Better Living Through Groupon (or the post with a lot of dark photos)

We reluctantly left the Redwoods after our a.m. hike and headed down towards Napa for the portion of the trip better tailored to Chelsea’s interests. However Napa has exorbitantly priced hotels so we chilled in Santa Rosa for a night. I was really expecting Santa Rosa to be a drive-through kinda place, but it was actually super cute. After some much needed poolside chillin’ we went into town for delicious Puerto Rican food (Yelp for the win!)

…and then walked around the town. Apparently Charles Schultz lived there which (sort of) explains this:

There were a bunch of independent stores yet none of it seemed obsessively commercial. I even managed to get Chelsea into a used bookshop.

gasp!

And there was this gem that I can now add to my collection of Bob Dylan themed photos (because I have a problem).

The next morning we hit the road again, but not before making our own waffles at the motel’s breakfast. Score. Waffles and a pool, I’m surprised we’re not still there. We headed out for Sacramento where I had inadvertently planned a very romantic day for my sister and I. The day’s activities were almost completely organized around Groupons, which I never have high expectations for but keep purchasing anyway. First stop- massages. I hurt my back a few weeks ago, while driving because I’m special like that. The kid who gave me a massage made something or other pop and finally no back pain! For a few minutes there I considered marrying him, just staying on in Sacramento. They had a little downtown urban area just begging to be studied by a sociologist, and I could have a garden too… But we had to keep moving on because our next appointment was for a wine and chocolate tasting, au revoir massage boy. Again, Groupon pulled through. We were pretty shit faced after ‘tasting’ 7 wines, Ashley at Vinter’s Cellar pours like the ship is going down, so we stumbled over to the nearest restaurant where Chelsea spent some time admiring herself and I spent some time admiring my Portuguese sausage.

Back at the hotel we had a ridiculous dance/Jacuzzi party, the likes of which you can really only get away with if you’re sisters. And in this picture we actually look like sisters, which is weird.

We spent Wednesday flitting around Napa in a tour bus- four couples, James the weird dude, and the two of us. If you know me, you know I love wine. We went to 4 vineyards and the day went something like this:

Vineyard #1 good wine, I actually took notes about some random tidbits (for example- most of the wood used for wine barrels comes from a handful of forests in France)

Vineyard #2 cute dog, good wine, fun vibe

Vineyard #3 we tasted wine straight out of the barrel about 2 weeks out from bottling- amazing, amazing, is that bacon I taste in the wine??

Vineyard #4 please stop giving me wine, I don’t want to drink anymore wine

At this point I’ve gone almost a week without drinking wine. When was the last time I went a week without drinking wine? Third grade? I hope Napa hasn’t ruined me forever, but after being force-fed for 6 hours and shuttled around in a warm van, that stuff is just not appealing. In order to rekindle my love of wine I might need an emergency trip to Paris, where it all started. I hear it’s lovely in the fall.

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