Sunday, May 6, 2012

Weekend Adventures.

What a beautiful weekend!  The weather is gorgeous and thankfully I've had a completely "unscheduled" couple of days to enjoy it.  Good food, lots of laughter and great company. 

Yesterday we wandered over to the Clayton Art & Wine Festival with a friend and found ourselves quickly immersed in beer soaked bliss.  Clayton is a little pleasantville town tucked into the base of Mount Diablo, teeming with families and a lovely little historic square.  It's a blended sort of wild west modern yuppie haven that once or twice a year throws a decent party, chalk full of arts and crafts, a wide beer selection and this year, a pretty good wine assortment.  In years past we've been a little disappointed with selection of beverages, but it seems someone finally got on board and amped up the quality of happy juice available.  Now let me see... I'm trying to remember the list of participants that we came across-- unfortunately the city of Clayton did not provide a vendor listing online, so I'm going off of memory here (believe me, I know I'm forgetting a ton)...

Shock Top
Longboard Lager
Sierra Nevada
Anchor Steam
Black Diamond
Chateau St Michelle
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars
Villa Mt Eden
Unruly Red
Nicholas Fuilette
Dancing Coyote
Concannon Vineyard

Like I said, the list is much larger, but those are the vendors I noticed right off the bat, pretty good in my opinion.  In general, the festival was similar to most others, with local craftsmen selling their wares and your typical run of the mill carnival food.  The thing that sets the Clayton festival apart from other local events is the good old fashioned home town feel that the town square, park and local businesses provide.  Places like Moresi's Chophouse, Skipolini's Pizza and Ed's Mudville Grill cater to the people, inviting guests to sit back, relax and take in the bustling scenery while enjoying a bite to eat or a pint of beer.  The festival occupies the majority of downtown Clayton, parking is free and for $20 you get a wine glass or pint glass and three drink tickets.  Not too shabby in my book.  Beer is the more cost efficient way to go if you ask me, you get an entire pint full of frothy goodness, while with wine you are limited to a small 2 ounce pour.  We were very happy to see that more wineries were involved this year- they even added a premium wine tent for those of you searching for a more "refined" beverage, although it'll cost you two tickets for a taste.  The entire event is kid and pet friendly (so many pooches!), but beware, it gets VERY hot out there so come prepared with shades, sunblock and if you're toting a furry friend with you, a water bowl.

As I sit and write this it occurred to me that I probably should've spoken up on Friday about it.  The festival runs through the weekend and will be ending shortly unfortunately, but keep it in mind for next year.  A good time was had by all, and for heaven's sake, the sunshine and friendly faces lining the streets were reason enough to feel completely happy.

Hope you all had a great weekend out there as well...

P.S.  The above photo was taken right at the start of the event, thus the vacant streets.  The hubby wanted a shot of the cool old town cop car.

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