Everyone assumed that Manabu came back to California after three weeks of being in Japan because of a girl. Why else would you return to a place that you just left? It had to be a girl. To our surprise, it was not. Manabu is visiting because he is doing independent research on Native Americans. I think. Regardless, I am quite pleased by this since I did not feel like I got to spend quite as much time with Manabu as I would have liked. So, on Thursday, we went out to dinner. Look how strong I have become!
Yes, I put the pepper shaker underneath my shirt. Anyway, on Saturday Manabu, Tazuko, Takashi, Ralph and I took a trip up to Napa Valley. First stop was the Wine Train, just to see if uncle Vincent was there. Since it was Saturday, he was not. We went into the gift shop and looked around for a while.
Then one of the wait staff came by and gave us a glass of wine, thinking we were customers.
Next stop was this place.
Free tour, yeah. We didn't drink any wine here.
But we did see some impressive equipment and got a great explanation of sparkling wine manufacture.
And saw barrels.
After that, we went to Calistoga, got sandwiches at Cal-Mart, at on the curb and drove to Santa Rosa. Starbucks was sighted, and I stopped so that Mocha Jet Max could refuel.
Then we tried to drive to Fort Ross via Stevastopol, but thanks to the coffee break we did not make it in time. Instead we went to a random beach on the coast and looked for seals.
It was a great beach.
Ralph with driftwood.
Takashi shouting at the ocean.
"Sea" in Japanese.
Finally, we went to Bodega Bay. I wanted to see the legendary birds, but by the time we arrived at the Bird Walk it was already closed.
By my standards, it was a failure of a tour. However, everyone else seems to have had a lot of fun, so I have no regrets. By the way, I was able to drive from Davis to the ocean and back, about 7 hours of driving total, with five people in the car and I only used up 3/4 of a tank of gas. My car is awesome.