Venetian Night Returns to Chicago in 2016 at Navy Pier

English: From top left: Downtown Chicago, the ...

English: From top left: Downtown Chicago, the Willis Tower, the Chicago Theater, the Chicago “L”, Navy Pier, the Field Museum, and Millenium Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Navy Pier, Chicago

Navy Pier, Chicago (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Chicago Navy Pier from the Lake Guardian

Chicago Navy Pier from the Lake Guardian (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Giant Wheel of Navy Pier

Giant Wheel of Navy Pier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

Venetian Night is a aquatic parade of illuminated boats with Broadway musical themes set to music and followed by fireworks at Navy Pier’s south dock. The first event wasresented in 1958 and became one of my favoriteannual summer traditions at Monroe Harbor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEN: September 10, 2016

WHERE: 600 E. Grand

 

 

 

English: Navy Pier seen from the top of the Jo...

English: Navy Pier seen from the top of the John Hancock Building. Chicago, IL. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

Navy Pier is a 3,300-foot-long (1,010 m) pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. It is located in the Streeterville neighborhood of the Near North Side community area. The pier was built in 1916 at a cost of $4.5 million. Navy Pier is one of the most visited attractions in the entire Midwestern United States and is Chicago’s number one tourist attraction.

 

 

 

 

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Taste of Greektown 2016 in Chicago

Map of Chicago's community areas, grouped by c...

Map of Chicago’s community areas, grouped by color by “side” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Taste of Greektown 2016

WHEN: August 27 – 28, 2016

Enjoy Hellenic traditions: Greek restaurant food, traditional music and dance, handcrafts, and children’s games at Taste of Greektown at 400 S Halsted Street. Free.

Celebrate tantalizing Greek food including pastitsio and loukomades. Listen to Greel folk music and dance!

While you’re in the neighborhood, visit the National Hellenic Museum at 801 W. Adams St.

 

For more information visit greektownchicago.org

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

 

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UNESCO loves Lisbon Portugal

English: Monument to the Portuguese discoverie...

English: Monument to the Portuguese discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos), Lisbon. Detail of the eastern side, showing St Francis Xavier (right) and Afonso de Albuquerque (left) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Embedded image permalink

FADO

FADO (Photo credit: Jose Carlos Babo)

English: Monument to the Discoveries is a monu...

If you want to visit a gorgeous city, head to Lisbon Portugal. I love the Monument to the Discoveries; it commemorates the Portuguese explorers who participated in the Age of Discovery of the 15th and 16th centuries. You will find this monument on the estuary of the Tagus river in the Belém parish of Lisbon.   (Photo credit below from Wikipedia)

 

 

 

English: Monument to the Portuguese Discoverie...

Padrão dos Descobrimentos. The Monument to the...

Padrão dos Descobrimentos

View of Lisbon Castle in an illuminated manuscript

View of Lisbon Castle in an illuminated manuscript (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Monument to the Portuguese discoverie...

On the left, their are the names of the navigators in the  Monument to the Portuguese discoveries:  Bartolomeu Dias, Diogo Cão and António Abreu raising a padrão (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monument to the Portuguese maritime discoverie...

English: East side of the Monument to the Port...

English: East side of the Monument to the Portuguese Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos) in Lisbon, with labels of individuals represented. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Monastery of Jerónimos, Lisbon, P...

Carlos do Carmo. 08 Novembro 2007, Pavilhão At...

Image via Wikipedia

The Castle of São Jorge occupies a commanding ...

The Castle of São Jorge occupies a commanding position overlooking the city of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and the Tagus River beyond. The fortified citadel, which dates from medieval times, is located atop the highest hill in the historic center of the city. The castle is one of the main historical and touristic sites of Lisbon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The tomb of Vasco da Gama, in the Jer...

English: The tomb of Vasco da Gama, in the Jerónimos Monastery, Lisbon. Français : La tombe de Vasco de Gama, dans le monastère Saint Jérôme, à Lisbonne. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cristo-Rei (Christ the King) is a Catholic mon...

Cristo-Rei (Christ the King) is a Catholic monument overlooking Lisbon, The monument was built on the left-bank of the Tagus river, facing Lisbon on the other bank. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fabulous Vino con Vista City of Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world. Lisbon is endowed with a combination of historic quarters and a gorgeous scenic Tagus River-front view. There is a vibrant downtown area with plenty of shops and restaurants. The city is brimming with outstanding art and architecture.

English: The Monastery of Jerónimos, Lisbon, P...

English: The Monastery of Jerónimos, Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lisbon has two sites listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site: Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery. They were recently awarded a cultural UNESCO designation for Fado.

English: The Tower of Belém, Lisbon, Portugal....

English: The Tower of Belém, Lisbon, Portugal. View from Northeast. Français : La Tour de Belém, Lisbonne, Portugal, vue depuis le Nord est. Italiano: La Torre di Belém vista da nord-est, Lisbona, Portogallo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Português: Estátua do Cisto Rei em Almada.

Image via Wikipedia

I love the Vasco de Gama Bridge and the monument to Christ the King. The Cristo Rei monument stands on the southern bank of the Tagus River, in Almada where Christ stands with open arms. This statue was inspired by the Corcovado Christ the Redeemer  monument in Rio de Janeiro.

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I also love the Monument to the Discoveries representing the the maritime Portuguese Explorers during the 15th and 16th centuries. Expeditions started in 1419  along West Africa’s coast under Prince Henry the NavigatorBartolomeu Dias got to the Cape of Good Hope and entered the Indian Ocean in 1488. In 1588, Vasco da Gama led the first fleet around Africa to India. Methodical Portuguese expeditions started in 1419.

Padrão dos Descobrimentos” (Monument to the Discoveries) is located on the northern bank of the Tagus River estuary; where ships departed to explore and trade with India and Orient. This magnificent sculpture was conceived in 1939 by Portuguese architect José Ângelo Cottinelli Telmo, and sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida.

The Tower of Belem was designed to protect the Tagus Estuary from pirates, but it isn’t the only castle in Lisbon. When I was in Lisbon, I had an opportunity to attend a Fado concert at ST. GEORGE’S CASTLE. From the millennium-old walls of the castle of Sao Jorge, I had a panoramic Vino con Vista view of this historic city.

The castle of St George, Lisbon

Image via Wikipedia

I basically won the Fado lottery on this Vino con Vista adventure because I was introduced to Fado by listening to Carlos do Carmo. He belted out some incredible tunes. Most of the members of his Portuguese audience in Lisbon were singing along. He is like the Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley of Fado.

 

Lisbon Castle

Image via Wikipedia

 

The Castle of Sao Jorge was an outstanding concert venue. taking hilltop venue overlooking the city of Lisbon and the Tagus River.

Fado en las calles

Fado en las calles (Photo credit: machbel)

This was my first exposure to Fado. Many Fado lyrics are drawn from poetry. I liked the mournful music so much, that I bought a Carlos do Carmo CD at the concert. Watch this video to see him in concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V66wB4aomvI&feature=related

The Fado, painting by Portuguese artist José M...

Image via Wikipedia

Historians concur that Fado is a “multicultural blending of melodies by Portuguese  sailors, African slave songs and ancient Moorish ballads.” Fado songs are usually performed by a solo singer, male or female. The solo singer is traditionally accompanied by a wire-strung acoustic guitar and the Portuguese guitarra (a pear-shaped lute with twelve wire strings).

Verdes Anos fado group

Image via Wikipedia

Fado Museum in Lisbon, Portugal / Museu do Fad...

Portugal has numerous Fado venues where you can hear the soulful music. There is a Fado Museum in Lisbon.

Fado is Lisbon’s traditional music genre.  This “distinctive melancholic form of traditional singing, accompanied by  classical and Portuguese guitars has themes associated with passion, fate and regret.”

On November 27, 2011, Fado was inscribed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage ListsUNESCO is interested in protecting cultural traditions; Intangible Cultural Heritage includes “traditions and skills passed on within cultures.”

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UNESCO describes Fado as the “urban popular song of Portugal”:

Fado (Lisboa - Portugal)

Fado (Lisboa – Portugal) (Photo credit: Patxi64)

“Fado is a performance genre incorporating music and poetry widely practised by various communities in Lisbon. It represents a Portuguese multicultural synthesis of Afro-Brazilian sung dances, local traditional genres of song and dance, musical traditions from rural areas of the country brought by successive waves of internal immigration, and the cosmopolitan urban song patterns of the early nineteenth century.” (UNESCO) For more information visit UNESCO’s website here

Vasco da Gama - stone tomb in Jerónimos Monast...

Image via Wikipedia

Furthermore, Lisbon won The Academy of Urbanism’s “European City of the Year 2012.”  The organization was impressed with “Lisbon’s development of the River Tagus waterfront (now home to the annual Festival dos Oceanos) and the revival of Mouraria, one of the city’s typical historic quarters. Lisbon has successfully managed to sustain its classical and modern architecture. There was a tremendous amout of rebuilding after the great earthquake of 1755.”

The Academy  of Urbanism is “an autonomous, politically independent organisation whose goals are the recognition, learning and promoting of best practices in urbanism.”

Here’s a great video to watch before you plan your trip to Portugal: http://youtu.be/qt-T6Zbry98

 

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

Deutsch: Lissabon Fado

Image via Wikipedia

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My Glorious Vino con Vista Weekend in Portland Oregon

English: Union Station in Portland, Oregon, US...

English: Union Station in Portland, Oregon, USA. Français : Union station, la gare desservie par Amtrak à Portland dans l’Oregon (États Unis). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Fremont Bridge in Portland, Oregon from th...

The Fremont Bridge in Portland, Oregon from the east end. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seal of the City of Portland, Oregon

Seal of the City of Portland, Oregon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had a Glorious Vino con Vista Weekend in Portland Oregon. “The Rose City” has are so many charming and distinctive residential neighborhoods with beautiful parks, gardens and bridges.Skidmore Fountain and, behind, the New Market ...

I loved the historic architecture, magnificent bridges and beautiful fountains. The culinary scene has world-famous food carts and plenty of outstanding farm-to-table and sea-to-fork chefs.

King Estate Winery Wine Dinner at the Wine Blog Awards 2012

King Estate Winery Wine Dinner at the Wine Blog Awards 2012

King Estate Wine DInner

King Estate Wine DInner

The area is brimming with wineries and breweries. There are spectacular annual festivals and events like FEAST Portland (www.feastportland.com) with 100 chefs and 40 events in September.

FEAST Portland September 20-23, 2012 http://www.feastportland.com

The preserved main brewhouse of the Weinhard B...

The preserved main brewhouse of the Weinhard Brewery Complex in Portland, Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Portland Farmers Market celebrates the bounty of Oregon with fresh produce, specialty cheeses, prepared food and plenty of gorgeous flowers. www.portlandfarmersmarket.org

Portland's skyline from the South.

Portland’s skyline from the South. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wine

Wine

Foodies will swoon over Happy Hour in Portland with Food and Drink Specials all over own! If you want the best Vino con Vista in town, go to the Portland City Grill on the 30th floor of the US Bank Tower at 111 S. Fifth Street where you can see the entire city of Portland. www.portlandcitygrill.com 

 

City Hall of Portland, Oregon

City Hall of Portland, Oregon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

US Bancorp Tower in Portland, Oregon.

US Bancorp Tower in Portland, Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Willamette Week voters ranked Portland City Grill first place in the following categories: “Best New Hometown Restaurant” (2002), “Best Restaurant to Bring Friends from Out of Town” (2004), “Best Meat Market” (2005), and “Best Happy Hour” (2004–2007). I’d say it’s a WINNER!!!

Happy Hour in Portland Oregon offers Plenty of Food and Drink Specials

Happy Hour in Portland Oregon offers Plenty of Food and Drink Specials

Anne Amie Pinot Noir Wine from the Oregon's Willamette Valley

Anne Amie Pinot Noir Wine from the Oregon’s Willamette Valley

The Portland area is blessed with cupcake artisans, micro-brewers and passionate wine-makers. Who can resist the daily flavors at Cupcake Jones? Don’t cupcakes and Pinot Noir make a great couple?

Foodies love Portland Oregon

Foodies love Portland Oregon

Foodies love Portland Oregon

Foodies love Portland Oregon

Portland is wedged between a Pinot Noir Wine Tourism mecca and an incredible pristine coastline with scenic beaches. Furthermore, there is no sales tax in this culinary and shopping Wonderland!

The Fremont Bridge across the Willamette River...

The Fremont Bridge across the Willamette River in Portland in the U.S. state of Oregon. View is upstream (generally south). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Portland is cloaked with charming monuments like the Shang Dynasty  bronze elephants in North Park. I wish I more time in Portland; I would have loved to get a panoramic vista on that Aerial Tram.

Downtown Portland Oregon

Downtown Portland Oregon (Photo credit: Mr.Thomas)

The Portland Aerial Tram in Portland, Oregon. ...

The Portland Aerial Tram in Portland, Oregon. View of the OHSU (upper) station. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I loved the “Hop-on Hop-Off Big Pink Trolley.” I was able to visit the magnificent places and landmarks that characterize the Rose City. I took the free MAX (Metropolitan Area Express) from my hotel in Lloyd center to Pioneer Square. I paid $32 for a narrated Two-Day Pass at the Trolley Booth on Broadway and Yamhill and embarked on my exploratory journey of Portland Oregon. www.bigpinksightseeing.com. By the way, the Big Pink Trolley donates $1 for every ticket sold to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (www.bcrfcure.org).

The original Stumptown Coffee Roasters located...

The original Stumptown Coffee Roasters located at 45th and Division in Portland, Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may want to consider these options in Portland:

1. The Portland Attractions Pass where you can save up to 30% of admission to destinations in Portland is available online at www.travelportland.com

2. The Big Pass provides entry to many of the museums and gardens and includes the Pittock Mansion.

3. The Downtown Pass, Garden Pass and Washington Park Pass are also available.

4. The Distillery Row Passport waves tasting fees at 5 eastside distilleries at www.distilleryrowtours.com

5. Forktown Tours alows you to T0ur and Taste in delicious Districts on Thursdays and Saturdays at www.forktown.com

Seal of the City of Portland, Oregon

The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland,...

The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a list of my favorite Vino con Vista stops on the Big Pink Trolley.

English: The White Stag Sign, in Portland, Ore...

English: The White Stag Sign, in Portland, Oregon, at night, showing the wording it began displaying in late November 2010. The 1940-built sign was designated a Portland landmark by the city’s Historic Landmarks Commission in 1977. During the Christmas and holiday season, a simulated “red nose” (of neon) is turned on, in imitation of the character, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Portland has many interesting neighborhoods like: Nob Hill, The Pearl District, Old Town Chinatown, North Mississippi, North Portland, Vista Hills and Council Crest. Art galleries are concentrated downtown and in the Pearl District, as well as in the Alberta Arts District.

Portland Oregon's Neighborhoods

Portland Oregon’s Neighborhoods

Water tower, Old Town historic district of Por...

Water tower, Old Town historic district of Portland, Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are plenty of historic buildings in downtown Portland that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Northwest Portland includes the Pearl District and most of Old Town Chinatown.

The entrance to Chinatown in downtown Portland...

The entrance to Chinatown in downtown Portland, Oregon. The second oldest Chinatown in the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Trip to Portland, Oregon 01

Trip to Portland, Oregon 01 (Photo credit: DennisSylvesterHurd)

In Old Town/Chinatown at 4th and Burnside, look for the “Chinatown Gateway” structure. This 1986 masterpiece was created by architect Yu Tang Wang and artist Sun Chau. It is made of bronze, marble, granite, wood, tile ans steel. If you are interested in a list of Public Art in Portland, visit www.racc.org

Ther are many historic structures in Portland. Check out the list of historic places here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Register_of_Historic_Places_listings_in_Southwest_Portland,_Oregon.

