Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day Weekend AKA 40th Wedding Anniversary!

Such a nice surprise that hubby was able to make it home this weekend! I had first decided that if he couldn't make it home, I would be an adult about it (HA!) so it was lovely that there was no problem!
So we started off (after I took a very short 1.5 hour nap after work) babysitting the boys. That was lovely - especially since everyone allowed me to nap and doze on the couch there - what? they went swimming? when? for how long?
And then we went for our traditional celebration which included the Livermore Valley Harvest Wine Festival (http://www.lvwine.org) you pay one fee and spend 2 days tasting wine....nibbling foods....listening to music...buying things! The 32d one - and our 24th.....This year was quite the disappointment tho. In fact, I posted on their Facebook that I wanted a rebate! Monday is usually the quietest day - but this time it was beyond quiet...we were done in less than 2 hours....followed the map and decided on Sunday we would go to the one large venue that had a lot of smaller wineries pouring, and then we would do some individual wineries. And Monday we would go the other large venue, and do some smaller wineries. Well, should have really read thru all the 40+ blurbs because - that 2d large venue? Yeah, it was only large on Sunday too.....
 
 This humongous sunflower was outside of one of the wineries. I ducked down and shot up and still couldn't get all of it! It was so large it was bent wayyyyy over on its stem
 Beautiful grapes outside of Wood Family Winery (http://www.woodfamilyvineyards.com/)....I missed seeing all the woodies that we usually see there! Enjoyed some good music tho - I think they were called Patty & Abigain
 Love Fenestra Winery (http://www.fenestrawinery.com/) - love cattails too which you don't usually see in this area -

Oops, out of order. We traditionally eat at Wente Restaurant - historically fantastic food and great service - you feel pampered but not rushed. Well, it is has gone down hill over the past few years - and actually I am thinking since they opened the golf course. Prior to that the clientele would dress as tho for a 4 star restaurant...since the golf course, well, you see people wearing shorts, and jeans, and sandals....and I think they have dummied down their service and their menu.

Last year and this year - no valet parking (which is ok but still, quite the change). The menu? Meh......the service??? Well, we were in a little room off to the side that we haven't been in a long time. So I did not observe all the service, just in our room. And maybe the bus boys didn't like the waitress or something. First of all - AFTER hubby's steak was served, we still had to ask for a steak knife....use to be, as soon as you cleared your salad or appetizer, they came around and brushed all the crumbs off, and placed whatever utensils you needed....we did get water at the beginning of the meal, and it was refilled at the end....usually it was refilled as needed. And we eventually received an ice bucket for our wine. In the past, our wine glasses would go down a drink or two, and someone was there refilling the for you....not this time.

I always hope for their fantastic mashed potatoes, but nothing came with mashed potatoes this year. And the "sides" that came with the meal were so skimpy as to be almost non existent. I supposedly had some type of fresh made polenta with my 3 or 4 scallops (they were very good).....I have never had polenta like that before and there was made 2 spoonfuls. And that was the only "veggie" that came with the scallops.

When we first started going there every table would receive a lovely assortment of olives, and lovely breads. Well, they stopped the olives years ago (you could still order them as an appetizer until recently). And last night - no basket of bread.....just two skimpy foccacio rolls.....and never offered a refill of that.

We usually get one dessert to split - glad we didn't - the price was still full priced but the serving has gotten very mini
 Peach dumpling
 Almond poppy seed cake with 6 bites of berries....cause that is all that would fit on top!
http://www.wentevineyards.com/restaurant/
I think next year we will decide on somewhere new for our anniversary ....
(I have even noticed that for the first time - at least the first time I have seen - they are selling tickets for their concert series on the cutrate places (like groupon and such)....economy? Or maybe other people are less than thrilled with their decline).

Hubby is making eggplant parmesan for dinner tonight....and then to bed early cause have to get him to the airport before the crack of dawn tomorrow morning!!!

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