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Champagne Lunch Break, Seal Pups, and the Cliff Drummer

Today for our lunch break we drove North towards Jenner and then East toward Guerneville and decided to stop at the Korbel Champagne Cellars.


We passed Korbel a few days ago when we were exploring and didn't think we'd stop, but since then we read some reviews that said they had a very good gourmet delicatessen, a bunch of other wines and champagnes to taste (not just the cheap champagne you got at the market when you were in high school), and that the tour of the cellars was actually cool and informative. We had some delicious sandwiches and sat outside on the patio, and then headed in to the tasting room.


The gal in the tasting room who was pouring the champagne did this thing, though. I know you know this thing. She had a line that she used about one of the champagnes (the muscato frizzante): 

"We like to call this one 'sugar water.'  It's very sweet."

By the time she poured it for us we'd heard her use this line on other tasters several times already. Then, as soon as she left us, she poured it for the couple right next to us and used the SAME DANG LINE:

"We like to call this one 'sugar water.'  It's very sweet."

Seriously. Does she think she's in a bubble with each customer and that no one else in that ONE room at the SAME wine bar can't hear her say this SAME line a dozen times during their tasting? It's such an unsophisticated, insincere way to interact with people. She had another line about the cream sherry, too:

"We call this one 'pecan pie' in a glass."


Reminds me of this time we were at a fondue restaurant in Portland about 10 years ago and we could hear the waiter delivering his one line as he made his way around the restaurant: "This is the only restaurant in town where we actually encourage you to play with your food." Then he's chuckle as if he'd just cracked himself up a little (because, you know, he'd JUST THOUGHT OF THAT LINE ). Then he'd move along, delivering the same line to the next table of fondue chumps. 


We had intended to go do the tour after the tasting, but when we got over there the next one wasn't for another 45 minutes and that felt like too long to wait for a tour. Oh yeah, it was 93°F. At the bay here it's 65°F, and 10 miles inland it's 93°F. 

We'd next planned to go for a hike but unfortunately I'd forgotten that to bring the lattitude and longitude (!!!) of the trailhead (and also forgot that there's no cell service whatsoever as soon as you get out of Bodega Bay so I couldn't look up anything), and we never found the trail. I'm sure it was at one of the pulloffs on Highway 1 that we passed, and if we decide to try it again I've got a little map screenshot saved on my phone now.

We did stop at a pullout just North of Jenner and saw this large herd of harbor seals down where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean:



It's a protected seal rookery, and during seal pup season (they're born March through June) you can see the pups wigglin' around while the adults lounge in the sun. Pretty cool.


Looking South at Goat Rock:


As we were headed back to Bodega Bay, we passed this guy. He had set up an entire drum kit right on the edge of a cliff and was rockin' out with the ocean. (Click photo composite to see it a little larger. He's on the far right.) 


Nice view. He was a good drummer, too!