Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A nice summer

We've been rather busy travelling in the last month. Beside the previously mentioned visit to Saltspring Island, we visited a good, long-time friend in Chico, California, and attended a wedding in San Ramon, east of San Francisco. We also took time driving and wine tasting in the Napa and Sonoma valleys.  Wine tasting in California is an expensive proposition these days, each winery charges twenty or thirty dollars for a wine tasting tour consisting of about five samples of wine. I think some part of these fees is imposed by the state of California; I recall reading about the budgetary problems they are having. So, soak the tourists.

A driving visit to the somewhat bleak Crescent City area, and a spectacular visit to, and including a tour of the Oregon caves were other interesting events.

The traces of the economic recession seemed still evident to us. Crescent City showed little activity during our admittedly short stopover.  In Napa City we found many of the tourist-brochure-advertised places shuttered and empty. With the recent upswing in the US economy, we hope that things will improve for everyone soon.

The wedding itself took place in San Ramon, California. The groom was our son's boyhood friend. He visited us a couple of years ago to pay his condolences regarding our son's death. We were surprised and honoured by the wedding invitation and certainly wanted to represent our son on that occasion.

The venue was the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California. The ceremony itself took place in the open plaza in front; the reception inside. Since the groom is of Chinese ancestry, and the bride French; it was a delightfully mixed theme, with elements of both Chinese and European character.

The museum itself is exhibiting antique, prototype automobiles, dating from about 1870 to 1970. All cars are originals, and belong to the collection of one private owner. Needless to say, they were all in pristine condition. An area on the museum floor had been cleared to accommodate the guests and wedding party, and for dancing.  A few pictures:

It was certainly an original, and unique wedding.

Since the weather here at home was wonderful, we felt as though our vacation continued after we came back. We had our usual happy hour (a glass or two of red wine) every day on our back porch, with temperatures reminiscent of California.

A nice, summery July and early August...