Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Livermore Wine Country Festival 2014

Remember we went to the Livermore Wine Country Festival last year? We went back. You're shocked.

There was some drama getting to the airport - I left my phone at my aunt's house. We went back to get it and almost ran out of gas on the way back to my parents, were worried we'd be late for our flight...

... and then the flight was delayed over an hour, so we were fine... and I was glad to have my phone/camera.

We ended up getting into the hotel around midnight. I love so much that they give you warm cookies when you check in.

I wasn't even hungry. I just wanted a cookie.

There was some more drama with our hotel room when the toilet didn't flush, so we ended up switching rooms and not getting to bed until almost 2am.

Friday morning we slept in just a bit - if getting up at 8:40 is sleeping in, which I guess it is - had breakfast of donuts, coffee and bagel sammiches

We went to my honey's favorite donut shop in Downtown Livermore, the Donut Wheel, and got a baker's dozen... because we needed 13 donuts for four people. They were gone by the end of the day. I'm not gonna tell you who ate how many. *cough cough*

My *first* donut. Nom.

After breakfast downtown, our first stop of the day was Stony Ridge Winery, home of the Crooked Vine.

My dad sported his awesome hat.

I told the hubs this is where I want to have my second wedding. Hahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaa.

Next stop was Murrietta's Well.

Another wedding worthy spot. Hubs told me that this was the place he originally had in mind when he proposed getting married at a vineyard. (We ended up getting married at a hotel in Santa Barbara - closer to home and just as stunning)

When we finished up there, we were starving, so we drove out to the Restaurant at Wente Vineyards for lunch.


Everything was delicious.
Mine is tagliatelle with rabbit, artichoke, olives, and chard.
My mom had a burger - with the most amazing fries ever. I stole quite a few of them.
and my honey, and my dad, went for the lamb and pork sausages. Also super delish.

after lunch, we made the final winery stop of the day at Las Positas, where we had a complimentary tasting because we knew some folks. ;)

I took a picture of this bottle because hubs was a fan, and my dad jumped in with some bunny ears. It's better this way. 

She brought out some chocolate and oyster crackers for us to cleanse our palettes between whites and reds. We ate all of them.

Hubs and I decided to sign up for the wine club there, but we decided to wait until we got home since we have a bunch of wine we hope to get through before we start overstocking.

After wineries, we siesta'd and then headed back to downtown for late dinner

I had tortilla soup and...

...tiny flautas. They were like short fat taquitos.

I had wanted ice cream for dessert, but ice cream was closed. The fondu place was open, so we sat at the bar and ordered one "everything but the kitchen sink" to share.
Fondu is fun, but overpriced... seriously.

Saturday was our designated wine festival day. Oddly, I didn't take as many pictures this day.
I managed to get the hubs to pose for a couple selfies with me.

My adorable and wonderful parents

These handmade caramels blew my mind. These have just a hint of lavender in them. So yummy.

We went into a cowboy store - Bauhmans's. Hat trying on was a necessity.
My hubs bought some Wranglers... because he's a cowboy at heart (and sort of in real life too).

and then Thai for lunch at Lemongrass. By then, we were staaarving and the fried rice and bbq chicken really hit the spot.

I grabbed a sno-cone (summer fun checklist). It was gigantic! I barely made a dent.

We decided to take our leave from the festival after trying one or two more wines.

and we went to find somewhere a little more mellow.

We ended up at a little winery called Bodegas Aguirre.

My dad looooved this place. He'd wanted to get to a little hole in the wall winery all weekend and finally we were there!

After that, it was time for siesta! My mom and I got a little bored after an hour of laying around, so we took a field trip to the outlets, and each got a new shirt.

Then it was time for dinner. Hubs ran off to watch the Warriors game with his BFF (who was also at the wine festival with us, along with his lovely lady, but I don't have any pictures of them), and my parents and I decided to go back to the Restaurant at Wente Vineyards to see what their dinner was like... plus we were intrigued by the dessert menu we'd seen at lunch the day before.

These rolls. I wish they'd been warm, but the flavor was beautiful. They're poppy seed fennel rolls, but the fennel is super subtle. The flavor just blossomed. It was lovely.

We each had an appetizer and an entree - though really, I had two appetizers.

My mom had fish, which was light and buttery and delicious. My dad had the same burger my mom had had for lunch the day before - I warned him I was going to eat all his fries - and I had these adorable beef and lamb meatballs.

... which left plenty of room for dessert.

We ordered one chevre cheesecake for the three of us to share, but my dad was too full to partake, so my mom and I ate it all.

We "watched" the last few minutes of the Warriors game on my dad's phone at the table before I dropped my parents off at the hotel and went to pick up the hubs.

In the morning, we had a too quick breakfast at IHOP. There are not a lot of sit down breakfast options in that area. I didn't take any pictures, which is a shame because we finally got a chance to hang out with our godbabies, and they are pretty much the best ever.
Joshua, who is 5, wouldn't let go of my hand and declared he was going to get on the plane with us.

After such a wonderful weekend, we finished up with a little ice cream for lunch while we waited to board the plane to go home.

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