Tuesday, April 1, 2008

San Francisco Day 3

On this particular day we decided to venture out on our own and rented a car to afford us a little freedom! Our first stop was the Presidio area where a whopping 23 years ago Jeff was a resident! At the ripe old age of 18 my sweet Tennessee boy who had never been West of the Mississippi River joined the army and was stationed in San Francisco for about 6 months. While there he worked as an orthopedic tech in the base hospital. In his 4 years in the army he was also stationed in New Jersey and Seoul, Korea where he spent 18 months working at the 121st evacuation hospital. He was 1 of 150 active duty soldiers in the whole army selected to attend the West Point preparatory school and was groomed to be a West Point Cadet. However, after a year of the academy, Jeff decided Army life was not for him...thank God! I don't know that I would have been a very good military wife...not to mention that if he had stayed on that path we would probably have never met! We were able to find the base and even Jeff's old apartment! It isn't an army base anymore and a lot had changed, but it was neat to see the building where he lived! It had quite the view of the Golden Gate Bridge!! Jeff's old apartment
Look at that view....see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background!

After that we headed over the GG Bridge and to the Muir Woods where we saw breathtaking Redwoods that were HUGE!! After being in the city it was like a whole other world that had basically stood still in time! Some of the trees were over 1000 years old! During the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires they wanted to cut down all of the trees and make a reservoir of water for the firefighters. Luckily the man who owned the land was able to get the attention of President Roosevelt and he saved the land by adopting it as the 10th national monument under the 1906 Antiquities Act. I can't imagine clearing that land!!

After our morning walk in the redwood trees we headed over to Sonoma and Napa Valley to check out wine country. It was beautiful! This area lies about an hour from San Francisco, but was so worth the drive there and back! We were able to tour three wineries: Shug, Sebastiani and Ravenswood. My favorite label...La Crema was farther North than we wanted to drive, so we tried to stick to what was near and in a cluster. Sonoma and Napa are huge counties and the wineries are quite spread out! Jeff enjoyed a few tastings, but Baby Lydia and I had to sit that fun experience out. It was fascinating to see the process of each company and the difference in regions, grapes, and ultimately tastes. It was one of our favorite excursions of the trip!!