I wouldn't want people to think that the entire two weeks was one continual brew-pub crawl around the streets of the city. On some days we left the city behind and explored the valleys and the islands of the wider Bay area. One day we went up to the Muir Woods National Monument to pay homage to the few remaining first-growth redwood trees. As we were up north, it seemed like a good idea to combine the woods with calling in on a few vineyards, and it would have been the height of bad manners not to sample a few of the products they were so proud of. After all that wine, I began to see things in the trees that had not been there before. As I gazed at the trunk of an ancient sequoia, could I see myself looking back? A wooden image rooted in the Californian soil, destined to grow here for the next two thousand years. There are worse prospects by far.