Sunday, October 26, 2008

Vintage...not old

Once upon a time, on an early summer's day in Jackson, Wyoming Eddie got a phone call. Much to his surprise it was his old pal from college, Justin. While delighted to hear from his long-lost buddy, Eddie wondered what on earth inspired Justin to call him on that sunny day. Well, Justin explained, he was sailing to Nicaragua in the fall - moving there, in fact - and he was in need of some crew to make the voyage. "Hell yes!" thought Eddie. When Chad caught wind (pun intended) of this epic journey he echoed Eddie's thoughts. "Hell yes!" said Chad. And then it was on.

Just the week before we took off Jackson got 5 inches of pow (see above photo of white stuff blanketing front yard). In early October. Shnikeys. Too bad we had to go sailing. HAHA!
We started off the trip with a bang - thanks to some Amangani Grill connections - with a behind the scenes tour of Seven Hills winery in Walla Walla, Washington. Say that 10 times fast. We camped in a wheat field just outside of town before the fermentation began.

The experts at work crushing and destemming a fresh batch of fruit. Mmmmm.

The winemaker himself, Casey, took us out to one of the Seven Hills vineyards to pick up a load of their '08 malbec. They're pretty tasty grapes right off the vine, but give them a week or so to ferment and a year in some Hungarian oak and they turn downright delicious.

Chadillac working his magic with a big batch of grapes. You thought wine making was all fun and games? Well it is. Or at least it seems to be, for the most part. Everyone we met at the winery and the vineyard was extremely nice and truly seemed to enjoy what they do. But how could you not enjoy what you do if what you do is make wine for a living? That hospitality didn't save us from some hard manual labor though.

"Punching" the grapes - a crucial element of the wine-making process - helps circulate the skins and juices to help the fermentation along. Can't wait see the fruits of our labor in a couple years. Thanks guys!

From the winery in Walla Walla, Washington we whisked off wicked fast to Portland for all too brief visit with family and friends and then started our drive south through the Redwoods and down the California coast toward San Francisco. We decided to document our first sight of the ocean we'll be spending the next month and a half sailing. Hey there Pacific. What's crackin'?

The Golden Gate at night. Absolutely. Awesome. We pulled into San Fran on this evening with hopes of getting a good night's sleep at a friend's house. But thanks to a birthday booze cruise for the friend in question the previous evening he passed out without ever receiving our phone call to announce our arrival. We will try not to name Jay Danforth in order to avoid any public embarrassments. Despite a rough first night however, the stay in San Fran was an overwhelming success. No worries, Jay. I blame it on the booze cruise. Don't booze and cruise. Words to live by, right? Yeah, probably not on this trip.

San Francisco's new California Institute of the Sciences is possibly the coolest museum we've ever set foot in. From the largest digital planetarium in the world to a four story indoor rain forest to a "living" roof, it's all around awesome. We spent about 4 hours wandering around having staring contests with lizards and gawking at upside down jellyfish and easily could have spent another 4 exploring.

Two of our gracious and gorgeous San Fran hostesses, Ehren and Kate, showed us around the city.

Mr. Jayforth himself. Straight chillin.


Our ride to Nicaragua: Gypsy. That would make us Gypsy Kings? Probably.

The first of many delicious "barley pops" to be enjoyed aboard Gypsy, our trusty vessel. Mom and Dad, it's true - the apple doesn't fall far from the tree - that is a Coors Light. You have raised me well...or well enough.

6:00am sunrise en route from Los Angeles to San Diego. Too bad the view sucked...I wish I was at work-HAHAHA. That's it for now. See you from Mexico!