 

Explore the Peal DIstrict of Portland Oregon

Here’s a List of My Favorite Vino con Vista Places in Portland:

1. I couldn’t wait to arrive in the Pearl District and visit the iconic flagship Powell Bookstore.  College professors love bookstores! This is the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world and it is owned by Walter Powell from Chicago.

Powell's Books in Portland Oregon

Powell’s Books in Portland Oregon

Powell’s City of Books covers 68,000 square feet on an entire city block in Portland. This store has “more than 1.5 million books in 3,500 different sections.” Here’s a map that will help you navigate the nine color-coded rooms at 1005 W. Burnside Street. Powell’s Bookstore has 7 different locations around the metro area. www.powells.com

Powell's City of Books in Portland Oregon

Powell’s City of Books in Portland Oregon

Strolling through the Pearl District is one of life’s simple pleasures. I wish I could stay in Portland for Labor Day Weekend. I would stay at the Historic Benson Hotel at 309 S.W. Broadway Ave. (www.bensonhotel.com) so I could attend the Art in the Pearl Festival. At this Labor Day weeknd art festival, there will be more than 100 artists showcasing their unique talent with paintings and photography, as well as jewelry and hand-crafted furniture. If you follow my posts, you know how much I love art festivals and live music.  On the First Thursday of each month, The Pearl District Galleries have parties and events.

Table made out of a Beer Keg in Portland Oregon

I want one of those tables made out of a Beer Keg

When I was in Portland, I went to a number of festivals. I loved the Street Festival in front of the Deschutes Brewery and Public House at 210 N.W. 11th Avenue.(www.deschutesbrewery.com) I was impressed by the small tables that were made out of the end of a beer key. I loved how they drilled the holes for the umbrella. If you know where I can get one of these tables, please let me know.Do not leave this area until you have had a garlic burger at Deschutes Brewery!!

I also want a giant beer keg serving station like the one they lovinglly call Woody. Woody would be great for the Taste of Chicago and Chicago Gourmet! It would even look cute in my yard. Do you think they sell them on eBay? One last thing, do not leave Portland without having a Garlic Burger at Deschutes Brewery. They are absolutely delicious!

Deschutes Brewery Street Festival.in Portland Oregon

Deschutes Brewery Street Festival.in Portland Oregon

Brewery Street Festival in Portland Oregon

We need these in Chicago!

Brewery Street Festival in Portland Oregon

Deschutes Brewery Street Festivalin Portland Oregon

In the Pearl District, visit the historic Portland Center Theater and see a performance at the Gerding Theater at the Armory. Have a snack at the Cafe or arrange for a “Backstage Tour” of this magnificent state-of-the-art renovated barrel-roof Armory at 128 N.W. Eleventh Avenue.

On the first and third Saturdays of each month, The Gerding Theater at the Armory hosts FREE  public tours where you can learn about the evolution of the Armory Annex from an 1891 military drilling site, to a public meeting space, to beer storage facility, and ultimately to one of the “world’s most sustainable performing arts centers.” Tours are from noon to 1 p.m. and meet at the concierge desk inside the lobby of the building. For more information or to buy tickets for Portland’s Center Stage performances visit: www.pcs.org

Portland Center in Oregon

Portland Center in Oregon

Portland Center in Oregon

Portland Center in Oregon

Portland Center in Oregon

Portland Center in Oregon

Historic Theater Building in Portland Oregon

Portland Center in Oregon

I love the black foundation blocks and Romanesque stone windows of the Portland Center in Oregon

Portland Center in Oregon

Portland Center in Oregon

The Armory Building was converted into a Theater in Portland Oregon

The Armory Building was converted into a Theater in Portland Oregon

I had lunch at Oven and Baker in the Pearl Distirct where Chef Cathy Whim works her magic on those “Puccia Pork Meatball Sandwiches.” That was the best meatball sandwich that I have ever had in my life!! www.ovenandshaker.com. For dinner you can visit Nostrana for more of Cathy’s Italian cuisine.

Puucia Meatball Sandwich at Oven and Shaker in Portland Oregon

Puucia Meatball Sandwich at Oven and Shaker in Portland Oregon

We met some new friends from Yamhill at the Cupcake shop and when I told them I wrote books about wine tourism in Italy,  they dragged us over to Coppia at 417 N.W. 19th  Street. This restaurant prepares cuisine from the Piedmont reion of Italy. They said that they come here from Yanhill because they love the Sformato Souffle and the Risotto Butternut Squash. We all shared a bottle of Codazzo Terracruda. It was wonderful!

We shared a bottle of wine at Coppia in Portland Oregon

Codazzo Terracruda at Coppia in Portland

It was fun browsing through the charming eclectic shops and boutiques in the Pearl District. Remember there isn’t any sales tax!

No Shopping tax in Portland

No Shopping tax in Portland

No Shopping tax in Portland

No Shopping tax in Portland

Vintage Marihuana Poster in Portland

Vintage Marihuana Poster in Portland

Shopping in the Pearl District

Shopping in the Pearl District. I loved these candles.

Shopping in the Pearl District

Shopping in the Pearl District

2. Visit the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland.

This extraordinary garden is the most authentically built walled Ming Dynasty-style garden outside of China. Visit the covered walkways, bridges, pavilions, tea house and lush landscape that frame picturesque Lake Zither (a small artificial lake). This Classical Chinese Garden is a verdant urban oasis built by Chinese artisans from Portland’s sister city of Suzhou.

This is the perfect Vino con Vista destination for a sophisticated sojourner who wants to experience a 2000-year-old Chinese tradition. “There are more than 100 trees, orchids, water plants, perennials, bamboos and unusual shrubs located throughout the beautiful garden.” Hopefully, someday I can attend the two-week Chinese New Year celebration at Lan Su Chinese Garden located around N.W. 3rd and Everette Streets.

 

3. Stroll through the Portland Saturday Market where you can enjoy 350 artisans selling their wares. There’s live music and plenty of exotic food at the international food pavillion at Waterfont Park in Portland’s historic Old Town. www.portlandsaturdaymarket.com

Old Town / Chinatown (MAX station)

Old Town / Chinatown (MAX station) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can take the free train to the Skidmore Fountain MAX station. Get off at Southwest Ankeny Street and Naito Parkway. This is the nation’s largest weekly open-air arts and crafts market with unique arts and crafts sold exclusively by the folks that make them. Everything in the “Local Section” must be from Oregon or Washington and made by hand.

Walk over to the Skidmore Fountain on 1sr Avenue between Burnside and Ankeny and admire Portland’s oldest commissioned public work of art. “Druggist Stephen Skidmore left $5000 in his will so that Horses, Men and Dogs could have a cold drink.”

Skidmore Fountain

Skidmore Fountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Portland Saturday Market sign.

English: Portland Saturday Market sign. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

There are many beautiful fountains in

4. Get some coffee at Stumptown Coffee Roasters; a haven for latte junkies like me. I loved the latte art!

Stumptown Coffee Roasters sign in downtown Por...

Stumptown Coffee Roasters sign in downtown Portland, Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stumptown Coffee  is a roaster and retailer. The chain’s flagship cafe and roastery at 4525 S.E. Division Street opened in 1999. They have expaned since then with 3 more cafes, a roastery and a tasting annex have opened in Portland. They also have 2 locations in Seattle and one in New York.

The downtown Stumptown Coffee cafe in Portland...

The downtown Stumptown Coffee cafe in Portland, Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5. If you have time, go to the the east bank of the Willamette River and explore the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). You can experience an earthquake or tour the U.S Navy’s last non-nuclear submarine. This is the home of the USS Blueback submarine that was  used in the film The Hunt for Red October. Have a VIno con Vista at the River-View Cafe.

OMSI has 5 enormous halls with hundreds of interactive exhibits and displays. OMSI also has an OMNIMAX Theater. It is located at 1945 S.E. Water Avenue.

If you want to take a Willamette Jetboat Excursion, the ticket office in near the museum on the River.

 

The Turbine Hall at Oregon Museum of Science a...

The Turbine Hall at Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, as ...

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, as seen from the west bank of the Willamette River. The USS Blueback (SS-581) is in the foreground. Taken by User:Cacophony on February 21, 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Outside the OMNIMAX theater at the Oregon Muse...

Outside the OMNIMAX theater at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6. The Portland Art Museum owns the city’s largest art collection. It was founded in 1892 and with the recent addition of the “Modern and Contemporary Art wing it became one of the United States’ 25 largest museums.” It is the oldest museum in the Pacific Northwest. It has a lovely outdoor sculpture court.

There is a magnificent permanent collection that reflects the history of art. There is special exhibition of California’s Impressionism until September 16th, 2012.

It is located in the heart of the downtown Cultural District at 1219 S.W. Park Avenue. Admission is free on the fourth Friday of every month from 5-8 p.m.

The Governor Hotel in Portland Oregon

English: Facade of the Governor Hotel in Portl...

English: Facade of the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon. Taken by myself. NRHP reference # 85000370 (under name Seward Hotel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7. Stay at the historic Governor Hotel.It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Governor is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Portland, so if you stay here, you can walk to Portland’s sights and enjoy the exciting night life.

Governor Hotel

Governor Hotel

Governor Hotel in Portland Oregon

The Governor Hotel is a member of the Historic Hotels of America. Enjoy a Vino con Vista Happy Hour at Jakes’s Grill in the Governor Hotel!

Happy Hour at Jakes Grill in the Governors Hotel in Portland Oregon

Happy Hour at Jakes Grill in the Governors Hotel in Portland Oregon

Governor Hotel

The hotel was placed in the US National Register of Historic Places in 1985. The building was extensively remodeled in 1992 when it was joined the neighboring Princeton Building.

Governor Hotel in Portland Oregon

The Arts and Crafts–inspired glazed terracotta exterior blends art nouveau and Native American designs. I love the majestic antlers on the animals that are mounted on the wall of the bar in the hotel.

Governor Hotel in Portland Oregon

Governor Hotel in Portland Oregon

Governor Hotel in Portland Oregon

Governor Hotel in Portland Oregon

The hotel’s architect, William C. Knighton, went on to become the first Oregon State Architect in 1912, and later designed the Oregon State Supreme Court Building. The rustic interior furnishings are quite impressive.

Murals in the Governor Hotel

Murals in the Governor Hotel

There are amazing floor-to-ceiling murals that were painted by San Francisco-based artist Melinda Morey. I love the vintage Lewis and Clark map “Trade along the Columbia” on the wall in the lobby.

Murals in the Governor Hotel

Murals in the Governor Hotel

Some movies were filmed at The Governor Hotel: Portlander Gus Van Sant filmed a scene of My Own Private Idaho and Madonna filmed several scenes of Body of Evidence.

Hotel Governor building in Downtown Portland.

Hotel Governor building in Downtown Portland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Map in the Lobby of the Governor Hotel

The Heathman Hotel http://portland.heathmanhotel.com/ is another outstanding hotel in Portland. The Heathman Hotel doormen will greet you in their red Beefeater costumes.

8. Tour the famous Pittock Mansion and enjoy the spectacular panoramic views of downtown Portland from the grounds. The mansion is nestled in the West Hills of Portland and soars 1,000 feet above sea level with an impressive view of the city’s skyline. This high elevation makes the mansion one of the best places for birdwatching in Portland.

This could my perfect Vino con Vista residence with perfect views of rivers, forests, bridges and mountaintops. There are 23 rooms filled with treasures from a by-gone era. Maybe the city will sell this property to me? Of course, I would have to wine the lottery to pay for it. The century-old Pittock Mansion  symbolizes “Portland’s dramatic transformation from a small lumber town to a bustling city” at 3229 N.W. Pittock Drive.

The French Renaissance Chateau was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The Pittock Mansion was once the private home of Henry Louis Pittock founder of the Oregonian Newpaper. At 1000 feet above sea level, the mansion has commanding view of five mountains in the Cascade range: Mounts St. Helens, Adams, Rainier, Hood and Jefferson. For more information visit www.pitockmansion.com.

English: Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon, ...

English: Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon, USA. Français : La demeure Pittock à Portland, en Oregon (États-Unis). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The mansion was originally built as a private home for The Oregonian newspaper publisher Henry Pittock  (1836–1919) and his wife, Georgiana. Georgiana was one of the founders of the Portland Rose Festival. She died in 1918 at the age of 72 and Henry died in 1919 at the age of 84.

The City of Portland purchased the estate in 1964 for $225,000. The estate is made of Tenino Sandstone situated on 46 acres. Roughly 80,000 people visit the Pittock Mansion every year.

The rear of the Pittock Mansion

The rear of the Pittock Mansion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pittock Masion, Portland, Oregon

Pittock Masion, Portland, Oregon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Portland Oregon's Food Carts

Portland Oregon’s Food Carts

9. Enjoy the culinary treats offered by the Portland Food Carts. The 431 registered food carts in Multnomah County serve a delightful spectrum of ethnic flavors: Mexican, Greek gyros, Vietnamese Pho, Indian curries, Polish sausage and Moroccan specialties.

Portland Oregon

Food Cart in Portland Oregon

Portland Oregon's Food Carts

Portland Oregon’s Food Carts

Try some Korean-Oregon fusion at Big-Ass Sandwiches or check out Khao Man Gai or Nipa Hut. Entreprenuership is alive and kickin’ inside Portland’s Food Cart Culture!

Portland Oregon Food Carts

10. I loved Pioneer Courthouse Square because it reminded me of a Historic Piazza in Italy. The Courthouse was built in 1869 and is the oldest federal building in the Pacific Northwest. There’s plenty of action in Courthouse Square; it’s the home of the annual Italian Festival in August. As a former groupie for my son’s California Band, I loved the “Noon Tunes” offered on Mondays.   Check out the "Noon Tunes" in Portland

Weather Machine in Pioneer Courthouse Square, ...

Check out the “Weather Vane Weather Machine” in Pioneer Courthouse Square. This 33-foot tall metal structure is surmounted by a large silver orb. Everyday at noon, the weather is announced with trumpets, flashing lights and a spray of mist. Light bulbs on the side light up brighter as the temperature increases. The orb opens to reveal the next day’s forecast: a golden leaf sun for a clear day; a Blue Heron to forecast a misty day; and a Dragon when storms are anticipated.
Pioneer Couthouse in Portland Oregon

Pioneer Couthouse in Portland Oregon

English: Pioneer Courthouse in Portland, Oregon
English: Pioneer Courthouse in Portland, Oregon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland

Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The flag of the city of Portland, Oregon flyin...
The flag of the city of Portland, Oregon flying in Pioneer Courthouse Square (upside-down) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: 'Allow Me' Sculpture in Pioneer Court...

English: ‘Allow Me’ Sculpture in Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland, Oregon, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In December, Pioneer Courthouse Square has an annual Holiday Ale Fest under the holiday tree. This five–day celebration features more than 40 of the Pacific Northwest’s premier seasonal brews.

Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland

Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon....

Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon. At center is Jackson Tower, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Journal Building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Plaque at Pioneer Courthouse Square i...

English: Plaque at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland, Oregon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

11. Pay hommage to “Portlandia”. She is made of hammered copper and is 36 feet tall. She is based upon a figure in Portland’s City Seal and depicts a woman dressed in classical attire. She welcomes traders into the port of the city. The sculpture is on the third floor of the Portland Building.

Portlandia is the second largest hammered copper statue in America (the largest is the Statue of Liberty). It was sculpted in 1985 by Raymond Kaskey for the Portland Building. You can visit Portlandia at 1120 S.W. 5th Avenue.

