“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
― Marcel Proust
On this final journal of this Epic West Coast Road Trip, I share with you my gratitude for this entire experience, and my ability to see that I’m privileged to have taken this adventure. If you’ve been following along, I’d shared last (in part 7) that after driving up the coast from Monterey to San Francisco, all the way up to Glass Beach, and then inland to Nice, California, we then headed to Sacramento, our final destination before flying back to Pennsylvania.
Wanting to take advantage of any cool roadside diversions, I found some unique pitstops. The first stop we made was to the Old Faithful Geyser of California. Haven’t heard of it? Neither had we! But found it was on our way so we stopped in for a visit to check out this natural phenomenon. According to the website, the Old Faithful Geyser of California was declared one of only three “faithful” geysers in the world because of its regular eruptions. This geyser has also proven itself to be a good predictor of earthquakes. When the geyser’s regular eruptions are delayed or diminished, an earthquake is likely within the next couple of weeks in the 500 miles surrounding the geyser.
Old Faithful Geyser of California soon became one of the most visited places in the American West. The rainbows that form in the predictable sprays of mist are a wonderful feature in this serene setting at the top of Napa Valley. To this day, Old Faithful Geyser of California remains one of the most photographed places in the State of California. We lounged on chairs awaiting the eruption, which occurs every 15-30 minutes.
When heading out of the visitors center, I picked up some local travel pamphlets on a rack in the foyer. As I got into the car, I found one that highlighted a winery at a castle and discovered that this amazing place called Castello di Amorosa was just a 20-minute drive from our location. We headed there and found out that they offer wine tastings along with the ability to take a self-guided tour of the castle. As soon as we drove up the hill passing the vineyards on both sides, we got our first glimpse of this amazing structure.
According to the website, fourth generation winemaker Dario Sattui built an authentically styled 13th century Tuscan castle winery to honor his Italian heritage and deep love for medieval architecture. The grand castle is a sight to see from the front, but inside, so much detail was taken to include furniture and fixtures of medieval style, while also offering a tables and chairs to enjoy siping on their wine.
The waiters are nothing but kind, and generous with the wine tasting. Our server gave us extra samples, knowing we’d pick up a few bottles to take home. After a wonderful tasting of several whites and reds, we headed to tour the facility, wandering up and down stairways, around corners, and discovering vast vantage points from the top floor of the castle with a view of the entire vineyard. We found our way to the gift shop to pick up our wine, as well as some souvenirs.
Starting to get a bit hungry after sipping on some fantastic wine, we stopped along the way at an In-N-Out Burger. I’m not a fan of fast food, but this burger was pretty good. We don’t have any In-N-Out Burger restaurants in Pennsylvania and being that my boyfriend was from the area, we had to stop and grab a bite. Once we’d had our fill of some burgers and fries, we headed to our hotel in Sacramento.
Hopeful that the California State Capitol would be open, we headed downtown to take some photos and hopefully tour Sacramento a bit before meeting up with my friends who live there. The complex was only open to state workers, so no chance getting inside. After capturing what I could of the exterior of the capitol and seeing some oranges on the trees, we headed to meet up with friends for chatting at a park, and then dinner.
We had a fantastic chat and wished that the Sacramento Zoo or Fairytale Town (this place just looked cool) had been open, but alas we weren’t able to visit these places due to the temporary closure due to the pandemic. After a delightful dinner with friends, we said our goodbyes, and went back to the hotel for an early night. Our flight left at 7 AM so I had wanted to get up at 4AM, and it was a long day, until we arrived back safe in Harrisburg. I can’t wait to go back to California after this Pandemic and be able to see so much more, but for what we did, in two weeks, it was a lot!~ Cheers until my next adventure!~