary that my little sister is on her way home after what seems like a very short visit. I hope she will come again!!!

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