English: at the

English: at the (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

12. I am from Chicago and we have plenty of interesting bridges. I love Portland’s bridges! Portland is lovingly called “Bridge Town.”
Portland Oregon Willamette River at night

Portland Oregon Willamette River at night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John Alexander Low Waddell invented the vertical lift bridge. You can explore some of the glorious bridges that cross the Willamette River near Portland’s downtown area at  Bridge Pedal in August. This annual bike ride across Portland’s bridges offers 14-36 mile ride options. There’s also a PDX Bridge Festival that celebrates Hawthorne Bridge. This festival combines multimedia art and events to celebrate the ten bridges that connect Portland’s central city.
Here’s a list of some of Portland’s bridges:
Portland's Bridges

Portland’s Bridges

The  Marquam Bridge, was built is 1966 for $14 million. It is the busiest bridge in Oregon and is the 3rd longest tress bridge in North America. It links the I-5 corridor between Oregon and Washington.  The bridge is named after a judge who was later elected to the Oregon legislature, Phillip A. Marquam.

Hawthorne Bridge is the city’s oldest vertical highway lift-bridge and it was designed by Waddell. It is Oregon’s most heavily used bridge for bicycles. It opened on December 19, 1990 and cost $500,000. It leads leading directly into the central business district (CBD) from the east side. Hawthorne Bridge is named after Dr J.C. Hawthorne (founder of the Oregon Hospital for the Insane).   The street was originally called Asylum Street but changed when the hospital moved to Salem, Oregon.

Morrison Bridge is a drawbridge that leads directly into the CBD from the east side. It opened in 1958 and cost $12.9 million. It is named after John L. Morrison, a Scottish Immigrant who served as a lieutenant in the Oregon Rangers.

Burnside Bridge connects the east side to downtown and the Old Town Chinatown neighborhood. It was built in 1926 for $3 million. The Rose Parade crosses the Burnside drawbridge.  It was named after Dan Wyman Burnside from from Vermont. He helped raise funds to have the Willamette dredged in 1866.

Steel Bridge is one of the only dual-lift bridges in the world with independent lifts. The lower deck accommodates Amtrak and freight trains and carries MAX light Rail into Old Town/Chinatown. Lift operators are on duty 24 hours a day. In the summer, Portland bridges open nearly 300 times a month. The Steele Bridge opened to trains in July of 1912 and August of 1912 to cars. It cost $1.7 million to build. The Union Pacific Railway owns the lower section and the State of Oregon owns the upper section.

The Broadway Bridge connects the Lloyd District to Old Town Chinatown. It opened in April 1913 and cost $1.6 million. It is the longest drawbridge in Portland. It is named after the street that it connects.

The Fremont Bridge  carryies I-405 past the Pearl and Northwest districts and into downtown. It was built in November of 1973 and cost $82 million. It is the newest bridge to span the river. It is America’s longest tied arch bridge.  It was named after John Charles Freemont, an explorer and army officer.

The Hawthorne Bridge in Portland, seen from th...

Portland Oregon from the east. By User:Fcb981

Portland Oregon from the east. By User:Fcb981 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Portland Oregon Red Bull Flutag 2008

Portland Oregon Red Bull Flutag 2008 (Photo credit: dklimke)

Portland's Bridges

Portland’s Bridges

Voodoo Doughnuts

13.  I loved VooDooDonuts.

VooDoo Donuts

VooDoo Donuts

Their donuts are amazing! They are covered with interesting tidbits like M & M’s and bits of cereal. Some are covered with bacon, Captain Crunch and Oreos. They don’t just have a pretty face, they taste incredible!

VooDooDonuts

VooDooDonuts

They have iconic pink boxes that feature the company’s logo and drawings of Voodoo priests with the tagline, “The magic is in the Hole.”. Of course I ate too many-how could I resist them?

VooDoo Donuts

VooDoo Donuts

Located in Old Town’s popular nightlife district, Voodoo Doughnut is one of the city’s favorite culinary destinations. Locals and visitors line up 24 hours a day for what may be the most innovative doughnuts in the world.

In addition to the original Old Town shop, there’s a second location at 1501 N.E. Davis St. 22 S.W. Third Ave.

14. Spend some time in Washington Park.

Washington Park

Washington Park

Washington Park

Washington Park

Visit the International Rose Test Garden

Portland’s International Rose Gardens are the largest and oldest test gardens in the country with more than 8000 rose bushes. There are 550 different varieties of roses. The lush Washington Park features some of the most amazing Cascade Mountain views. The Test garden is inside Washington Park at 4oo S.W. Kingston Avenue. The best rose-viewing months are May-September.

Beautiful Roses in Oregon

Beautiful Roses in Oregon

Wide angle image of the International Rose Tes...

Wide angle image of the International Rose Test Gardens in Portland, Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rose Garden

Washington Park, in the West Hills of Portland. It is the home of ome of Portland’s most popular recreational sites including the:  Oregon Zoo, the Portland Japanese Garden, the World Forestry Center and the Hoyt Arboretum. There is also a Veteran’s Memorial and Children’s Museum.

Washington Park

Washington Park

Washington Park Children's Museum in Portland Oregon

Washington Park Children’s Museum in Portland Oregon

Washington Park

Washington Park

“Lions and tiger and bears, Oh My!” At the Oregon Zoo, you can observe more than 2,000 animals from around the world. Go to the African Rain Forest Exhibit to see an intersting rainforest rodent. This conservation zoo is renowned for its Asian elephant breeding program.

15. Visit the beautiful fountains in Portland: Salmon Street Springs Fountain at Governor in Tom McCall Waterfront Park; Elk Fountain on Main between 3rd and 4th Avenures; Animals in Pools Fountains with bears, sea lions, river otters , ducks and deer at Morisson and Yamill Streets between 5th and 6th avenues and Shemanski Fountain with Rebecca at the Well at Southwest Salmon and Main Streets. For more information about Portlands Fountains visit www.portlandoregon.gov/water/fountains

16. Portland is a City of Festvals. Here’s a list of Festivals you can attend:

Feast Portland – September

This international culinary festival taps into the wealth of renowned Portland chefs and welcomes noted culinary stars from around the world.

Portland Jazz Festival – February

Timed to coincide with Black History Month, the Portland Jazz  Festival features performances around the city, including ticketed  headline concerts, free shows and a range of educational opportunities.

Oregon Seafood and Wine Festival – February

Scheduled in the middle of the Dungeness crab season, this upscale festival celebrates both the bounty harvested from the Pacific  Ocean and the state’s vineyards at the Oregon Convention Center.

Taste of the Nation Portland – May

Treat your taste buds to the very best at the “Taste of the Nation” in Portland. This  annual gourmet extravaganza features more than 70 Oregon chefs and restaurants, with 40 wineries and microbreweries.

Spring Beer & Wine Fest – March/April

This beverage exposition celebrates handcrafted microbrews, regional wines and distilled spirits.

Portland Rose Festival –June

The Portland Rose Festival celebrated its centennial in 2007. with three weeks of family events. Highlights include the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade, the Starlight Parade, a waterfront carnival for families, dragon boat races, concerts and fireworks.

Waterfront Blues Festival –July

The largest blues festival west of the Mississippi River takes place each year during Independence Day week. Portland’s Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park sets the stage with top national acts performing over five days. there’s a fireworks display on July 4th.

Oregon Brewers Festival – July

Craft breweries from around the United States bring their beers to Portland for this four-day festival, the largest gathering of independent brewers in North America. More than 60,000 beer fans enjoy the atmosphere with over 70 beers during the last full weekend of July.

Portland International Beer Festival – July

The Portland International Beer Festival draws more than 150 brews from at least 15 countries to a beer garden setting in the Pearl District’s North Park blocks.

Cathedral Park Jazz Festival – July

Founded in 1981, this three-day event is the now the West’s largest and oldest free celebration of jazz and blues. It is held beneath the historic St. Johns Bridge.

The Bite of Oregon – August

Benefitting Special Olympics Oregon, The Bite is one of the “Rose City’s” most popular festivals. Sample food created by local chefs and taste regional wines at the Oregon Wine Garden.

Musicfest NW – September

This annual festival was established in 2001 to showcase local musicians, bring in national acts and benefit children’s music education in Portland. Downtown becomes a massive block party as wrist-banded attendees check out more than 100 bands at nearly 20 venues over the course of four days.

Some of the well known shopping areas are Downtown Portland
Nob Hill (NW 21st & 23rd Avenues)
The major malls in the metropolitan area are:

Now you are ready to visit other Glorious Vino con Vista Destinations in Oregon. Explore Canon Beach http://www.cannon-beach.net/ and Hood River!

Language Distribution of Oregon Natives

Language Distribution of Oregon Natives (Photo credit: Travis S.)

Read this post if you want some historical information about the Portland Waterfront http://portlandwaterfront.blogspot.com/

Now it’s time for touring beyond the city. EcoTours of Oregon can take you Whale Watching on the coast, or th scenic waterfalls in the Columbia Gorge @ www.ecotours-of-oregon.com

The flags of the United States of America and ...

The flags of the United States of America and the State of Oregon, flying side-by-side in Portland, Oregon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com________________________________________________

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My Spectacular Vino con Vista Weekend in the Napa Valley

Napa Valley

Napa Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A photo of chef Cindy Pawlcyn, taken ...

English: A photo of chef Cindy Pawlcyn, taken at Congregation Beth Sholom in Napa, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Napa

Napa (Photo credit: katieharbath)

Chef

Chef (Photo credits: http://www.myparkingsign.com)

Did you ever attend a Napa Valley Food and Wine Festival?

What a spectacular Vino con Vista Weekend I had Flavor Napa:

Logo

Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

50 Chefs, over 125 Vintners and 3 days of fabulous food and wine adventures in the heart of Napa Valley Wine Country!

 

Get your Tickets for the annual Flavor Napa Event here:

http://flavornapavalley.com/tickets/

If you are looking for a way to enjoy Napa Valley car-free check out the:  Calistoga Shuttle, St. Helena Shuttle, and the Yountville Trolley that are all available to visitors at no expense. Find out how you can hop on!

Try the Napa Valley Wine Trolley that takes visitors on a full day tour in a replica of a late 1890’s San Francisco cable car.

The Trolley picks up passengers daily at the Oxbow Public Market at 10:30 a.m. and returns around 4:30 p.m. Learn more.

Last year I took the Wine Train Bay Area Connection from the San Francisco Ferry Building. We enjoyed lunch on the Wine Train. To explore this option: Learn more

Watch this video to see what I witnessed in Napa:

http://youtu.be/78brXJOu_Bs

English: Vineyards in Napa Valley

English: Vineyards in Napa Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mustards in the spring in Napa Valley. Photo b...

Mustards in the spring in Napa Valley. Photo by Emily Bryden, 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Flavor! Napa Valley food and wine festival was originated by Chef Michael Chiarello.

The event in Napa Valley was led by an impressive array of Napa Valley-based celebrity chefs including: Thomas Keller, Christopher Kostow, Cindy Pawlcyn, Jeffrey Jake and Masaharu Morimoto.

Here’s a short video of Chef Morimoto preparing fish at the event:

http://youtu.be/d7_V2eGZ0AI

Way to go Chef!!

Morimoto Restaurant in Downtown Napa

Flavor Napa Valley 2012 at the Culinary Institute in Saint Helena

English: Heitz Wine cellars vineyards

English: Heitz Wine cellars vineyards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHERE: CIA at Greystone and various locations throughout Napa Valley.
I went to the Appellation Trail Event at the Culinary Institute on Friday night. Many of the outstanding wineries were pouring. There was live entertainment and plenty of food on two floors of Greystone’s historic building.
 The loved the Wine Makers’ Dinner at the Silverado Resort on Friday night where I met many of the legendary winemakers. The food was outstanding!

Flavor Napa Valley Winemaker Dinner

Flavor Napa Valley Winemaker Dinner

According to festival producer Herb Karlitz, “one of the festival highlights is a two-day tasting of wines that have and continue to put Napa Valley on the map, reaching back to the post-Prohibition wines of the ‘40s through the present day.”
A winemaker was seated at each table at the dinner event. We drank the winemakers selection with each course.
The dinner was held in the ballroom of the Silverado Resort.

The Silverado Resort in Napa

Old Vine cabernet from Chateau Montelena, Napa...

Old Vine cabernet from Chateau Montelena, Napa Valley, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I also loved the Flavor Napa Sunday morning brunch at the Silverado.

I loved the Napa Valley Brunch Event

Lovely Farm-to-table Centerpiece at the Flavor Napa Valley 2012 Brunch

Flavor Napa Valley 2012 Brunch

Ther Napa Valley VItners featured amazing wines at one of the seminars that included: ’57 Louis Martini Pinot Noir, ’66 Charles Krug Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, ’76 Joseph Phelps Insignia, ’77 Beringer Private Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, ’78 Heitz Wine Cellars Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and a ’78 Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.”

Chateau Montelena in Calistoga California

Heitz Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

English: Fall in Napa Valley

English: Fall in Napa Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Flavor! Napa Valley extravaganza is an annual five-day Napa Valley food and wine festival featuring the area’s superlative chefs, restaurants and wineries.

Each year, the festival format includes a series of creative tastings and seasonally-inspired meals, as well as a variety of hands-on and educational experiences led by the region’s most notable chefs, vintners and sommeliers.

English: CIA Campus in St. Helena, California

English: CIA Campus in St. Helena, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Event venues include: the Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone in St. Helena, as well as restaurants and wineries throughout the region.

There were a series of small and hands-on immersions entitled Terroir to Table™  as well as a historic, two-day library tasting of Napa Valley’s most celebrated wines in the last 50-years, including contemporary “cult” wines, that was called “The Legends of Napa Valley: A Definitive Tasting. “Net proceeds from all events support programs and scholarships at CIA’s Greystone Campus.

English: Autumn in Napa Valley

English: Autumn in Napa Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Individual event tickets ranged from $85 To $325, with the historic, two-day Legends of Napa Valley tasting at $3500 per person.

Many of the area’s lodging partners offered offering special Flavor! Napa Valley packages that combine a stay with festival tickets, such as Silverado Resort and Spa’s Flavor! Napa Valley package, which includes accommodations in a one-bedroom Fireplace Suite, breakfast for two in The Grill, a signature culinary welcome gift and tickets to Amusee Napa: A Downtown Napa Tasting.

Silverado Resort in Napa

The Wine Cellar at Hess Winery

The Wine Cellar at Hess Winery (Photo credit: don j schulte @ oxherder arts)

Additional Napa Valley properties also offered special Flavor! Napa Valley packages, and complete information on lodging packages can be found at: http://visit.legendarynapavalley.com/index.cfm/napa_valley_lodging-flavor_napa_valley.htm

I love Napa Valley

Here are some of the Hotel Packages that were offered in Napa Valley:

Flavor! Napa Valley 2012 announced ticket-only and lodging packages for the food-and-wine festival, which takes place Nov. 14 to 18. In addition, all guests with confirmed reservations at a Napa Valley hotel or inn during this time will automatically receive 20 percent off of Appellation Trail tickets and select ticket packages.

1. Guests staying at Milliken Creek any time from Nov. 1 to 24 for two nights will receive a third night at 50 percent off the best available rate when booking online by entering the promotional code FESTIVAL. Daily gourmet breakfast for two, sunset Magic Hour wine and cheese reception, a late-night cordial bar and guest passes to Synergy wellness and fitness center are included in the rate.

2. At Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford, guests save 10 percent on nightly room rates for Friday and Saturday night stays and 20 percent on midweek stays. All Flavor! guests receive a special welcome amenity from the chef and a culinary keepsake.

