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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

photo journey

Ah...Northern California. Not a bad place to live. I know everyone is complaining about all the rain we've been getting (including me), but it really makes the landscape green and beautiful. Spring is probably the prettiest season here, when the hills are actually green and not dry brown/yello smoldering fire hazards.

Did I have a point? Oh yeah, I was all spring-happy on my way to my father's house in San Andreas and was thinking of all the great scenery I was passing. (And noticing how the forecasted rain was mysteriously absent!) So, I pulled out my camera on my way back home (don't tell Dad...not the safest move) and snapped some photos of my journey. The pictures are not the best, but in my defense, they were taken through the windows of a moving car.

Mooooo...there are lots of cows along the way from San Andreas to Benicia... And it being spring, lots of cute little calves too. I don't know if this is a dairy farm or these guys are up for the slaughter, but in my mind, they're the CA Happy Cows that make the CA cheese...

The sheep are cute too, and lots of little lambs running around (not that I was able to really capture them in this photo). I wonder what this sheep farm produces (again, I'm hoping it's not a meat plant, and prefer to think they are harvesting the wool to make us all some luscious yarns).

This building may not look too impressive...but if you look a little closer, you'll see that this little brick building is attached to a larger section and houses Chocoholics Divine Desserts. This is their factory (in Clements, CA on 88) where they actually produce the goodies. They give tours too! One day, I'm going to have to stop here and take one. And totally sample some divine goodies. I've seen their products in the stores, but I've never actually tasted any of them.

Can I live here?

Further down the road there are lots and lots of vineyards. Not too much growth on them yet, so they look like dark withered hands rising from the earth right now (I'm a bit of a freak, yes...and there's a reason I can't watch horror movies!). Now, I'm not much of a drinker (okay, I really don't drink at all), but I love the name of this line of wines which is on the yellow sign above. Gotta love it... 7 Deadly Zins. from Lodi Vineyards. Too clever (yeah, I'm easily impressed).

I also pass over a number of drawbridges. I thought this one looked neat from inside, so I snapped this and quickly stashed my camera away to maintain my position in my lane. I tried to center this so it wasn't on an angle...but it just wasn't working out, so I'm sorry about that.

I also pass a long expanse of windmills. Go alternative energy source, go!

And a few old school windmills too...(more charachter in these, but I don't think they'd brighten too many bulbs for too long).

I wasn't able to snap a shot of the Jelly Belly Factory as I passed it (it snuck up on me), but it's right before the Budweiser plant (above) on Highway 12. There's been a lot of growth in the area. My father took my brothers and me on a tour of Jelly Belly years ago, and it was pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Now, it's surrounded by stripmall... I guess I shouldn't be surprised. But, the tour was pretty fun, and I would totally recommend it - you also get free samples along the way.

As for Budweiser, I don't know if they do tours or not, but if so, I know a lot of people that would be interested. I'm trying to remember when they changed the sign, which used to be Anheiser-Busch, with the big eagle logo too.

Anyway, lots of rambling from me, as usual. Just think it's interesting how much you can pass in a 2hr/15min road trip across Northern CA.

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