9.18.2014

vacation recap: napa valley part 2

Let's finish of these summer vacation recaps before October hits, shall we? As a reminder, we spent two days in San Francisco (here and here) and have covered our first day and a half in Napa. Next up is our final day and a half in the beautiful Napa Valley. I might cry writing this. I want to go back so badly, and it was at this point in our trip when we started getting that panicked feeling that our vacation was almost over. Take a look...

Our second full day began with fruit and homemade English muffins (!!) on our darling patio. This reminds me that I was going to figure out a good recipe for homemade English muffins. These were out of control. And yes that's me wearing the plush bathrobe provided by the hotel. I believe that if there's a bathrobe to be worn, one must wear it as much as possible.


It was a bit dreary outside, but we didn't mind. We quickly ignored the overcast after Paul the driver took us to our first winery of the day - Celani Family Vineyards. This might have been my favorite stop. The history of the family, talking with Wendy their Sales Director about the wines and how vineyards in the Valley operate, and the views made it a great experience. We felt at home. And LOVED their wines, particularly the sauvignon blanc.


  
^^ More roses at the end of the vine. Beautiful and functional, as we learned the day before.
^^ A feeder for the bats! Yes, bats! They keep critters out of the vineyard and their poop helps fertilize. Who knew?
  



^^ We also loved loved loved the cab sav on the far right with the black label. Oh goodness it was luscious. 

^^ The guest house/office. I'll gladly work from there.

After Celani it was on to Whetstone. This darling old stone barn has been refurbished to a cute open big room with old wood floors and giant rod iron chandeliers - kind of castle like. A great place for parties and the wines weren't bad either! Another group joined us halfway throughour tasting so I stopped being that girl taking pictures of wine bottles.  
  



And then, I had one of the best moments in my life. I'm not even kidding. Next we headed for lunch at a place that mostly only locals know of. I read about it on a recommendation that had been passed on from a local to a friend of ours. We headed to La Luna - a mexican grocery store that has a small taqueria in the back that serves the most incredible burritos in the world. I'm dead serious, this was the best burrito of my life. I've dreamed of this burrito tens of times since we've been back home. Wine shcmine,  I go to Napa for the burritos. 

^^ Aisles and aisles of dried spices and peppers. Really something. I should have grabbed some for chili making this fall.

  
^^ Rice, beans, some seriously good carne asada, tomatoes, onions, salsa, guac, cheese, lettuce, sour cream. HALLELUJAH!

This is the face of happiness... (and yes we ate our burritos in the car because we are glamorous people - and because we were running late to our next stop).  


 Our next stop was just down the road from La Luna at a very snazzy site - Round Pond Estate (except I kept calling it Round Pound on accident...so there's that). The tasting was outdoors and up on the roof area overlooking tons of vines and palm trees. Round Pond also does lunches and dinners here and we watched a table full of elegant looking ladies having a tasting menu for lunch with wine pairings which would be so fun if you didn't know about the kick ass burritos down the road. 

^^ Palm trees will forever throw me off and capture my attention. I'm just not accustomed to seeing them.

^^ I'm a sucker for an outdoor fireplace. Bonus points for outdoor fire place with a view. 
 


^^ Spotted: our driver Paul. Hi Paul! Seriously the nicest guy. Email me if you want his contact info.

^^ Reminds me of that big clock at the Musee d'Orsay

Our final winery of the trip was a good one. By The Godfather himself, Francis Ford Coppola.  You've probably seen the Coppola wines in your stores at home, these are from the same dude, but a different location (? I think? Maybe? Wine makes me forget.). These were from his nicer collection from the Inglenook Vineyard. The setting felt very old Italian.  And there was a lot of memorabilia throughout. Not pictured below - Al having a coronary at all The Godfather stuff.
^^ I spy Al.



^^ It's like a scene from The Godfather, but with palm trees...and chiavari chairs.

^^ Hey FFC! Hey!

^^ Our favorite wine from Inglenook. 

And then, sadly, we had to say goodbye to our new friend and driver, Paul. And then due to burrito-pocolypse earlier that afternoon, decided to not go out for dinner and stay-in and order room service, visit the hot tub, and lounge around the beautiful hotel. It was a wise decision. We were stuffed, I don't' think we even ordered our food until very late that evening. It was the perfect last night in Napa. (Side note / travel tip:  We always like to leave one night of our vacation without a dinner reservation for either room-service occasions such as this or to dine at a spot that the locals recommend.)

^^ All hot tubs should come next to an outdoor fire pit.
 
^^ Room service done right. Grilled greens salad (with bacon) and Pasta with zuchhini (and bacon).

^^ Duh we Facetime-d Mayo. She didn't even wake up for us.

The next morning we had a few hours before we drove back to San Francisco for our flight. We took a long walk through Yountville stopping for pastries at Bouchon (where we met and chatted with former Chiefs player Eddie Kennison). 



^^ I could have watched her roll out and fold pastries all day.



Stumbled across The French Laundry garden. Beautiful fruits, herbs, and veggies. I could have stayed here several more hours. Apparently admiring tomatoes isn't as fun for Al. 
  


^^ Foot shown for scale. Holy zucchini!

^^ The French Laundry. Sad we didn't dine here this time, but  we didn't seem to miss it - so many great meals we had. Also, I was totally expecting a grander, fancier facade.

We had about an hour until we had to pack up and leave, so obvi I hit the pool. If professional sunbather was a job I'd be hired on the spot.
^^ #longtoes

After a short drive back to San Fran, we were up and off to watch our friends get married in Jackson Hole and then a few days later we were back in NYC.  Our time in Jackson was great, but I'm don't think I'm going to do a full recap. We did mostly wedding-related activities so I don't have a lot of knowledge to give you you guys. But man what a beautiful place. You can see some photos on my Instagram.

  
^^ That moon though...

Yet another great summer vacation. Al and I have so much fun planning these trips (see more on our process here and here) and it is such a great exercise as a couple. I really think that traveling with your significant other is a must do thing before you get married. It shows your compatibility and helps you problem solve as a couple, and of course there are some really great memories and moments to share. 

Okay, now that summer vacation recaps are over, I'm ready for fall.  



Be sure to check out the rest of our summer vacation posts: 

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