3. At the Villagio Inn & Spa and Vintage Inn in Yountville, guests who mention Flavor! Napa Valley when making reservations receive 20 percent off of room rates. This offer is valid from Nov. 14 to 18 and includes complimentary amenities, such as bottle of wine upon check-in, a champagne buffet breakfast, daily afternoon tea and access to Spa Villagio’s facilities. Ticket-only packages range from $350 to $955 per

English: Vineyards in Napa Valley. Français : ...

English: Vineyards in Napa Valley. Français : Vignobles de la Napa Valley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Vineyard in Napa Valley

English: Vineyard in Napa Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More information on tickets and the complete Flavor! Napa Valley event schedule can be found at www.flavornapavalley.com, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FlavorNapaValley and @FlavorNV on Twitter.

Here are the details for the Appellation Trail Event on Friday Night at Greystone including participating Chefs and Wineries. When you go to Napa County, make sure you check out these incredible links:

1. Participating Chefs at Flavor! Napa 2013

Angèle: Scott Ekstrom, www.angelerestaurant.com

Auberge du Soleil: Robert Curry, www.aubergedusoleil.com

Azzurro Pizzeria e Enoteca: Michael Gyetvan, www.azzurropizzeria.com

Baldacci Family Vineyards: www.baldaccivineyards.com

Bistro Jeanty: Philippe Jeanty, www.bistrojeanty.com

Brix: Chris Jones, www.brix.com

Ca’Momi Enoteca: Valentina Guolo-Migotto, www.camomienoteca.com

Etoile Restaurant: Perry Hoffman, www.chandon.com/etoile-restaurant.html

FARM at the Carneros Inn : Steven Tevere and Andrew Budnyj, www.thecarnerosinn.com

Farmstead Restaurant: Stephen Barber, www.farmsteadnapa.com

Fish Story: Clint Davies, www.fishstorynapa.com

French Blue: Philip Wang, www.frenchbluenapa.com

Gott’s Roadside: Rick Robinson, www.gotts.com

Hurley’s Restaurant: Bob Hurley, www.hurleysrestaurant.com

JoLē : Matt Spector, www.jolerestaurant.com

La Condesa: Rene Ortiz, www.lacondesanapavalley.com

La Toque: Ken Frank, www.latoque.com

Lucy Restaurant & Bar at Bardessono: Victor Scargle, www.bardessono.com

Morimoto Napa: Masaharu Morimoto and Kang Kuan, www.morimotonapa.com

NapaStyle Cafe: Michael Chiarello,www.napastyle.com/cafe

Norman Rose Tavern: Michael Gyetvan, www.normanrosenapa.com

Oenotri: Tyler Rodde and Curtis Di Fede, www.oenotri.com

REDD: Richard Reddington, www.reddnapavalley.com

Restaurant Cuvee: Jordan Mackey, www.cuveenapa.com

Siena at The Meritage Resort and Spa: Mike Collins, www.themeritageresort.com/dining/siena-restaurant

Silverado Resort and Spa: Jeffrey Jake, www.silveradoresort.com

Solbar: Brandon Sharp, www.solbarnv.com

The Thomas: Brad Farmerie, www.thethomas-napa.com

VINeleven: Brian Whitmer, www.napavalleymarriott.com/dining

The Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant: Almir Da Fonseca, www.ciachef.edu/restaurants/wsgr

2. Wineries

Ackerman Family Vineyards: www.ackermanfamilyvineyards.com

Amici Cellars: www.amicicellars.com

Andretti Winery Napa Valley: www.andrettiwinery.com

Antica Napa Valley: www.anticanapavalley.com

ARNS: www.arnswinery.com

Artesa Winery: www.artesawinery.com

B Cellars: www.bcellars.com

Beaulieu Vineyard: www.bvwines.com

Bounty Hunter Rare Wine: www.bountyhunterwine.com

Broman Cellars: www.bromancellars.com

Cakebread Cellars: www.cakebread.com

Canard Vineyard: www.canardvineyard.com

Ceja Vineyards: www.cejavineyards.com

Celani Family Vineyards: www.celaniwines.com

Chappellet Vineyards and Winery: www.chappellet.com

Charles Krug Winery, Peter Mondavi Sr. Family: www.charleskrug.com

Chase Cellars: www.chasecellars.com

Clif Family Winery: www.cliffamilywinery.com

Clos Pegase: www.clospegase.com

Cosentino Winery: www.cosentinowinery.com

Crosby Roamann: www.crosbyroamann.com

Domaine Chandon: www.chandon.com

Duckhorn Vineyards: www.duckhornwineshop.com

Elizabeth Spencer: www.elizabethspencerwines.com

Farella-Park Vineyards: www.farella.com

Fontanella Family Winery: www.fontanellawinery.com

Fortunati Vineyards: www.fortunatiwines.com

Frank Family Vineyards: www.frankfamilyvineyards.com

Freemark Abbey: www.freemarkabbey.com

Gargiulo Vineyards: www.gargiulovineyards.com

Grgich Hills Estate: www.grgich.com

The Hess Collection Winery: www.hesscollection.com

Hestan Vineyards: www.hestan.com

HUNNICUTT: www.hunnicuttwines.com

Jack Brooks Vineyard: www.jbvineyard.com

Jericho Canyon Vineyard: www.jerichocanyonvineyard.com

Joseph Phelps Vineyards: www.jpvwines.com

Kelleher Family Vineyard: www.kelleherwines.com

Kenefick Ranch Winery: www.kenefickranch.com

Knights Bridge Winery: www.knightsbridgewinery.com

Krupp Brothers: www.kruppbrothers.com

La Jota Vineyard Co.: www.lajotavineyardco.com

Laird Family Estate: www.lairdfamilyestate.com

LAMBORN Family Vineyards: www.lamborn.com

Long Meadow Ranch Winery: www.longmeadowranch.com

Match Vineyards: www.matchvineyards.com

Melka Wines: www.melkawines.com

Merryvale Vineyards: www.merryvale.com

Michael Mondavi Family Wines: www.michaelmondavifamilyestate.com

Monticello Vineyards: www.corleyfamilynapavalley.com

MOONE-TSAI WINES: www.moonetsai.com

Mt. Brave: www.mtbravewines.com

Oakville Ranch: www.oakvilleranch.com

Oberon Wines: www.oberonwines.com

O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery: www.oshaughnessywinery.com

Pahlmeyer: www.pahlmeyer.com

Paraduxx: www.paraduxx.com

Parry Cellars: www.parrycellars.com

PATEL – Napa Valley: www.patelwinery.com

PEJU: www.peju.com

Pine Ridge Vineyards: www.pineridgevineyards.com

PureCru Napa Valley: www.purecruwines.com

Raymond Vineyards: www.raymondvineyards.com

Renteria Wines: www.renteriawines.com

Revana Family Vineyard: www.revanawine.com

Robert Biale Vineyards: www.robertbialevineyards.com

Robert Craig Winery: www.robertcraigwine.com

Robert Mondavi Winery: www.robertmondavi.com

Rombauer Vineyards: www.rombauer.com

Saintsbury: www.saintsbury.com

Schramsberg Vineyards & J. Davies Vineyards: www.schramsberg.com

Schweiger Vineyards: www.schweigervineyards.com

Shafer Vineyards: www.shafervineyards.com

Silver Oak Cellars: www.silveroak.com

Sodaro Estate Winery: www.sodarowines.com

Spring Mountain Vineyard: www.springmountainvineyard.com

St. Supéry Estate: www.stsupery.com

Staglin Family Vineyard: www.staglinfamily.com

Stony Hill Vineyard: www.stonyhillvineyard.com

Tamber Bey Vineyards: www.tamberbey.com

Terra Valentine Winery: www.terravalentine.com

Titus Vineyards: www.titusvineyards.com

Tom Scott Vineyard: www.tomscottvineyard.com

TOR Kenward Family Wines: www.torwines.com

Trefethen Family Vineyards: www.trefethen.com

Tres Sabores: www.tressabores.com

Twomey Cellars: www.twomey.com

Tyler Florence Wines: www.tylerflorencewines.com

Waterstone: www.waterstonewines.com

ZD Wines: www.zdwines.com

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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My Glorious Vino con Vista Weekend in Hood River Oregon

Windsurfing and kitesurfing on a fine summer d...

Windsurfing and kitesurfing on a fine summer day on the Columbia River at Hood River, Oregon. The Hood River bridge and Washington state across from the city are visible in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are 16 American Viticultural Areas (AVA) that celebrate Oregon’s unique climate and terroir. If you follow my blog, you know that I love “Touring and Tasting” in wine regions around the world. I even write books about Wine Tourism in Italy.

Columbia-River-Gorge-1

Columbia-River-Gorge-1 (Photo credit: WSK_2005)

English: Looking east up the Columbia River Go...

English: Looking east up the Columbia River Gorge, from Crown Point in Oregon, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I found a little slice of heaven in the Pacific Northwest with towering basalt cliffs and magical waterfalls. I spent my Glorious Vino con Vista Weekend in Hood River Oregon. It is located less than 60 miles east of Portland, Oregon in the Columbia Gorge area.

I found a “World of Wine in 40 miles.” The terroir replicates the characteristics and altitude of some of the finest wine regions of Europe. Melt from the glaciers enriched the soil making the Columbia Gorge one of the most “unique and prolific wine-growing regions on Earth.”

Hiking near Starvation Creek in the Columbia R...

Hiking near Starvation Creek in the Columbia River gorge in Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Gorge is known for it’s wind; which benefits windsurfers and kiteboarders. The wind also helps the grapes stay healthy. This is considered the world’s best windsurfing destination.

Fun in Hood River

A man kitesurfing on the Columbia River Gorge ...

A man kitesurfing on the Columbia River Gorge in Hood River, Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Hood River Bridge seen from Hood River, Or...

The Hood River Bridge seen from Hood River, Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Within 20 miles, the terroir changes from a rainforest to a desert. This spectrum, coupled with excellent volcanic soil creates micro-climates for growing many varietals. They even grow Morel, Chanterelle and Matsutakes mushrooms in this area. This is an ideal four-season, recreational, Vino con Vista wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts, wine enthusiasts and Foodies!

Phelps Creek Vineyards in the Columbia Gorge

Phelps Creek Vineyards in the Columbia Gorge

Multnomah Waterfall in Oregon

Multnomah Waterfall in Oregon

My latest adventure brought me to Oregon’s Wine Country where Mount Hood and Mount Adams dominate the scenic landscape in the Columbia Gorge. This glorious destination the largest concentration of high waterfalls in North America. Mount Hood has 6 ski areas and Timberline offers the only year round lift for skiing in North America.

ASPEN, CO - JANUARY 28: Sammy Carlson of Hood...

ASPEN, CO – JANUARY 28: Sammy Carlson of Hood River, Oregon launches over a gap during practice for Men’s Skiing Slopestyle during Winter X Games 15 at Buttermilk Mountain on January 28, 2011 in Aspen, Colorado. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Mount Hood in Oregon

Mount Hood in Oregon

Mount Hood glaciers

Mount Hood glaciers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mount Hood from Hood River by William Keith

Mount Hood from Hood River by William Keith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The region is brimming with outdoor activities and events like:  “White Salmon Backyard Half-Run-Hike”; “Kiteboarding for Cancer”; “Mt. Hood Cycling Classic”; The Hood River “Echelon Gran-Fono” bike race and festival (www.echelongranfondo.org) and the “Fort Dalles Days Pro Rodeo”. The U.S. Windsurfing National Championships were held in this windsurfing mecca. The local Wet Planet Whitewater Rafting Company recently earned “eco-certification”. The Gorge is a premier venue for Paddleboarding. The Hood River Yacht Club hosts Wednesday night sailboat races. You can even gaze at Mount Hood as you play a round of golf at Indian Creek Golf Course (www.indiancreekgolf.com). If you like food, wine, waterfalls, fun and adventure; head to Hood River Oregon.

Triple Falls, Columbia Gorge

Triple Falls, Columbia Gorge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mount Adams 3'742m, Washington, USA - with Ech...

Mount Adams 3’742m, Washington, USA – with Echinacea fields of Trout Lake Farm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fruit grown in this fertile valley is of such exceptional quality that this region is the world leader in Anjou pear production. The Hood River Valley’s 15,000 acres of orchards “Produce 50% of the nation’s winter pear crop.”

This area is called the Hood River County Fruit Loop and has incredible stone-fruit orchards and wineries. Lavender fields, heirloom apple orchards and alpaca farms are abundant. You can even pick your own cherries and Gravenstein apples! There are many festivals that celebrate the bounty of this spectacular agricultural region including: “The Hood River Fruit Loop Cherry Celebration”; “The Oregon Lavender Festival”; and “The Gravenstein Apple Celebration.”

Wines in the Gorge

Tasting Rooms in Hood River

Make plans to attend the Hood River Valley Harvest Fest in October or the Hood River Fruit Loop Wine Celebration in June. There are plenty of wineries on the “Fruit Loop” circuit west of the Hood River around Country Club Road including: Phelps Creek Veineyards, Marchesi Vineyards, Cathedral Ridge Winery, Hood River Vineyards, Pleasant Valley Winery and Viento.  www.foodriverfruitloop.com

Mount Hood

Mount Hood in Oregon

Pick Your Own Cherries in Hood River Oregon

Map of Oregon highlighting Hood River County

Map of Oregon highlighting Hood River County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hood River County was established in 1908. The Hood River is a tributary of the Columbia River. Visit the History Museum of Hood River County on 33 E. Port Marina Drive in Hood River to learn more about this spectacular area ( www.co.hood-river.or.us/museum). Go to the Cascade Locks, a temperate rain forest that gets nearly 130 inches of rain per year. Check out the WIND Youth Regatta or the December Festival of Lights ( www.cascadelocks.com).

Mount Hood Highway, Oregon, USA

Mount Hood Highway, Oregon, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mount Hood Winery

Mount Hood Winery (Photo credit: mickou)

OK, I admit it, I like food and wine. I love visiting wineries and sometimes participate in harvest activities. I am fascinated by exploring local terroir. I love learning about the places where wine is grown and why people are passionate about their vineyards. I enjoy meeting the winemakers and learning their stories.Wine Map of WIneries in the Columbia River Gorge

I love Touring and Tasting in Oregon

English: Sun set at hood river, Columbia river

English: Mount Adams, Washington, United State...

English: Mount Adams, Washington, United States, as seen from Hood River, Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oregon and Washington share the Columbia Valley AVA that was founded in 1984. The state border runs down the middle of the Columbia River. When you stay in Hood River, Oregon, you can cross the Hood River Bridge and visit some of the highest-elevation vineyards in the state of Washington. The Hood River Bridge is a truss bridge that has a vertical lift. The bridge connects the communities of  Hood River, Oregon and White Salmon, Washington. Check out the Celilo Vineyard or Syncline Winery on the Washington side of the bridge. www.synclinewine.com

Syncline Wine from Washington

Syncline Wine from Washington

Columbia Gorge WIne

The Columbia Gorge AVA consists of four counties; Hood River and Wasco in Oregon; and Skamania and Klickitat counties in Washington. It also includes the river valleys of Hood River and Deschutes River in Oregon and the Klickitat River in Washington. This area is located between Mount Hood in Oregon and Mount Adams in Washington. Mount Adams is a stratovolcano in in the Cascade range.

“The Cascade foothills get enough annual rainfall to make irrigation optional for some growers. The principal grapes are cool-climate varieties such as chardonnay, gewürztraminer, pinot gris, riesling, albarino and grüner veltliner.”

English: Modified map used to show the Columbi...

English: Modified map used to show the Columbia Gorge AVA within Washington State. Original public domain image locate at Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection provided by U.S. Geological Survey 2001, printed 2002 Modified copied similarly released to public domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Twister Falls, a waterfall in Hood Ri...

