Another American / Our favorite family winery.

Another American / Our favorite family winery.

IMG_2687What exactly is happening with the passport situation in California right now? We went to make an application at the local post office for Margot’s first passport last week, only to find that appointments for passport applications were running at a 9 week wait! The same was the case at pretty much every post office I called in Marin County…
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Baby’s first passport has to be applied for via a face to face application with both parents present. For our son’s US passport application two years ago we simply popped into our, then local, downtown San Francisco post office at some ungodly pre-work hour with daddy. I still remember that first-baby pride in the fact that we had all managed to get our sh*t together so early in the morning and get to an appointment on time, albeit in leggings and a pajama top under my sweater. And then there was our total glee at standing in front of the cashiers desk in said PJ top, raising one hand and swearing the truth covenant in front of an American flag and the grumpy Monday-morning post office line. We thought it was all highly amusing (sleep deprived).
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Not so this time round. The whole of the west coast apparently wants to go on their first ever foreign holiday this summer (a weird concept for us EU peeps who have all pretty much had our passports since childhood).  So… our only option was to visit the Santa Rosa post office passport ‘fair’. Sounds festive? It was not. Four hours of standing in line around the block with toddler, baby and nearly 400 desperate Californian holiday-makers. Uuuurghh!!
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12798922_10153315593631498_4325070134518442290_nAnyhoo… Passport application done we found ourselves in lovely wine country with the rest of Saturday to spare!
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Hands down the best bit about living in Northern Cal is being on the doorstep of Napa and Sonoma Counties and the bounteous opportunities for wine sampling that they offer. For some it’s Lake Tahoe, others enjoy the beaches – but for me it’s wine country every time. Our current fav on the list of family friendly wineries is The Larson Winery just outside of Sonoma. Larsonwinery.com.
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It’s well worth the visit with kids. While they are not specifically geared towards children (no one wants that from a winery) they offer a brilliant combo of gorgeous outdoor drinking space for adults and tons of safe grassland for kids with picnic tables that spread out into the vines at the back – so you can let tots roam free with no worry that they fall into a lake or knock over a statue! Archer had a blast being pushed around the grounds on a toy tractor by a merry bachelorette party while we kicked back with a delicious Pinot Noir.
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Another selling point as far as I’m concerned is that there’s easy access to an outdoor bar, so that outside of the tasting rooms or buying expensive bottles you can simply drink by the glass. Love a winery that gets its priorities straight – easy access to the vino! …and a great spot to celebrate Margot officially becoming the next American in our family!

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