Friday, November 26, 2004

The other adventure that has occupied our late summer/early autumn has been tripping to Gold Country in search of one of California's new wine centers, the Sierra Foothills. This includes Calaveras, Amador, and El Dorado counties, and they are eye openers.

There's a controversy underway up there, between the big-money operations and the boutique vineyards. Both sides appear to have taken long looks at what's happened to Napa-Sonoma and have reacted, one favorably, the other in horror. Let's illustrate with what's going on in the Shenandoah Valley in and around Plymouth, on Highway 49.

The wineries that are organized around active tourism have lavish layouts, paved parking with bus and RV spaces, on-premises food, and large wine paraphernalia shopping areas. Along with the wine-tasting bars of course. I've enjoyed hot lunches at Villa Toscano and Bella Piazza with Frank Sinatra crooning in the background.

More later. . .

Thursday, November 25, 2004

No news on HiltonHouse since October, but that's because most of the activity moved inside until very recently. You know the drill: gypsum board, taping and texturing, painting, cabinets, flooring, plumbing fixtures, electrical. Only the kitchen appliances remain, and then clean up of the interior. The outside is mostly complete, and we're looking forward to exterior landscaping, hardscape and softscape, probably in the Spring.

Very much a horizontal house, wouldn't you say? That's what we wanted. It compares and contrasts with the vertical house that Rudy and Betty will be moving into:

We will miss the magnificent, typical California live oaks.

Next time, I'll post some interior shots, and then we'll be done.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Monday, November 01, 2004

Since we're posting pics of houses, how about this one?
Not quite as momentous as Hilton House, but maybe a bit shinier?

Kinkaku, "Golden Pavilion", in Kyoto.