Thursday, April 2, 2009

Field Trip!

Wednesday's field trip combined elements of chemistry, horticulture, history, and drinkin'. In other words, a trip to the Napa valley. Here's Sadie:

We met the faculty and students from King Alfred Academy at our first stop, Dutch Henry Winery, where we ate a picnic lunch and covered subjects like: European culture (there was a bocce ball court), gastronomic efficiency (all kids needed to eat faster) and veterinary medicine (dogs shouldn't be fed pretzels). The dog who was the subject of our lesson was one of a pair of dogs that belonged to the winery. This one seemed drawn to our table in a way that its pal was not. I later discovered, upon reading its name tag, that it may have had to do with the fact that we kept calling it. Here's Sadie:

A quick shot of the tasting room. The shot I wish I had snapped was the one showing the expressions of the two young women who walked into the tasting room a few minutes later to find 5 extremely unsocialized children under the age of 10 wandering around the kegs at noon on a Wednesday in March. But I was too busy trying to assure the women that the children were friendly and wouldn't bite...unless instructed.

We then moved on to the Frank Family Winery where the fella manning the tasting room was very vocal in his astonishment at seeing the Von Trapp Family showing up for a tasting. "What's this?" he boomed nervously, "Wine tasting nursery school? Are those kids gonna be all right out there unattended?" The kids were about 7 feet away from us on the porch. I can understand his concern. They did look menacing:

We assured him that they were all wearing electric shock collars that could activated by a push of a button on our watches. And then had a taste of this red champagne:

This winery also came with a friendly dog (that mercifully did not share a name with any of my children but my sympathies to Sarah Palin) so while the kids played slobber ball with Bristol the dads did more tasting and the moms wandered around taking pictures of flowers.

Our next stop was to Mumm Winery where we went on a tour to learn how champagne is made. The tour guide warned us that if our kids even looked at him funny we would be locked in the dungeon and fed nothing but stale bread, aerosol "cheese" and Blue Nun for a whole week.

After we'd successfully finished the tour without losing any of our children to Oompa Loompas or rivers of chocolate we walked through a corridor lined with photography from the Annual Mustard Festival. That's when we ran into this guy :

We noticed that for a mere $300 that photo could be ours. So we all pooled our money and then set every dollar of it on fire instead. Unfortunately, it was a Spare the Air day so we had to pay a hefty fine. Still, totally worth it.

On the way out I stopped to take a picture of a pair of lovebirds:

The kids stopped on the patio to check out the tasting menu:

"What looks good to you?"
"I don't care, you order. As long as its not Merlot. I'm not drinking any Merlot."

Our next stop was St. Clement:

Clement is French for, "We dare you to climb this hill after you've had five glasses of wine." Fortunately, none of us had had anywhere near that much wine and we all made it up there just fine. We grabbed a bottle of red wine, a picnic table and this view:

We broke out a snack of cheese and bread and other assorted yummy and let the kids run around the lawn. Eventually, the moms wandered off to take pictures:

We took a quick walk through town that started with Brittney and Zelda getting tossed out of a used bookstore. Then off to dinner.

If it looks like we had a good time, well, that's just an illusion, Michael. We had a GREAT time.


Brittney said...

I'm just going to print this off so my homeschooling advisor can see that we actually DID do school!

Your pics are incredible!!! We both have some photogenic QT pies!

What a great day! We will definitely have to do that again!

Dawn E said...

Looks like you guys had a wonderful time. I miss hanging out with you two and your great fams. *sniff*

Lesley said...

Is that Taylor's Automatic I see in the background? All great wines to take in.... but did you see the geyser and the fainting goats?