English: Twister Falls, a waterfall in Hood River County, Oregon, in the Columbia River Gorge. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mount Adams and Mount Hood from plane

Mount Adams and Mount Hood from plane (Photo credit: dherrera_96)

There are so many interesting Vino con Vista Places and actvities in the Gorge.

Here’s a list of interesting place to stay and explore Hood River:

English: Columbia Gorge Hotel near Hood River,...

English: Columbia Gorge Hotel near Hood River, Oregon in 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: reflected in Mirror Lake, , USA. Espa...

English: reflected in Mirror Lake, , USA. Español: Reflejo del Monte Hood en el lago Mirror, Oregón, Estados Unidos. Français : Reflet du Mont Hood dans le lac Mirror, Oregon, Etats-Unis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. The Historic Columbia Gorge Hotel and Spa is just west of the Hood River. It is perched on a scenic bluff above the Columbia River with sweeping views and vintage opoulence. It was built in 1921 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was a favorite destination for Rudolf Valentino and Shirley Temple. A couple of our U.S. presidents even stayed here.

English: The Columbia Gorge Hotel at 4000 West...

English: The Columbia Gorge Hotel at 4000 Westcliff Drive in Hood River, Oregon, United States, is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). NRHP reference number 79003736 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Columbia Gorge Hotel near Hood River,...

It is located at 4000 Westcliff Drive near Hood River (800-341-1921) www.columbiagorgehotel.com

2. Columbia Cliff  Villas  offers breathtaking views with in room spa services, wine and cooking classes.

It is located at 4000 Westcliff Drive www.columbiacliffvillas.com

English: View from Columbia Gorge Hotel, Hood ...

English: View from Columbia Gorge Hotel, Hood River, Oregon (2011) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Waterfall at Columbia Gorge Hotel, Ho...

English: Waterfall at Columbia Gorge Hotel, Hood River, Oregon (2011) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3. The Historic Hood River Hotel was built in 1911 and is walking distance from all the downtown attractions. This is Hood River’s oldest hotel; it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They are celebrating their our 100th anniversary. Watch their  historic photo tour.

The European boutique-style hotel  is located at 102 Oak Street in Hood River. If you stay here, you will not need a designated driver when you leave the Hood River Tasting Rooms. www.hoodriverhotel.com

Step back in time as you enter this fully restored vintage hotel. Offering 41 rooms and suites, each different and individually appointed with antique reproductions. Enjoy the ambiance of a small European Inn as you soak in our Jacuzzi and spa facility. Our lobby, with a wood-burning fireplace and adjoining Cornerstone Cuisine Restaurant is the perfect place to relax after a day of adventure in the gorge.

The gallery provides a close look at the   origins and evolution of the hotel itself. It also takes a sideways glance at Hood River and the Columbia River Gorge as the human footprint has changed over the century

4. Enjoy a unique experience at the farm at the Draper Girls Country Cottage where you can pick your own cherries when they’re in season. This charming venue is located on a 40 acre orchard nestled at the foot of Mount Hood www.drapergirlscountryfarm.com(541-490-8113).

Draper Girls Country Cottage on HIghway 35 in Oregon

Draper Girls Country Cottage on Highway 35 in Oregon

Draper Girls Country Cottage Farmstand in Oregon

Draper Girls Country Cottage Farmstand in Oregon

Standing at the Draper Girls Country Farm looking at Mount Hood

Touring and Wine Tasting Adventures:

Grape Vine

Grape Vine

1. Cathedral Ridge Winery is at 4200 Post Canyon Drive in Hood River, Oregon. They have “over 20 different wines made from 10 different varietals.” All the grapes are grown within 30 miles of the winery and all the wine is made on site. I liked the 2009 Cathedral Ridge Syrah. www.cathedralridgewinery.com

Cathedral Ridge Winery

Cathedral Ridge Winery from the Columbia Valley in Oegon

Cathedral Ridge Winery

Cathedral Ridge Winery

2. Marchesi Vineyards and Winery

3955 Country Club Road in Hood River www.marchesivineyards.com

This winery specializes in Italian varietals and is located on the Heights of Hood River. I love the Barbera!!

Watch this video to learn about the winemaker; here’s Franco Marchesi talking about his wine http://www.vinestories.com/video.php?video=77354838001:

Marchesi Barbera from Hood River Oregon

Marchesi Barbera from Hood River Oregon

3. The The Pines 1852 Vineyard and Winery tasting room has an art gallery that features the work of regional artists. I met Lonnie Wright and his lovely daughter Sierra at a Wine Dinner at Phelps Creek Vineyards.

The Pines Vineyard’s Old Vine Zinfandel was first planted by an Italian stone mason named Louis Comini in the late 1800s. He brought his grape vines from his homeland in Genoa, Italy. These original plants are still producing; thanks to winemaker Peter Rossback and owner Lonni Wright. “The century Old Vine Zinfandel make The Pines one of the oldest vineyards in the Northwest.”

Try some of Lonni’s 2010 award-winning Old Vine Zinfandel from The Pines Vineyards at 5450 Mill Creek Road in The Dalles, Oregon or at the Tasting Room in Downtown Hood River. www.thepinesvineyard.com

The Pines Tasing Room in Hood River Oregon

The Pines Tasing Room in Hood River Oregon

The Pines Tasting Room in Hood River Oregon

The Pines Tasting Room in Hood River Oregon

Lonnie and Sierra Wright from The Pines Vineyard in Oregon

Lonnie and Sierra Wright from The Pines Vineyard in Oregon

The Pines Tasting Room in Hood River Oregon

The Pines Tasting Room in Hood River Oregon

Sierra Wright from the Pines Vineyard and Winery in Oregon

Sierra Wright from the Pines Vineyard and Winery in Oregon

The Pines Tasing Room in Hood River Oregon

The Pines Tasing Room in Hood River Oregon

4. Quenette Winery Tasting Hall; home of Copa di Vino is housed at the historic Sunsine Mill in The Dalles. Visit their 100 year old industrial space that they have converted into a tasting room at 901 East 2nd Street in The Dalles, Oregon.

The Sunshine Mill  interior incorporates the original machinery of the flour mill that occupied this building since the turn of the century. They have a satellite tasting room in Hood River at 111 Oak Street. Try their Sangiovese and/or the black cherry and chocolatey Zinfandel. www.copadivino.com

Quenette Winery Tasting Room in Hood River

Quenette Winery Tasting Room in Hood River

Quenette Winery Tasting Room in Hood River

5. Viento at 301 Country Club Road in Hood River. Meet winemaker Rich Cushman and check out his 30-year-old Riesling vineyard. Viento is open for tasting ath the Gorge White House Annes at 2265 Highway 35 in Hood River www.vientowines.com

Viento Winery

Viento Winery

Oregon Wine

Oregon Wine

6. Phelps Creek Vineyards

Located at 1850 Country Club Road in Hood River where the Tasting Room is a “stone’s Throw” from the estate vineyards. (541-386-2607 www.phelpscreekvineyards.com

Phelps Creek Vineyards in the Columbia Gorge

Phelps Creek Vineyards in the Columbia Gorge

Watch this video to learn about Bob Morus and the Phelps Creek Winery: http://www.vinestories.com/video.php?video=1537447585001

The Happy Faces of Naked Winery in Oregon

The Happy Faces of Naked Winery in Oregon

Phelps Creek Winery

Phelps Creek Winery

7. Naked Winery is located at the corner of 2nd and Cascade in Downtown Hood River. www.nakedwinery.com

Naked Winery Tasting Room in Hood River Oregon

8. Cascade Cliffs at 211 Oak Street in Hood River. I loved the intense estate grown Barbera.

Cascade Cliffs Wine

Cascade Cliffs Wine

Cascade Cliffs Wine

Cascade Cliffs Wine

Hood River Wine Selection

Hood River Wine Selection

Watch Bob Lorkowski talk about his winery http://www.vinestories.com/video.php?video=625388299001

www.cascadecliffs.com

9. Visit the Gorge White House where you can enjoy wine from the Gorge wineries under one roof.By the taste, the glass, or the bottle!  One stop!http://www.thegorgewhitehouse.com/links.html.

Check out their calendar of events: http://www.thegorgewhitehouse.com/calendar.html

Naked Winery Tasting Room in Hood River Oregon

Naked Winery Tasting Room in Hood River Oregon

Penetration Wine and Matching Tee Shirt

Penetration Wine and Matching Tee Shirt

The bounty of Hood River County

The bounty of Hood River County (Photo credit: SP8254 – On a Break!)

An exciting sightseeing adventure awaits you at “Cruise the Gorge” sightseeing tour www.sternwheeler.com. The Sternwheeler paddle-powered riverboat provides narrated day cruises on the river. It departs daily from the Cascade Locks (during the season) with special brunch and dinner cruises.

You can rent water sports equipment at the Hood River Waterfron Park or swim and picnic at Marina Park.

Wine Tours

Explore the George

www.explorethegorge.com

Martin’s Gorge Tours

www.martinsgorgetours.com

Wine Dirt

www.winedirt.com

Washington’s Columbia Gorge AVA (viticultural area) was officially approved in 2004.

Dine at these Restaurants:

The Celilo Restaurant and Bar at 16 Oak Street in Hood River has a seasonal menu with an extensive regional wine list. Their wine dinners were featured in Wine Spectator. www.celilorestaurant.com

Cornerstone Cuisine at the Hood River Hotel at 102 Oak Street www.hoodriverhotel.com

Nora’s Table 110 fifth Street in Hood River www.norastable.com

The Sixth Street Bistro and Loft at 509 Cascade Avenue has exceptional organic cuisine.

Three Rivers Grill at 601 Oak Street has spectacular views of the Columbia River with a deck and patio. www.threeriversgrill.com

Golf

18 hole championship Indian Creek Golf Course (541-386-7770)

For more visit www.ColumbiaGorgewine.com, www.Oregonwine.org and www.oregonwinecountry.org.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com.

There is an excellent guide published by the Columbia River Gorge Visitors Association at www.GorgeVisitor.com.

Here are some of the varietals that are grown in this amazing heavenly region:

     

English: Cropped image of Cabernet Sauvignon g...

English: Cropped image of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from Hedges Vineyards in Red Mountain, Washington. Photo taken August 28th, 2007 with a Kodak z650 camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pinot noir grapes have a much darker hue than ...

Pinot noir grapes have a much darker hue than the bluish-gray coloring of Pinot gris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Sauvignon blanc wine grape. Location:...

English: Sauvignon blanc wine grape. Location: Vlasotince vineyards, southeast Serbia. Français : Grappe de raisin du cépage Sauvignon Blanc. Photo prise dans le vignoble de Vlasotince, dans le sud-est de la Serbie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Albarino • Aglianico • Barbera • Cabernet Franc • Cabernet Sauvignon • Chardonnay         Dolcetto  •  Gamay  •  Gewurtztraminer  •  Grenache  •  Gruner Vertliner  •  Lemberger         Malbec  •  Marsanne  •  Merlot  •  Mourvedre  •  Muscat   •  Nebbiolo  •  Pinot Blanc         Pinot Gris  •  Pinot Noir   •  Primitivo  •  Riesling  •  Roussanne  •  Sangiovese       Sauvignon Blanc  •  Syrah  •  Tempranillo  •  Viognier  •  White Riesling  •  Zinfandel

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Insights into the Vatican in Italy: UNESCO’s Holy City near Rome

St. Peter's Square in the early morning.

Image via Wikipedia

English: Wide angle View of the altar inside S...

English: Wide angle View of the altar inside St. Peter’s Basilica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Façade of St. Peter's Basilica as see...

English: Façade of St. Peter’s Basilica as seen from Saint Peter’s Square. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Crepuscular rays in Saint Peter's Bas...

English: Crepuscular rays in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A 5x6 segment panoramic image taken b...

English: A 5×6 segment panoramic image taken by myself with a Canon 5D and 70-200mm f/2.8L lens from the dome of St Peter’s in Vatican City in Rome. Français: Image panoramique composée de 5×6 photos prises par David Iliff à l’aide d’un appareil Canon 5D et une lentille 70-200mm f/2.8L à partir du dôme de la Basilique Saint-Pierre au Vatican. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Vatican City is the world’s smallest independent state and occupies 109 acres. It has been a sovereign state since 1929 and is ruled by the Pope.

The Vatican is the  residence of the spiritual leadership of the Roman Catholic Church.

Its territory is surrounded by the Italian capital city Rome. Priests and nuns make up most of the population.

The Vatican City is a small remnant of the former Papal States of central Italy. These Papal States were conquered by the forces of Italian unification in the mid-19th century.  At that time, the popes became “prisoners in the Vatican”.

They were unwilling to leave the confines of the Apostolic Palace until 1929. Finally, the Italian Fascist government negotiated the Lateran Treaty that created the current mini-state.

Francis, the current pope is the first Latin American to be elected to the position. Formerly archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, who reigned from 2005 until 2013.

 

Swiss Guards, dressed in traditional ceremonial dress, are responsible for the security of the Pope

 

Pilgrimage

The Vatican City itself packs many imposing buildings into its small area: St Peter’s Basilica (completed in the early 17th century) and the Vatican Museums and Art Galleries that are repositories of the priceless art collections of the popes.

Pilgrims travel from all over the world to gather in St Peter’s Square for various ceremonies, such as this beatification of Pope John Paul II in May 2011.

Magnificent works of art are housed in the Holy City. Rome’s grand churches were built in the following order: Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Neo-Classical.  Most of the exquisite Baroque monuments and buildings were erected during the 16th and 17th centuries. Many ancient churches have received newer facades.

Sack_of_Rome_by_the_Visigoths_on_24_August_410...

Sack_of_Rome_by_the_Visigoths_on_24_August_410_by_JN_Sylvestre_1890. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On May 6, 1527, the Sack of Rome was perpetrated by German Lutheran and Spanish Catholic troops who resented the wealth of the papacy. The soliers entered the Vatican as Pope Clement VII was saying a mass in the Sistine Chapel. Swiss Guards were being slaughtered in St. Peter’s Square and the pope was brought to safety in Castel Sant’Angelo.

Sack of Rome of 1527

Sack of Rome of 1527 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St. Peter's Basilica, believed to be the buria...

St. Peter’s Basilica, believed to be the burial site of St. Peter, seen from the River Tiber. The iconic dome dominates the skyline of Rome. St. Peter’s Basilica from the River Tiber. The iconic dome dominates the skyline of Rome. Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Christianity became the dominant religion of Western Civilization when the Roman Empire converted to Christianity. St. Peter’s Basilica, believed to be the burial site of St. Peter, seen from the River Tiber. Saint Peter’s Basilica. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Roman Emperor Constantine (306-337 AD) joined the Christians and before he moved to Constantinople he built several churches in Rome. San Giovanni in Laterano, St. Peter’s Basilica and San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura were all built during Constantine’s reign. Talent and leadership abandoned the newly divided empire and successive waves of Barbarians invaded Rome including the Visigoths, Vandals and the Ostrogoths. By 800 AD, Emperor Charlemagne asserted papal authority and launched another power struggle between the Church and imperial authority. By 1309, the pope moved to the safety of Avignon.

Tomb of pope Julius II by Michelangelo, church...

Tomb of pope Julius II by Michelangelo, church San Pietro in Vincoli; Rome, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rome’s imperial legacy lived on in the Catholic Church where Roman senators became bishops, scholars became monks, and philosophers became theologians. The pope or high priest adopted the title originally held by the emperor; “Pontifex Maximus.” Look for this word in the Latin inscriptions in Rome. The grandeur of church rituals is reminiscent of the glory days of Julius Caesar.

