Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tours starting today

It is Saturday, January 16th, and today we had our first group of paid tourists going through the building. This proposal of offering tours here has been met with a mixed reaction. The Instructors on the third floor wanted to put the Kibosh on the idea, but our managing director liked it and figured it would bring in some more revenue so...

Basically, I give a historical perspective of the CIA, talking about what the building was when it first opened it's doors back in 1889. From there, I gradually bring our guests through the preceding eras up to the present day and how the Culinary Institute of America established it's West coast campus here. The people I meet here are more fascinating than any history lesson one would ever think of imparting. It amazes me from how far and wide these people will come to visit Greystone. I understand that outside of Disneyland, this Napa Valley landmark is right up there as a popular destination people want to visit when they come to California. ( From it's appearance, I am still reminded of the Eagles' hit song, "Hotel California" }.

This area is so much more than grape vines, bike tours and balloon rides. St. Helena alone has become a Culinary mecca second only to the Loire region in France . Many have it that this place is where Food, Wine and Art have become the bounty of the good life. One that has emerged through the efforts of early California ancestors, including all the European and Mexican emigrants that have since worked this land over the past few hundred years.

Now our rainy season has just begun again on the West coast after a few meager starts and stops. The weatherman says that the coming front look like it could produce about 6-8 inches by weeks end.I am looking forward to getting a lot of little "inside" jobs to be completd this time of the year.

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