Thursday, February 9, 2012

S is for: Shucking Oysters at Drakes Bay

My dad is what you'd call a thrill seeker. He recently drove a NASCAR in Florida, and he went skydiving on a trip to visit me in San Diego years ago. Next on his bucket list is a hot air balloon ride over Napa Valley. We attempted this last time he was visiting, but the trip was cancelled before we left San Francisco because of fog.

When he was here last week, we again scheduled the balloon ride. To do this, we have to be in Napa by 6:45 a.m. Let me say I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON. But I will do anything for Dad. We called to double-check the weather situation before leaving, and it was all-systems go. Sadly, in the time it took to drive to wine country, the wind gusts were too strong and they once again had to cancel.

Damn. We're 0-for-2 on balloon rides.



So what do you do in Napa at 7 a.m.? You go to breakfast. We chose Boon Fly at the Carneros Inn. I got the "green eggs and ham," which has honey cured ham, crispy hasbrowns and poached eggs topped with a lemon-leek cream sauce. (Very clever). And just because, I ordered one of their donuts. The menu claims them to be "World Famous." I can see why. It was delicious.


From there, we decided to make our way out to Point Reyes to take in some scenery and some oysters. Such rural and beautiful countryside....it almost reminded me of my home state of Montana (minus the ocean in the background). By the way...doesn't this remind you of those Real California Cheese commercials? "Happy cows come from California"...can't argue with that. A green pasture and ocean breezes...she sure looks content.


There are several options when it comes to getting fresh oysters. Hog Island Oyster Co. is probably the most popular and well-known, but we went off the beaten track a little bit and traveled to Drakes Bay. It was a weekday, so we were the only ones there. One of the owners patiently and enthusiastically explained to us the process of oyster farming and even threw a couple extra oysters in the bag we purchased for only 6 bucks. After a quick shucking lesson, we were pros in no time. They were some of the sweetest oysters I've ever experienced and certainly the freshest.


It doesn't get much better than shucking your own oyster, squeezing a little lemon juice on top, adding a couple drops of hot sauce and enjoying them with your dad on a warm sunny day.


Since we were already there, we continued down the road and took a short hike to the nearby lighthouse. Well, we didn't go all the way down...as we didn't want to walk all the way back up, but it still made for a pretty photo.


While my dad was bummed about the cancelled balloon ride, we still managed to have a fantastic day. Not quite as thrilling as driving a race car or jumping out of an airplane but still fun nonetheless. Miss you already dad! We'll go ballooning next year...third time's the charm!

2 comments:

  1. I love oysters! Especially when farmed fresh from the bay. I went to Drake's a couple of years ago and it was and still the best oysters I've had. There was a big group of us and a few courageous first timers. Of course we had to document the moment. I think I have the video clip somewhere. Anyway, it was memorable and fun! I need to go out there again soon.

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  2. my favorite post yet.

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