The papacy’s supremacy returned to Rome in 1377. In the 1500’s, a glorious rebirth of Rome flourished when the popes invited the most talented architects, painters and sculptors to rebuild Rome’s grandeur during the Renaissance. On April 18, 1506 Pope Julius II (Giuliano Della Rovere) laid the cornerstone for the new Basilica of Saint Peter. Saint Peter’s magnificent basilica was built above the site where Peter the Apostlewas crucified, martyred and buried in the year 64.

Ancient statue of St. Peter in St. Peter's Bas...

Ancient statue of St. Peter in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome. Possibly the work of Atnolfo di Cambio. Thought by some historians to be much older. Crop of original pic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter by Pietro...

Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter by Pietro Perugino (1481-82) Fresco, 335 x 550 cm Cappella Sistina, Vatican. Ελληνικά: Λεπτομέρεια από την νωπογραφία του Πιέτρο Περουτζίνο, Ο Χριστός Παραδίδει τα Κλειδιά στον Πέτρο, 335 x 600 cm, Καπέλα Σιξτίνα, Πόλη του Βατικανού. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1506, Bramante was commissioned by Pope Julius II to renovate St. Peter’s Basilica, originally built by Constantine from 324-329. Emperor Constantine built a glorious crown for St. Peter’s tomb over the site where his bones were preserved. St. Peter was the first apostle and the first pope. Since Rome is a place of pilgrimage, a “Scave Tour” is available with advanced reservations and allows you to visit the tomb of St. Peter and the archeological excavations beneath the basilica. Travel from the Baroque church to the Romanesque sanctuary to the Roman cemetery and tomb of Peter the Apostle. The crypt is located under the Papal Altar.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides At www.vino-con-vista.com

English: Bernini's "Gloria" surmount...

English: Bernini’s “Gloria” surmounting the “Cathedra Petri”, also by him. Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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My Glorious Vino con Vista Weekend in San Francisco California

From Coit Tower

From Coit Tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: view of Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill...

English: view of Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill from Lombard Street, March 2010 San Francisco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who doesn’t love San Francisco? This world-class city is arguably one of the most beautiful and revered cities in the world. Nestled along the edge of the Pacific Ocean, it is imbued with scenic splendor. There are brilliant architectural landmarks built upon famous hills. There are glorious bay views, charming ethnic neighborhoods, cable cars and magnificent iconic bridges! It is the gateway to the magnificent Napa Valley wineries. The city is about seven miles long by seven miles wide; 49 square miles packed with incredible sites and activities.

English: Haas-Lilienthal House, 2007 Franklin ...

English: Haas-Lilienthal House, 2007 Franklin Street, San Francisco, CA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A view of Telegraph Hill from the San...

English: A view of Telegraph Hill from the San Francisco Bay. Coit Tower stand atop the hill. The Bay Bridge can be seen to the left, and the Transamerica Pyramid is captured in the right. Photo by John Curley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

List of San Francisco Designated Landmarks

List of San Francisco Designated Landmarks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a video of my Glorious Vino con Vista Weekend in San Francisco: http://youtu.be/kf-GFK8dOyc

San Francisco: the Coit tower and the Transame...

San Francisco: the Coit tower and the Transamerica Pyramid seen from Pier 39. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

North Financial District, San Francisco, CA, U...

North Financial District, San Francisco, CA, USA Image taken April 27, 2007 by Dan Jahner (user:Danjahner) This image on Flickr (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The gold rush of the mid 1800s transformed this small settlement into a boom town. Unfortunately, San Francisco had to be re-built after the devastating April 18, 1906 earthquake with a magnitude of 8.3 on the Richter Scale that ruptured along the San Andreas Fault. The earthquake and subsequent fire are considered one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States along with the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The death toll from the earthquake and fire were estimated at over 3,000 people. Approximately 50,000 buildings were destroyed.

English: Transamerica building, downtown San F...

English: Transamerica building, downtown San Francisco, CA, USA. Photo taken from Coit tower. Français : La Transamerica Pyramid, dans le centre de San Francisco, en Californie (États-Unis), photographiée depuis la Coit Tower. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

San Francisco Painted Victorian Ladies

San Francisco Painted Victorian Ladies

Fortunately, some of the charming Victorian architecture survived. My favorites are the well-maintained Queen Anne Victorian row houses. They are called “painted ladies” and some of them have magnificent turrets!

San Francisco Queen Anne Victorian

San Francisco Queen Anne Victorian

I love the juxtaposition of the 48-story Transamerica Pyramid that symbolizes San Francisco and the copper-clad Columbus Tower, also known as the Sentinel Building that was completed in 1907. The Transamerica Pyramid is the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco.

Top of the Transamerica building, downtown San...

Top of the Transamerica building, downtown San Francisco, CA, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the Alamo Square Landmark District, admire the Victorian Era painted ladies.

San Francisco: view of the Transamerica Pyrami...

San Francisco: view of the Transamerica Pyramid with the Columbus Tower (Sentinel building) in the foreground. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The distinctive landmark copper-green Flatiron style structure is bounded by Columbus Avenue, Kearny Street and Jackson Street, straddling the North Beach, Chinatown, and Financial-districts of the city.

Francis Coppola‘s corporate headquarters are located in the Sentinel Building. On the ground floor, dine at the charming Cafe Zoetrope. This Parisian-style cafe sits beneath Coppola’s film offices in the sumptuous copper-clad Sentinel Building.

San Francisco Francis Coppola Cafe

San Francisco Francis Coppola Cafe

San Francisco Francis Coppola Building

San Francisco Francis Coppola Building

San Francisco Transamerica Building

San Francisco Transamerica Building

San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Stockton Str...

San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Stockton Street from Union Square, looking toward Market Street (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are my top picks for a glorious Vino con Vista Weekend in San Francisco California:

Haight-Ashbury SF 1

Haight-Ashbury SF 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Visit as many of the distinctive and diverse vibrant neighborhoods as you can; including Haight-Ashbury. They are brimming with charming restaurants and eclectic boutiques.

The Stinking Rose in San Francisco

The Stinking Rose in San Francisco

I love Little Italy with about 100,000 residents of Italian origin and plenty of great restaurants and outdoor cafes. Go to “The Stinking Rose” if you like garlic.

San Francisco North Beach Neighborhood, Saints...

San Francisco North Beach Neighborhood, Saints Peter and Paul Church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Visit the twin towers of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Little Italy where Joe DiMaggio and his new bride, Marilyn Monroe posed for their wedding pictures on the steps of this church. I love this  delightful North Beach neighborhood.

San Francisco Church of Saints Peter and Saint Paul in Little Italy

San Francisco Church of Saints Peter and Saint Paul in Little Italy

Chinatown’s grimacing “Dragon Gate” located at Grant Avenue at Bush Street welcomes visitors to a plethora of irresistable Cantonese, Szechaun and Mandarin Restaurants. This is the oldest “Chinatown” in the nation. Have some dim sum in Chinatown. This is also San Francisco’s quaint French Quarter.

Chinatown in San Francisco

Chinatown in San Francisco

Haight Ashbury

Haight Ashbury (Photo credit: theclyde)

The Haight-Ashbury district is notorious for its counter-culture role as the epi-center of the 1960s “Flower-Child” hippie movement and the 1967 “Summer of Love.” Remember the lyrics to the song written by John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas that was sung by Scott McKenzie: “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. If you’re going to San Francisco, you’re gonna meet some gentle people there.”

I love the The Red Victorian, this historic hotel is located in San Francisco‘s Haight-Ashbury district, two blocks from Golden Gate Park. This charming Bed and Breakfast and cafe is a “social benefit” enterprise that supports a Peace Center whose mission is “Peace Education through Guided Conversation and Arts.” Check out the fish-net clad lady with the red pumps in Haight-Ashbury!

You can't escape from San Francisco

You can’t escape from San Francisco

The Red Victorian Hotel, San Francisco, Califo...

The Red Victorian Hotel, San Francisco, California, USA Français : Hôtel The Red Victorian, San Francisco, Californie, États-Unis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Street Level - San Francisco Ferry Building 22

Street Level – San Francisco Ferry Building 22 (Photo credit: darkfoxprime)

2. Go to the weekend Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building. The San Francisco Ferry Building is a terminal for ferries traveling across the San Francisco Bay. It has an up-scale shopping center and is located on The Embarcadero. On top of the building, admire the 245-foot tall clock tower, with four clock dials. Each dial is 22 feet in diameter.

You can take this ferry to Valejo and travel on the Napa WIne Train from there.

The Ferry Building is a terminal for ferries o...

The Ferry Building is a terminal for ferries on the San Francisco Bay and an upscale shopping center located on The Embarcadero in San Francisco, California. The Bay Bridge can be seen in the background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This land-mark building was designed by New York architect A. Page Brown in the Beaux Arts style in 1892 and it was completed in 1898. Brown designed the clock tower to resemble the 12th-century, 800 year old Giralda bell tower in Seville, Spain. This was the same inspiration for Miami’s iconic  “Freedom Tower”, the former home of the Miami Daily News located at 600 Biscayne Avenue in Miami. The entire length of the Ferry Building has an arched arcade that resembles a Roman aquaduct.

San Francisco, California : civic center

San Francisco, California : civic center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

San Francisco Civic Center Plaza, and its rece...

San Francisco Civic Center Plaza, and its recently-changed-to-dirt main strip, looking on San Francisco City Hall. April 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3. Admire Daniel Burnham‘s planned Civic Center Plaza; an architectural Complex with a magnificent group of Beaux Arts Federal, State and City Buildings. Burnham’s dream was carried out by Arthur Brown Jr. who attended the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris.

The massive gold-leaf covered dome of the majestic City Hall building at Carlton B. Goodlett Place, is taller than the U.S. Capitol Building. There is also a War Memorial Opera House, where the representatives from 50 nations signed the United Nations Charter in 1945. Visit the Davies Symphony Hall and the Asian Art Museum.

4. Spend some of your hard-earned money at the glorious palm-tree lined shopping mecca around Union Square. Union square is a 2.6 acre park in the heart of the Financial District. It is the central shopping and theater district. Explore the Westfield Center Shopping mall, packed with restaurants and shops.

There are outstanding hotels and upscale shopping opportunities in this area. Admire the Statue of “Victory” at the pinnacle of the granite column that commemorates Admiral Dewey’s triumph at Manilla Bay during the Spanish-American War. Then go to the Crocker Galleria glass barrel-vaulted arcade that resembles Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele brimming with boutiques and specialty shops. Neiman Marcus has a magnificent glass-encased property in San Francisco with an incredible dome.

Neiman Marcus in San Francisco, CA Español: Ne...

Neiman Marcus in San Francisco, CA Español: Neiman Marcus en San Francisco, CA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The entrance to the Crocker Galleria in San Fr...

The entrance to the Crocker Galleria in San Francisco. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Victory in San Francisco

Victory in San Francisco

San Francisco Union Square

Basilica of the "Mission Dolores" (M...

Basilica of the “Mission Dolores” (Mission San Francisco de Asís) in San Francisco Deutsch: Die Basilika (1918) der Mission Dolores (Mission San Francisco de Asís) in San Francisco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5. Visit the Mission of San Franciso de Asis founded in 1776 by the Spanish Franciscan Monks. Mission San Francisco de Asís, or Mission Dolores, is the oldest surviving structure in San Francisco and the sixth religious settlement established as part of the California chain of missions. The Mission was founded on June 29, 1776, by Lieutenant José Joaquin Moraga and Father Francisco Palóu (a companion of Father Junipero Serra). They were both members of the de Anza Expedition, which had been charged with bringing Spanish settlers to Alta (upper) California, and converting the local Natives, the Ohlone. Go next door to the Mission Dolores Basilica built in 1919 in Wedding Cake/Moorish style.

Grace Cathedral in San Francisco

Grace Cathedral in San Francisco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coit Tower, California

Coit Tower, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6. Travel to San Francisco’s famous hills. Take a cable car up to the steep inclines of the summit of Nob Hill. When you arrive at the top of this elegant, residential Nob Hill neighborhood, go to the top of the Fairmont Hotel or the Mark Hopkins for a fabulous Vino con Vista on Mason Street!

Then visit the amazing Grace Cathedral at 1051 Taylor Street. Grace Cathedral is the third largest Gothic cathedral in the country. You can schedule a tour led by the Cathedral’s docents who are members of the Guild of Saint Martin. They will explain the history and architecture. You can admire the magnificent stained glass windows, the famous replica of Ghiberti Doors in Florence and the priceless icons.

Ghiberti doors, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco...

Ghiberti doors, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, California, USA Français : Portes Ghiberti, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, Californie, États-Unis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Trace California’s colorful history through the fresco-style murals and learn the secrets of the Labyrinth! There’s even a cafe on the premises.

Glass paintings at Grace Cathedral, San Franci...

Glass paintings at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, California, USA 日本語: ステンドグラス (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is a photo gallery from Ansel Adams: http://www.gracecathedral.org/visit/cathedral-history-art/Ansel-Adams.php.

Then travel to Telegraph Hill where the first telegraph station was placed in 1853. It is the home of the Coit Tower that was built to honor volunteer fire fighters. The 210 foot structure resembles a fire-hose nozzle. Climb the steps to Coit Tower for a 360 degree view of the city and the Bay. Then take a picture with Christopher Columbus.

I love Russian Hill which is the home of the beautifully landscaped, iconic crooked Lombard Street.

Lombard Street, San Francisco, as seen from th...

Lombard Street, San Francisco, as seen from the bottom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7. Have a Sour Dough bread bowl filled with decadent clam chowder at Pier 39 and then gaze at the comical barking Sea Lions on the docks. Check out the world-class Aquarium.  Walk over to Fisherman’s Wharf and enjoy some fresh Dungeness Crab. Enjoy the entertaining street performers. Tour the 1883 historical Balclutha vessel; it’s a floating museum.

Fishermen's Wharf in San Francisco

Fishermen’s Wharf in San Francisco

San Francisco Pier 39

San Francisco Pier 39

Alcatraz at dawn on San Francisco Bay

Alcatraz at dawn on San Francisco Bay (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

8. Take the ferry boat from the Embarcadero to the island of Alcatraz, the former federal penitentiary. Listen to the stories about the former inmates including Al Capone, Pretty Boy Floyd and Machine Gun Kelly.

Alcatraz Gift Shop in San Francisco

Alcatraz Gift Shop in San Francisco

9. Go to the former Del Monte Cannery and have a sundae at Ghiradelli Square or tour the factory and learn about chocolate.

Mallard Lake in Golden Gate Park

Mallard Lake in Golden Gate Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Palace of Fine Arts Walkways, San Francisco, C...

Palace of Fine Arts Walkways, San Francisco, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

10. Admire the Palace of Fine Arts that was built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. There is a Roman Rotunda supported by Corinthian colums over-looking the swan-filled lagoon. This Palace of Fine Arts is the home of the Exploratorium, a popular hands-on Childrens’ Museum.

Deutsch: Das Exploratorium in San Francisco Ne...

Deutsch: Das Exploratorium in San Francisco Nederlands: Het Exploratorium Français : Exploratorium, San Francisco, Californie, USA English: The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

11. Go to Golden Gate Park. It is the largest man-made park in the world with a conservatory and Japanese Tea Room. Visit the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum that chronicles art in Western civilization. One of the wings houses the  Asian Art Museum. There are boat rentals at Stow Lake.

