Monday, April 23, 2012

Is it Windy in Here or What?

Vacation Day 11

We wrapped up our last full day in California by doing some fun stuff. If you don't already know, Joe has been skydiving for a couple of years so he thought he'd go to iFly SF in Union City, and get a little practice. It's a big wind tunnel where you can simulate skydiving. He and the kids first tried this in 2008 when the family vacationed in Florida. I guess he was hooked. He's been to a few wind tunnels since. I love watching what the wind does to his face. You'll see what I mean when you look at the pictures below. He had a good time and got some coaching.

From there we went to Fairfield, California to the Jelly Belly Factory. They have free tours and samples! It was interesting and they even gave us each a small bag of Jelly Belly's to take home. Of course we couldn't leave with just that. I didn't realize the company makes so much candy and they even have a distribution center in Pleasantville, Wisconsin. Who knew??

We had an early supper and went back to the hotel early so we could clean out the rental car and pack our luggage. We leave California tomorrow morning at 10:45am.

This is probably going to be my last vacation blog post unless I take some interesting pics on the return flight. I hope you've enjoyed reading about our travels and looking and the hundreds of pictures I've taken. It's been fun and it's also a great way to remember our vacation later.

Stay tuned.

 Another interesting bridge

 Wind Tunnel
 Joe waiting for his turn

 Chuck coaching Joe

 120 MPH
 Look Mom, no hands

 This has to be my favorite picture. I'm sure his skin didn't flap that much 4 years ago.....

 I watched this guy go through the dumpster at the gas station
 Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, California
 Fancy bike

Joe's pride and joy, A discount card to BevMo.

New Friends and a Fellow Canadian

Vacation Day 10

We continue to drive around the countryside and enjoy the sights. I Googled things to do in Suisun City and found a few wineries. I picked one in particular so off we went. It was called the Suisun Valley Wine Cooperative. Joe said he didn't realize there were any wineries in the area. Most wineries charge $15 for a wine tasting but these guys were free. Joe tasted around 8 of the wines they had and I think he enjoyed the experience. It was much less harried than the other wineries we've seen along the way. Here is their website (

 We stopped at an outlet mall but it was much too busy and warm to do anything so we left there and drove some more. Ross and Carlise invited us to their beautiful home for a bbq. Carlise is from British Columbia so we had a lot in common. After traveling 9 days and eating at restaurants, it was a welcome change to just sit and talk and feel at ease. The meal was lovely. Ross did a great job on the steaks and Carlise's potato salad was delicious. I hope they will take us up on our offer to visit us in Wisconsin sometime soon so we can reciprocate the hospitality.Thanks again guys.

 Vineyard across the road from the Wine Cooperative

 These were the wineries involved in the cooperative
Oats and wheat mixed together

Slow Down

Vacation Day 9

Sorry I'm late posting this but it was a long day and sleep just seemed a little more important at the time. We've done everything we've set out to do on this trip so we're filling in time with some odds and ends.

Joe took me to the place that makes one of his favorite dinner wines (7 Deadly Zins) called Micheal David Winery near Lodi, California. Remember that song oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again? The song is based on this area. The winery also served as a cafe so we had lunch and Joe got a glass of wine (Earthquake Zin) with his meal. We wandered around the grounds for a while and had a nice leisurely afternoon.

We took a drive on a mountain ridge and the road was narrow and winding. Joe had been here several times when he worked here a few years back so he knew some of the hidden places most tourists don't know exist. The view was beautiful and we could see for miles and miles.

 We did a little shopping and stopped at the Blue Frog Grog and Grill again for a late dinner. It was just as tasty as our previous visit.

 Earth Day 2012 celebrations taking place outside our hotel

 Military aircraft carrier coming in for a landing to Travis AFB

 Micheal David Winery grounds

 Lots of ducks on the property

 Notice how the tree has been trimmed underneath?
 Baby chicks for sale
 Jail Break

 Look at the base of the tree

 The founders. Don't they look cute?

 Grape vines as far as the eye can see