Napa, on the reals.

Back in July, Davin and I made a yearly family plan for July 2015-2016.  It was basically all the things we wanted to do, places we wanted to go and experiences we wanted to have.

One of our favorite decisions we made was that that twice a year, Davin and I would try and get away for a few nights to connect.  It’s never easy or inexpensive, but it is one of the few priorities we wanted to put time, energy and finances towards.

So the Napa area has been kind of a diamond hidden behind lots and lots of vineyards and sprawling hills for me.

There are SO many wineries, SO many restaurants, so many places to stay… and it’s not just Napa.  It’s St. Helena, Calistoga, Yountville, Sonoma, Heldsburg and then some.

Thomas Keller’s take-out, Addendum.

Thursday – Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

For $16.50, guests have a choice of either our famous buttermilk fried chicken or barbeque pork ribs or pulled pork sandwich, each accompanied by two house-made sides. (From website, click for more details)

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Seriously, look how gorgeous Yountville is in the fall.  Gorgeous.  The weather was perfect around 73 degrees, I love California.

About to open deliciousness and begin our vacation.IMG_1073

Oh my.  IMG_1075

Also, I had a fresh lemonade.  Possibly from this adorbs little lemon tree.  Davin had a St. Florian’s Flashover IPA.  Addendum was a perfect way to get into vacation mode.  1 – we didn’t make the food.  2 – it happened to be crazy delicious.  3 – we had a full meal without any interruptions.

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Yountville in the fall.

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Of course, the wine train.  I think they should have a running tally of how many engagements have happened aboard this historical gem.  They probably do.IMG_1079

The Carneros Inn.  IMG_1081

Free bikes to borrow and ride around the property.  We brought our own, because you know, we’re professionals;-)

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Because I love hotels and resorts and such, here is a detailed photo inventory of the Harvest Cottage King.  In case you were equally as curious about it.  We’ve always been interested in this place, it’s just the prices were a bit extremely high. Fortunately for us, they are remodeling the pool and apple orchard, so prices were significantly lower than usual.  Thank you remodel prices!
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Rocking chairs on the front porch.  Quiet times.

 

IMG_1181Cozy times.IMG_1090

Private back patio with outdoor bathtub, shower and dining table.IMG_1092

Heater over the lounge chairs.  Gas fire pit.IMG_1093

Fountain in the back.IMG_1094Succulents!IMG_1096 IMG_1099Heated floors in the bathroom.
IMG_1103 IMG_1105Doorway to the outdoor shower.

IMG_1106 IMG_1107Outside of Farm, bocce ball courts and a market.
IMG_1110The pool on the top of the hill.IMG_1088 IMG_1178Snacks from the market, tiding us over till dinner.IMG_1112 IMG_1113Dinner at Harvest Table in Saint Helena.  Chef Charlie Palmer’s is in the background in the pink shirt.  Celebrity sighting!IMG_1122Sat outside, they gave us gals blankets.  The chef in the background is Levi Mezick, he was so calm the entire time.  A bunch of us were watching him and were amazed at the peace he exuded.  The food and ambiance were incredible.  Highlights were the shrimp and grits, marinated calamari and the bone marrow crusted sirloin. Delish!

IMG_1123We tried guessing the ice creams in the sampler, but we only got two right!  They were yummy regardless.IMG_1126Bring your own s’mores.  The front desk informed us that they sell a s’mores kit for $25 or $35 bucks, but she hinted at the idea that we could easily grab our own from the grocery store for much less, so we did.  IMG_1119Brunch at Ad Hoc.  $34 per person, and you split it.  Totally worth it.  
IMG_1132 IMG_1133Ambrosia salad.  One of the best salad’s I’ve ever eaten.  IN. MY. LIFE.  Whaaaaat?  Think they might serve this up in heaven.IMG_1134The waffles were a B-.  Sorry waffles!
IMG_1138This steak and eggs with potatoes and ranchero sauce was CRAZY good.  I’ve never had steak for breakfast.  It made me happy I wasn’t a vegan anymore.  I wish I could eat this again.IMG_1141IMG_1136After all that food, we went on a ride.  I don’t think Davin’s heart rate went above 65.  Mine however… let’s just say I was outta’ breath.IMG_1158He’s a beast and this is his new way to take photos.  Then we came back for naps and champagne.  This was a very tasty and light champagne.  We were celebrating our anniversary after all.  Carneros surprised us with the bottle upon our arrival, and since we already had free glasses of wine, we saved it for the next day.IMG_1167I recommend it.

He’s totally fake sleeping;-)IMG_1173We grabbed take-out tacos at Gotts Roadside in downtown Napa ad then watched Jurassic World, (insert raptor sounds and tapping clicks;-)IMG_1175The next morning, we had breakfast at the Boone Fly Cafe.  Mmmmmmmmm.IMG_1177These tiny doughnuts are a must.  World Famous Boon Fly Donuts Baker’s Dozen – 9.75.  A dozen sounds like too many, until you eat one are realize if you’re sharing you only have five left.  I think it’s very possible they are indeed world famous.  Best doughnuts I’ve ever had.  Please go eat some if you are ever in Napa.IMG_1214California Benedict with hash browns.  Love me some CA Benedict.
IMG_1215 We sat at the bar because there was no room in the dining area.  We met the bar tender who’s worked there for the last 12 years.  One of the most non-judgmental people I’ve ever met.  He and his wife both work on the property and they are rad.
IMG_1213Also, it was raining, my fave.IMG_1217They gave us umbrellas on our porch to stay dry.  So thoughtful.

IMG_1209In this photo, Davin is being nice, posing, but he’s really very hungry and probably wishes I would just stop taking photos.

IMG_1207 IMG_1212On our last night we ate at Farm.  This was their tasting menu.  IMG_1185 IMG_1192 This was a decomposed french onion and grilled cheese.  That white honeycomb looking piece is cheese.  It was crazy delicious.  I wish I could have you taste it by looking at the pictures.  IMG_1196 IMG_1197And dessert!IMG_1199Meanwhile back home… Frosty’s from Wendy’s!  Yay for Papa and MeeMaw!  It’s about to get real all up in here.IMG_1347On the last day we went wine tasting.  My favorite was Peju.  I liked the taste of Carnival and Provence.
IMG_1236I told you, he loves this pose.
IMG_1348Also had some R + D Kitchen for lunch.  Everyone there was so friendly and the food was yummy of course.  Can’t really go wrong in Saint Helena with the restaurants.IMG_1260 IMG_1258 IMG_1257We came home refreshed and relaxed.

Shout out to Papa and MeeMaw for holding down the fort with four littles!  We came home and the kids were better behaved than when we’d left, soooo that’s amazing.

This post was brought to you by the grandparents, who make all of our lives better by just being who they are.

Love you dad and mom!!

As always, thanks for reading!

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