12. Visit MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art with works by Matisse, Joan Miro, Jackson Pollack, Picasso, Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keeffe and other notable artists. The Museum was designed by architect Mario Botta and has a distinctive cylindrical skylight.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

13. Ride the Cable Car that was invented by Andrew Hallidie to Nob Hill. I love the view from the Top of the Mark Hopkins Hotel. It’s a great Vino con Vista destinaton with a fabulous Sunday Brunch. Take time to visit the Cable Car Museum at Washington and Mason Streets with historic exhibits and memorabilia.

Cable Car of the Powell-Hyde line in San Franc...

Cable Car of the Powell-Hyde line in San Francisco. In the background Alcatraz Island can be seen. Deutsch: Ein Cable Car Waggon der Powell-Hyde Linie in San Franzisko. Im Hintergrund sieht man die Insel Alcatraz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

14. Enjoy another breath-taking Vino con Vista at the Marriott Marquis rooftop bar called The View Lounge. Order a glass of Hangtime Wine from San Luis Obispo California and enjoy the magnificent 365 degree panoramic vista of one of the most beautiful cities in the world! There is a perfect view of MOMA with the circular skylight.

San Francisco from the Marriott Marquis View Lounge

San Francisco from the Marriott Marquis View Lounge

15. Drive on the 1.7 mile Golden Gate Bridge that was designed by Joseph Strauss. You can visit his statue if you park your car at the visitor center.  This steel suspension bridge opened on May 27, 1937 to Marin County and visit Sausilito. The Golden Gate Bridge is preparing for a 75th anniversary Festival on May 26th-27th that will feature music and art exhibits.

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary in 2012

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary in 2012

Take a panoramic shot of the San Francisco Skyline from across the Golden Gate bridge. There is also an access point where you can walk the bridge to Marin.

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

16. In April, the San Francisco Vintners Market usually sponsors an event with about 200 wineries from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and the Russian River Valley. They like to pour their new releases, special collections and hard to find vintages.

There is also an annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in April. www.nccbf.org

For outstanding Michelin Star French Cuisine, dine at Masa’s at 648 Bush or Fleur de Lys at 777 Sutter. These upscale restaurants offer prix fixe dinner only options. Gary Danko is also at the pinnicale of San Francisco dining with an all-encompassing list. Diners may select three, four or five prix-fixe courses or try the tasting menu with wine pairing.

San Francisco offers a plethora of ethnic dining as well. For Asian Fusion try Le Colonial at 20 Cosmo with a nice patio and nightly music. You will never be hungry or thirsty in San Fransisco!

I love to stay in Union Square at the Sir Francis Drake at 450 Powell Street www.sirfrancisdrake.com

17. If you are ready for some Touring and Tasting in the Bay Area, take the ferry from The Ferry Building at the Embarcadero at Pier One to the Wine Train and  visit the wineries in Napa. Napa Valley is the main wine tourism region in the US.

There are plenty of gourmet restaurants like the Fench Laundry in Yountville or The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena; they both have 3 Michelin stars. Check out the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America www.ciachef.edu/california.and or Hurley’s in Yountville or Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen or Press in St. Helena.

Touring and tasting in Napa is easy with plenty of outstanding places to stay including Meadowwood, a fabulous Relais and Chateau Property in St. Helena www.meadowood.com. The Cade Estate Winery offers a “Wine and Cheese Tasting and Tour”; as well as, “Tour the Cave” where you can taste Cade and Plump Jack Wines www.cadewinery.com

Check out the Cakebread Cellar’s Visitor Center in Saint Helena with a culinary history of Food and Wine Exhibit www.cakebreadcellars.com. I like the behind the scenes tour of Mondavi production facility. Sterling has an outstanding tour where you ride on a ski lift to the winery. Raymond has an over-the-top winery with plenty of elegant tasting facilities. There are about 450 wineries in Napa.

Here’s a list of San Francisco Landmarks to visit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_San_Francisco_Designated_Landmarks

Dr. EveAnn Lovero is a Travel Junkie and writes Travel Guides and Apps at www.vino-con-vista.com

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Vino con Vista has a Crush on Passionate Growers and Winemakers in Lodi

Lodi California 714

Tim Holdener from Macchia Winery in Lodi

Lodi California 045

Lodi Arch welcomes visitors to the charming downtown shopping area

Lodi Arch welcomes visitors to the charming downtown shopping area

If you follow my posts, you know that I adore wine tourism. I love to seek out idyllic destinations around the world where you can enjoy a Vino con Vista; a beautiful place to enjoy wine in the place where it is actually grown. I love places like Piedmont and Tuscany in Italy; the Napa Valley, the Santa Ynez Valley and Sonoma County in California and Bordeaux, Burgundy and The Rhone valley in France. These destinations offer perfect Vino con Vista opportunities. Let’s face it, grapes and vineyards seem to thrive in the most glorious destinations in the world! I guess we can thank the Greeks and the Romans for the fascinating aspects of modern day wine tourism in the sun-drenched vineyards of Lodi California.

Wine Map of Italy

Wine Map of Italy

“Celebrate the Harvest” A Tribute to wine growing in downtown Lodi by Rowland Cheney

Wine grapes

Wine grapes

Old Zinfandel Vines in Lodi

Old Zinfandel Vines in Lodi

I recently discovered an enchanting wine destination along the Mokelumne River in Northern California with over 80 wineries and plenty of tasting rooms. I had a opportunity to get up close and personal with the region’s grapes and many of the multi-generational growers in Lodi at the 9th annual Wine Bloggers Conference. Lodi California 604

WIne Bloggers Conference on Hutchinson Street at Robert Mondavi's former high schoool

Wine Bloggers Conference on Hutchinson Street at Robert Mondavi’s former high schoool

Lodi Wine

Lodi Wine

Located in San Joaquin County between the San Francisco Bay and the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the region is a wine-lovers paradise! The region’s innovative and passionate producers are generating exceptional food and wine experiences that should catapult Lodi into the wine tourism strastophere! I am so confident about Lodi’s future that I may even buy a place in downtown Lodi. I loved the charming, well-maintained historic California Craftsman bungalows.

It’s relatively close to the UCDavis legendary Department of Viticulture and Enology. Now that I have retired from 30 years as a business professor, maybe I’ll pursue a new degree. I would love to better understand the scientific study of grape-growing and winemaking. It’s never too late, right?

 

Cute houses in downtown Lodi

Cute houses in downtown Lodi

Lodi California 077

LODI FACTS:

Lodi AVAs

“The Lodi AVA is located in the northern Central Valley of California, at the northern edge of the San Joaquin Valley east of the San Francisco Bay.

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LODI
Type American Viticultural Area
Year established 1986, amended in 2002
Country USA
Sub-regions Alta Mesa AVA, Borden Ranch AVA, Clements Hills AVA, Cosumnes River AVA, Jahant AVA, Mokelumne River AVA, Sloughhouse AVA
Climate region Mediterranean
Total area 551,000 acres
Size of planted vineyards 90,000 acres

Robert Mondavi was one of the most influential wine gurus in the industry and he grew up in Lodi. In 2001 Robert Mondavi donated $25 million to the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UCDavis for the establishment of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, which opened October 2008.

His former high school in Lodi has been converted into a spectacular conference venue.  Woodbridge by Michael Mondavi the home of the famous Mondavi winery in Lodi where you can taste some of their higher end wines. The demand for grapes in California’s wine industry has been fueled by the Mondavi and Gallo families. Lodi producers have filled the pipeline for powerhouses like Mondavi, Gallo and Constellation brands for many years. The growth of the tasting rooms in Downtown Lodi are a perfect example of grape-growers pursuing forward integration; the profitability of Mondavi and Gallo has been enhanced by vertical integration strategies.

White Wine Grapes

White Wine Grapes

Lodi California 579

Tasting Wine in Downtown Lodi

Tasting Wine in Downtown Lodi

Many winemakers are following in Mondavi’s footsteps in Lodi. Harney Lane Winery poured their amazing wines at my table at the Wine Blogger Award Event. The estate grown grapes are the product of a 5th generation farming family. The Mettler decendants offer interesting excursions in Lodi,  including a Grape to Glass Tour. Most of their award-winning wine inventory sells out in the Tasting Room or to Wine Club members. Michael Davis Vineyards has a full restaurant; they have been in Lodi since the Civil War.

BBQ at the Blogger Awards Dinner paired perfectly with the Harney Lane Wines

BBQ at the Blogger Awards Dinner paired perfectly with the Harney Lane Wines

Dinner at Estate Crush

Dinner at Estate Crush

At Estate Crush, we made our own Zinfandel blend and then Bob and Ali Colarossi graciously produced enough bottles of the “WIne Blogger Reserve” for all 300 of the wine bloggers to take home. We had a great time experimenting with different blends produced from their old Zinfandel vines at the “Stellina Vineyard”. The wine bloggers did a blind tasting and selected the 97% Zinfandel, 2% Syrah and 1% Petit Verdot as our favorite blend from the Colarossi Estate Crush facility. The Stellina vineyard grapes will soon be part of the Lodi Native Project.

Estate Crush, proprietors: Bob and Ali Colarossi

Estate Crush, proprietors: Bob and Ali Colarossi

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Estate Crush is a dedicated custom crush facility that produces premium custom wine for over 80 clients with more than 120 brands. They have earned many prestigious wine competitions.

Dinner at Estate Crush

Dinner at Estate Crush

We had an amazing Paella dinner prepared by their dear friend J.P. Wetmore poolside surrounded by their lovely Stellina vineyard.

 

We had a lovely dinner at Estate Crush surrounded by old ZInfandel heritage vines that are used for the "Native" Project

We had a lovely dinner at Estate Crush surrounded by old ZInfandel heritage vines that are used for the “Native” Project

I love Macchia Wine

I love Macchia Wine

Macchia’s owner Tim Holdener and his bubbly wife Lani poured so many terrific wines that I joined his Wine Club and anxiously await my first shipment. The Barbera was incredible and I loved the dessert wine. The last time I joined a wine club was Moshin in the Russian River Valley and that was many years ago.

At the speed tasting, the wine bloggers had to opportunity to sample some amazing white wines from the Bokisch Winery.

Lodi California 448

Bokisch Winery

Lodi California 466

Bob and Ali Colarossi, Proprietors of Estate Crush

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Kevin Phillips and his family produce Cinsaut grapes at the Bechthold Vineyard in Lodi. Planted in 1886, it’s the oldest Cinsaut vineyard in the world!

 

Many of the 80 wineries are winning awards and producing award-winning wines. Located just 90 minutes from San Francisco and 60 minutes from Napa; Lodi produces more wine than Napa and Sonoma combined. Sipping and savoring handcrafted wine produced from multi-generational wine growers and passionate Lodi California winemakers is an excellent way to spend a pleasant wine tourism vacation in Northern California. In addition to the wineries mentioned this far in this post, you can also check out: Vino con Brio at Amarosa Vineyards, Jessie’s Grove, Delicato Family Vineyards, Oal Ridge Winery and Klinker Brick.

Lodi California 379 Lodi California 658

Lizzy James Old Vine Zinfandel

Lizzy James Old Vine Zinfandel

Historically, Lodi is best known as the full-bodied “Zinfandel Capital of the World” with many vines that are over 100 years old. It is the home of the famous Seven Deadly Zins. More recently, the “Lodi Native” project is releasing some incredibly luscious old vine Zinfandel wines.

The six premier Lodi Native Wines

The six premier Lodi Native Wines

Schmiedt Ranch 2013 Zinfandel

Schmiedt Ranch 2013 Zinfandel

Many Lodi wines are sold exclusively at the respective winery. From the vineyards to the Tasting Rooms, there are plenty of wine tourism opportunities in Lodi.

There are plenty of Vino con Vista opportunities in Lodi

There are plenty of Vino con Vista opportunities in Lodi

Lodi AVAs Lodi California 512

 

Lodi is predominately a red winegrowing region (“approximately two-thirds of the acreage is dedicated to red varieties”). More recently, Lodi vintners are increasingly winning awards for their Rhone and Mediterranean style varietals. In addition to Zinfandel, Lodi is currently the nation’s leading producer of several popular varieties including: Chardonnay, Sauvingnon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. It has over 100 varieties in production.

Lodi offers a vast portfolio of diverse wines. Lodi’s 100,000 acres of deep loam in the AVAs and the desirable Mediterranean climate creates numerous microclimates that allow an incresingly larger variety of grapes and award-winning wines to thrive. The soil is similar to the French Region of Chateauneuf du Pape. Lodi winemakers are winning awards for their Rhone and Mediterranean varietals.

Here’s a list of varietals from the Lodi Wine Commission’s website:

Wine grapes from Lodi

Wine grapes from Lodi

Spanish Varieties:

Albariño, Verdejo, Graciano, Tempranillo, and Garnacha are just a few of the interesting Spanish varieties grown in Lodi soils.

Portuguese Varieties:

Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cão, Souzão, Verdelho, and Tricadeira are grownfinding a natural home in the The wines being produced from these vineyards are utterly delicious. Vibrant, intriguing and refreshing flavors make these varietal wines well worth seeking out.

German Varieties:

Kerner, Bacchus, Riesling, Dornfelder, Gewürztraminer, and Zweigelt some of the German varieties grown in Lodi.

Italian Varieties

Barbera, Aglianco, Sangiovese, Teroldego, and Vermentino made me feel like I was field-tasting in Italy.

Southern Rhone

Cinsault, Viognier, Syrah, Picpoul Blanc, Tannat and many others are grown in Lodi.

Made from Cinsaut grapes in Lodi

Made from Cinsaut grapes in Lodi

Lodi Arch welcomes visitors to the charming downtown shopping area

Lodi Arch welcomes visitors to the charming downtown shopping area

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Wine Map of France

Wine Map of France

To learn more about Lodi visit:

http://www.lodiwine.com/About-Lodi

http://www.lodiwine.com/Wineries

Book a room at the luxurious Wine and Rose Hotel and Spa on Turner Road www.winerose.com  and I’ll meet you at next year’s Zinfest.

http://www.zinfest.com/

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Pictures of Diverse Varietals from Around the World (Courtesy of the Lodi Wine Commission)

 

Spanish Varietals in Lodi

Portuguese Varietals Lodi

German Varietals Lodi

Italian Varietals Lodi

Rhone Style Varietals Lodi

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My Glorious Vino Con Vista Weekend in San Diego

National Register of Historic Places listings ...

Image via Wikipedia

English: Imperial Beach, California The symbol...

English: Imperial Beach, California The symbol of this surfers’ community south of San Diego. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you follow my posts, you already know that I wax poetic about my on-going love affair with Italy. Basically every nook and cranny of the magnificent peninsula and surrounding islands take my breath away. But you probably didn’t know that my second love is San Diego. There are 33 beaches, and 70 miles of coastline stretching from Imperial Beach to Oceanside. There are about 267 glorious days of sunshine per year. No wonder San Diego is “America’s Finest City.”

English: San Diego's original Victorian-style ...

English: San Diego’s original Victorian-style railway depot, built in 1887 for the California Southern Railroad Company, is razed to make way for the opening of the new Santa Fe Depot in 1915. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: San Diego Cityscape looking down Harb...

English: San Diego Cityscape looking down Harbor Drive. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

IMG_3330 I love the Santa Fe Depot train station with its glorious mosaic domes. There are plenty interesting places to visit on the way to Los Angeles.

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In Little Italy, go to  Extraordinary Desserts for the most beautiful sweet treats you will ever witness.

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The city has a vibrant Little Italy neighborhood with outstanding restaurants and bars and plenty of gelato and Italian delis. Filippi’s Pizza Grotto on India Street is a Little Italy institution.

Here’s a Video of Little Italy http://youtu.be/beH01nziAIsSkyline in San Diego California

Sometimes, when  I yearn to be sun-kissed by the hilly landscape of Tuscany or transported to the  glistening  azure sea that surrounds the majestic cliffs of the Cinque Terre or the Amalfi Coast; I just plan a trip to San Diego.

