Thursday, October 11, 2007

Day One, Otherwise known as Napa Valley

Our adventure began at 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning. At that time, we got up, finished packing, ate some breakfast, and headed out.

Both flights were on time (even early) and all luggage landed safe and sound. Rental car was ready (complete with a GPS) and we were off!

We arrived in Napa Valley a few hours later, but we could smell wine country long before we arrived at our first winery. The smell of grapes and wine is all over the place, it comes through your vents and rolled down windows as you drive. I’m not a wine buff (don’t even really like it) but it smelled great.

We stopped at a winery called V. Sattui, where we had a free wine tasting, found a couple of wines we could tolerate, and stared at the exotic deli items. Lots of fancy cheeses and sprouts and spreads.

We were STARVING at this point (it was about 2:00 California time, we’d been up since 2:30 Oklahoma time and only had a donut). So we elected to skip the deli and find some substantial food down the road.

Remember how excited I was to “have Sunday brunch in wine country”? Well, apparently everyone gets excited about that. The crowds were thick, restaurants were busy, and we were both starting pounding headaches from lack of food. But there was one restaurant that had no wait and a perfect view of vineyards: A&W/KFC. That’s right—we had A&W burgers and fries for lunch. Oh…and cheese curds. Can’t forget the cheese curds! It was delicious and set us up for the drive to the next winery.

We arrived at the beautiful tree-lined streets of Sterling Vineyards (are they vineyards or wineries? I don’t know and never figured out). They have a gondola ride up the mountain to their main building and we rode that up to the top for beautiful views. Autumn has hit Napa Valley and the different colors of the leaves were a perfect setting. We’d already bought our wine, so we enjoyed the views and then headed back into the city.

We checked into our darling hotel, the Pickwick, and then John wanted to drive down Lombard Street (“the crookedest street in the world”) but we failed to realize one important thing: it was Fleet Week and the Blue Angels were doing a show over the Bay. Which means we were driving 3 miles through over 100,000 people. It took us two hours to get through the masses…..2 hours for 3 miles and we didn’t even see Lombard Street. We took the car back, caught the train into downtown, ate dinner at the hotel restaurant and fell asleep.

Wow, you know it’s been a successful day when John was asleep before me at 9:00 pm!

No comments: