Monday, October 08, 2007

Riding the cougar!

Well, sorry I haven't posted in a while. There have been interesting things going on, but mostly I've kind of forget to blog about them.

This weekend, Austin and I went to Napa Valley for the wedding of one of my fraternity brothers, Dan Fanton, or as he is also known, Don Santon.

Austin and I's flight left at 7:20am on Friday, necessitating a drive to his parent's house at 5:00am. I went to bed Thursday night, Austin decided to just stay up and sleep on the plane. We flew Frontier, which I hadn't flown before. Our flight had a layover in Denver, and the first leg was fine, I slept a little, and also watched a couple of episodes of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" on my iPod which I had ripped from the DVDs I borrowed from Austin.

Once we got to Denver, things went a bit awry. Our departure gate was changed, plus we had to truck down most of the concourse to get there in time. Then the seat assignments were all screwy. Thankfully they decided for the hassle they were going to give us free TV. I should also mention that all of Frontier's planes have a picture of an animal on the tail and the that these animals have names. I think we were on Spike the Porcupine for that particular leg. The rest of the flight proved fine, though as is usually the case these days, there wasn't a meal, just a snack (a granola bar).

We arrived in Sacramento about 11:00am, where coincidentally one of the other fraternity brothers, Drew and his fiancee, had just arrived on a different flight. We bussed over to the rental car terminal and headed out towards Napa. We had decided we would look for somewhere for lunch on the way. Little did we realize that there is very little between Sacramento and Napa. Drew led the way and twice we had to turn around while off the freeway because we couldn't find a place to eat. We finally found an Applebee's in Davis (home of UC Davis) and stopped there. After lunch we headed off towards our respective hotels. I managed to get off on the wrong exit, but we turned back around and made it eventually to our hotel.

That evening (this being Friday still) we went to the rehearsal dinner. The food was very good, I had the rainbow trout. After the dinner we went to the sportsbar in the hotel and had some drinks before retiring for the night.

Saturday, Austin and I met up with Drew and Erin, and also Adam (another fraternity brothere) and Andi and we headed down to Fairfield (town of my birth) to tour the Anheuser-Busch brewery and the Jelly Belly factory. Both tours we showed up just in time to join the next group. At the brewery they gave us some samples and as none of us had had lunch yet, we got a bit tipsy. After that we went down the block (literally) to the Jelly Belly factory. At the factory store I bought several bags of the "Belly Flops" which are jelly beans that fail the strict quality standards of factory.

After the tours we headed back and looked for a spot for lunch. Once again we were following Drew and he got us all turned around, but eventually we ended up at a Baker's Square, where there were some interesting people. There was a Cajun festival in town, so the couple seated at the table near us were regaled in bib overalls and straw hats.

The wedding was at 6, so Austin and I headed over a bit early to the winery's store to pick up a few things. Oh yeah, the wedding was at the Domaine Chandon winery. The ceremony was out on the lawn and then we went up to the patio for champagne (or rather sparking wine) and appetizers. After that was dinner. There were neverending rolls, where as soon as you ate your roll (or even most of it) they appeared with basket to give you another. There was a salad course, soup course and then the entree. I had the beef tenderloin with carmelized shallot sauce, creamed potatoes, and market vegetables. That was seriously the best beef I have ever had. We also had wine with dinner, red, white or both. Both were very good, though I'm no wine connoisseur. Then there was cake, and dancing and candy and coffee. I was so stuffed from dinner I couldn't have any cake.

When Austin and I got back from the reception, we turned on the TV and "Harold and Kumar" was on, near the end, where they were riding the cheetah. I fell asleep very soon after that.

The next morning there was a good-bye brunch hosted by the maternal grandparents. We packed away the food as we knew there would be nothing on the plane. We managed to make it back to Sacramento in pretty decent time, and I was only one hour over 2 days on the rental car, so it ended up being pretty cheap. I mentioned before that all of Frontiers planes are animal named, and our plane for the trip back to Detroit was Charlie the Cougar. We were Riding the Cougar all the way back to Detroit! What was also funny was our pilot on the second leg was Tom Cruise (or maybe Cruz) but I was tempted to ask the flight attendant if the co-pilot was Anthony Edwards. We got back to Detroit a bit after midnight. Austin's dad picked us up and then we headed home.

I should have some pictures to put up along with the post soonish, but they aren't here with me. All in all, an awesome weekend, it was a lot of fun to catch up with my fraternity brothers. Drew is getting married the weekend of Thanksgiving, so we should all be together then also.

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