Amalfi coast Italy 1

Amalfi coast Italy 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Amalfi Coast Italy 6

Amalfi Coast Italy 6 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cinque Terre in Italy

A Town in the Cinque Terre

If all I have is a long weekend, I escape to the www.vino-con-vista.com of San Diego. Did I mention that the weather is always perfect in San Diego? As a college professor, I have the luxury of a Fall Break and believe me, I thank God each and every day for all my blessings.

Chef prepaing glazed shrimp in San Diego

Chef prepaing glazed shrimp in San Diego

I always celebrate Columbus Day in what I consider to be America’s Amalfi Coast. I prefer to stay at the Marriott in the Marina District for a number of reasons. I love sun-bathing at the luxurious pool while listening to the soothing sound of the magical fountains as I sip a refreshing Miami Vice from the Tiki Bar. The Marriott is within walking distance of many of my favorite San Diego attractions and it is close to the trolley.

The city is great for biking and the hotel has a bike rental service. I like the food and the view from Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant. The rooms have outstanding views and balconies. I enjoy watching the jet skiiers and boating enthusiasts. It’s fun to watch people flying their kites in the park. Gazing at the Coranado Bridge and the sailboats is basically one of life’s simple pleasures.San Diego California Marina District Sea Port Village’s 14 acre outdoor plaza has a beautiful 19th century carousel. Grab a coffee at the Upstart Crow Bookstore and Cofeehouse at 835-C W. Harbor Drive. If you go in the summer, get tickets for the San Diego Symphony Summer Pops concerts in the Embarcadero Marina Park South (behind the Conference Center). The tickets start at $20. For more informationn visit: www.sandiegosymphony.com. I’m saw Michael Bolton and Burt Baccarack in the summer of 2013!

English: San Diego Symphony Summer Pops 2008 -...

English: San Diego Symphony Summer Pops 2008 – “Motown Magic with Mary Wilson” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sea Port Village in the Marina District in San Diego California

Rocks in Sea Port Village in San Diego

Sea Port Village in the Marina District in San Diego California

The Marina District of San Diego California

The tenth annual San Diego Wine Festival will be held in the park behind the Marriott Hotel  on November 20-24, 2013 at the Embarcadero Marina Park North. What a great “Vino con Vista” venue!! Some of the other festivals held in 2013 include: Taste of Gaslamp (June 8-9), Taste of Little Italy (June 19) Taste of Adams Avenue (June 30), Encinitas Wine Festival (June 1), the San Diego Spirits Festival (August 24-25) and the San Diego Festival of Beer (September 20), and Hillcrest City Fest on August 11th with 250 vendors. On June 15th there was a Carlsbad Beach Fest with water sport challenges. The Festival of Sail is when Tall Ships from around the world dock at downtown’s Embarcadero between August 30-September 2.

San Diego Wine Festival 2012

San Diego Wine Festival 2012

San Diego Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event Tasting Event

San Diego Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event Tasting Event

San Diego Wine Festival 2012 Chefs

San Diego Wine Festival 2012 Chefs

There are many other reasons why I like the Marina District. I like to watch the sea gulls strategically capture and devour left-overs from sleeping sun-bunnies. They really seem to love french fries.  I wonder if they have cholesterol issues? Sea Port Village in the Marina District in San Diego CaliforniaI adore watching the captivating sunsets from Seaport Village.

San Diego California Marina District

I can’t understand why San Diegans don’t celebrate the vistas with the same pomp and circumstance as the daily sunset festivals in Key West.

It’s an easy stroll over to the Port of San Diego. I like the USS Midway Museum with the longest-serving US Navy aircraft carrierod the 20th century. At the museum, you can “relive 50 years of world history by walking in the footsteps of 225,000 Midway sailors” on Harbor Drive. There are 27 restored aircraft. For more information visit http://www.midway.org

Visit the “Greatest Generation Walk” that commemorates military heritage through art. My favorite WWII commemorative statue “is “Unconditional Surrender.”  This romantic 25 foot statue of a sailor kissing a nurse by J. Seward Johnson always makes my heart skip a beat.

Nurse and Sailor in San Diego California

Nurse and sailor in San Diego California

The  Marina District is also appealing because it is within walking distance to Horton Plaza, the Gaslamp District and Little Italy. These are some of my favorite San Diego destinations. Take some time to explore the bay on a Hornblower Cruise. I like the “Sights and Sips” Sunset Cruise. Pay for a reserved window seat when you purchase your ticket.

San Francisco 2012 616

My “Vino con Vista” San Diego adventure began in the Gaslamp District with a local wine event at the House of Blues.  Exhuberant dancers enjoyed the DJ’s classic Prince tunes. I was glad they were pouring Pinot Noir because I can be such a wine snob. We meandered over to the historic Grant Hotel at Broadway and 4th where a female San Diego attorney named Lynn Schenk broke the gender barrier at the Grant Grill restaurant in 1971. The sign at the entrance said “Men only until 3:00 pm.” The Hotel is celebrating their 100th anniversary. Long story short, the place was recently refurbished as an elegant Starwood Property and serves as a testiment to the Glory Days of San Diego. The live music was enchanting.

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The Gaslamp District has 94 historic buildings that have been  lovingly restored. Businessman Alonzo Erastus Horton spent $264 for 800 acres in 1867. These 16 blocks eventually became the Gaslamp Quarter. You can schedule a two-hour walking tour of the Gaslamp at the Historical Foundation at 619-233-4692. There are over 200 restaurants, bars and night clubs with a vast array of Happy Hour options including: Altitude Sky Lounge, Chianti, Currant, House of Blues, Hard Rock Hotel and McCormick & Schmicks.

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The next day, I had the good fortune of having lunch on the sun-drenched patio of the Hotel Del Coronado which is one of my favorite hotels in the world! I am also a big fan of Wentworth by the see near Portmouth New Hampshire.

View of Coronado and San Diego from the air.

View of Coronado and San Diego from the air. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I usually take the Coranado Ferry from the Broadway Pier behind the Convention Center when I want to visit Coranado. I put my bike on the ferry and ride down Orange Street to my final destination. I love the view of the skyline from the Coranado Ferry Landing.  Technically, the Silver Strand connects Coronado to the mainland so it really isn’t an island. It is technically an isthmus because it is attached to the mainland at the southern end of Silver Strand State Beach and is connected to Imperial Beach

English: The pier in Imperial Beach, Southern ...

English: The pier in Imperial Beach, Southern California. South of San Diego, very close to the Mexican border. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The beach at Coronado in front of the hotel is definitely the best beach in San Diego! Have brunch at the Hotel del Coronado’s Crown Room on Sunday at 1500 Orange Avenue. . You won’t be disappointed in this Victorian gem brimming with history.

Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego California

 I love the California Historic Landmark’s  photo montage of  the 1959 film “Some Like It Hot.”  The hotel was featured in the classic film with Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. It reminds me of the pictures of “La Dolce Vita” that adorn the walls of the Hotel Majestic in Rome. I like all the cute retail-therapy shops on the lower level. One of the jewelry stores had an adorable ruby slipper necklace that I had to work really hard at resisting. I grabbed a business card just in case I changed my mind when I got home about the necklace. Although our plan involved feasting on one of the restaurant’s famous Ruben sandwiches, we realized that they had changed the menu. I ordered some delicious seared scallops instead. The breath-taking views of the beach, the Pacific Ocean and hilly peninsula of Point Loma reminded me of Mondello Sicily. If I win the lottery, I’m moving to Ocean Drive in Coronado or maybe I’ll move to La Jolla so I can be Mitt Romney’s neighbor.

After lunch, we went to the Cabrillo National Monument on the southern tip of Point Loma and paid hommage to the Portuguese navigator Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo who landed here on September 28,1542 when he anchored his “San Salvador” ship. This is agreat place to watch the sunset! Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego CaliforniaI never knew about the sandstone cliffs that surround the tide pools and precious pre-historic fossils in Point Loma, but they definitely peaked my interest. Tide pools are generally found on rocky shores that are covered and uncovered daily by ocean tides. They are best viewed at low tide when you may see an array of sea like including sea stars and urchins.

Point Loma San Diego California

Point Loma San Diego California

As I gazed at the fourteen foot structure of Cabrillo, I was magically transported to the “Monument to the Discoveries” in Lisbon that honors the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator with Magellan, Vasco da Gama and other notable Portuguese explorers lining the concrete prow of a caravel. I heard the sweet serenade of Fado music and envisioned the Manueline Belem Tower that protects Lisbon’s harbor. I remembered that I was in San Diego when I saw the lighthouse, North Island, military ships and the skyline. Senior Cabrillo looks like he was kidnapped from the monument in Lisbon. In Point Loma have a burger at Slater’s 50/50 at 2750 Dewey Road. One of my favorite lunch is Point Loma Seafoods at 2805 Emerson Street.

Point Loma San Diego California

We drove past the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery that was named after a Union General in the American Civil War. The tombstones made me think about my travels to Normandy.

Point Loma San Diego California

Then I thought about how much I missed my Dad. I remembered that someone from the army called me the day before his funeral to tell me that they were sorry to hear that they had lost another one of their WWII brothers. They came to his funeral and presented me with a folded flag and gave him a proper 21 gun salute. It brought  tears to my eyes. Weeks after his funeral, I received a certificate from the White House. President Bush signed a document that stated The United States of America honored my father’s memory. It says: “This certificate is awarded by a grateful nation in recognition of devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces of the United States.”  I presume that the daughters of many beloved fathers buried at Rosecrans and other military cemeteries received the same document.

It was time for us to check out the newly-renovated Bali Hai Tiki Temple at 2230 Shelter Island Drive. Bali Hai was a famous show tune from Roger and Hammerstein’s 1949 musical “South Pacific.” Shelter Island in San Diego CaliforniaThe venue was lavishly adorned with maps and Polynesian artifacts. We sat at the bar for another incredible “Vino con Vista.” Instead of wine, I opted for a Polynesean cocktail that was so strong that  I had to dilute it with orange juice. I felt it was too early in the day to get hammered. I’m starting to sound like Ernest Hemmingway; most of his tales revolve around cocktail hour.

That evening, we went back to Banker’s Hill overlooking  Balboa Park  where the San Diego Zoo is located. We watched the 1937 film “Captains Courageous” based on a 1897 story by Rudyard Kipling. In the film, a young Spencer Tracy serves as a heroic role model for the arrogant son of a wealthy tycoon played by Freddie Bartholomew.  Rudyard Kipling‘s heart-warming tale is about vices and virtues. Spencer Tracy is a Portuguese fisherman who teaches the child about respect, valor and love. This tear-jerker is a must see for the over-indulged pre-teen in your family.

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The weekend was  filled with festivals. We walked over to the Saturday morning Mercado in Little Italy. I love the fresh flowers, farm-fresh produce and wide array of merchandise offered at this weekly event. Smilin’ Jack was playing Italian songs on his accordion. When you go to Little Italy, make sure you try some of the Happy Hour Venues. I like the Glass Door Restaurant and Lounge for a Vino con Vista overlooking the Bay. San Diego’s vibrant dining scene has more than 7000 options. There are also plenty of food trucks including Mangia Mangia Mobile and Miho’s Gastrotruck. In Little Italy dine at Bencotto Italian Kitchen at 750 Fir Street or Prep Kitchen for Happy Hour.

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Little Italy in San Diego California

san diego california

We hopped on the Trolley in Little Italy that transported us to the Art Festival in Old Town where I found the perfect blush-colored  pearl bracelet to wear to my son’s spring wedding. Then for about  $20, we took a cab to Prospect Street in downtown La Jolla. I had to re-visit the historic  La Valencia Hotel and climb the stairs at George’s at the Cove for a panoramic shot of the Pacific Ocean. George’s Chef Trey Foshee serves contemporary California cuisine with breath-taking views. There’s even a rooftop terrace. Another interesting dining option in La Jolla is Nine-Ten at 910 Prospect Street inside the Grande Colonial Hotel. Chef Jason Knibb’s seasonal cuisine is served in an elegant dining room. I love the pink La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla on Prospect with the hand-painted murals

San Diego California

We walked over to the Art and Wine Festival on Girard St. The festival was a school fundraiser. Wineries from Temecula were pouring $3 tastings. I found it interesting that the public school on Girard Street was located at the intersection of the Maserati Dealership and the Ferrari Dealership. That spoke volumes about the demographics in La Jolla.

San Diego California

San Diego California

Plan to attend the La Jolla Music Society Summerfest between July 31 and August 23, 2013. La Jolla has an annual festival of the Arts between June 22-23. I wanted to attend the Gourmet Festival in Del Mar but we didn’t have enough time. If you have time, check out the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla Village where Nancy Rubins’ large-scale, nautical inspired  artwork adorns the museum’s west side.

One of my favorite Fall Festivals is in Little Italy. I love this annual Columbus Day celebration called  “Festa” in Little Italy.

San Diego California

Live music permeates the neighborhood as the chalk artists work their magic on five- foot square sections of Date Street. Some of the chalk art is incredible!

Little Italy in San Diego California

Litte Italy reminds me of Cefalu Sicily with the historic tales of tuna fisherman, cute shops with imported Italian ceramics and charming outdoor Italian restaurants. I had some flavorful gnocchi from Buon Appetito’s food booth.

I made my mandatory trek to Fillippi’s for pine nut cookies. They offer the perfect blend  of almond paste and pine-nuts. I was too full to order a Caprese Sandwich at Mona Lisa, one of my favorite Italian stores on India. Have a perfect expresso at Caffe Italia at 1704 India Street. There’s a summer Film Festival in Amici Park Amphitheater on Saturday nights in the summer at West Date and State Streets.

Little Italy in San Diego California

In the evening, we went to Island Prime on Shelter Island and I ordered a yummy Ahi Tuna/crab meat appetizer that was drizzled with a balsamic infused apricot flavored glaze. It was just the right mate for my Cadillac Margarita with Gran Marnier. I savored the combinaton as I admired the billion-dollar views of downtown San Diego at night. The cruise ship was parked in the Port and the configuration of the ship’s red lights resembled the Golden Gate Bridge.

San Diego California

Then it was time for some  “Smooth Jazz” at Humphrey’s at 2241 Shelter Island Drive. .  I loved watching the people on the dance floor move to the rhythm of Marcus Anderson’s sexy saxophone. The passionate tatooed drummer was getting a cardiac workout.

Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay is a great venue for dinner and a show during the summer months.

No weekend in San Diego would be complete without visiting the Gaslamp Quarter. Go to Bice at 425 Island for an outstanding Happy Hour. Everyone loves Searsucker with Top Chef Brian Malarkey’s grand slam at 611 5th Avenue. I absolutely love the Grant Grill at 326 Broadway inside the elegant US Grant Hotel.

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If you have extra time, there’s plenty of biking, hiking and walking trails. Go to Balboa Park, Lake Miramar, or the Grasslands loop if  you want short and flat terrain. Balboa  Park is the site of the 1915 and 1935 international exposition.

 I think my next book will be “Vino Con Vista San Diego.” Fortunately, my research will involve many return trips to my favorite American city. How appropriate that the local flowers are “Birds of Paradise.” If you wand to browse an event calendar visit http://www.sandiego.org/events

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ http://www.vino-con-vista.com

 

San Diego California

Mark your calendars for the San Diego Wine Festival in November. Here’s a YouTube Video overview that you might enjoy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPmEnsU3LsY

English: The city flag of San Diego, CA. Flag ...

Image via Wikipedia

Buon Viaggio–

 

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