Californian Honeymoon: Napa Valley
Napa Valley looks like Tuscany. Zach and I both felt like we were driving through vineyards in Italy. Only with some PGA looking golfers spotted along the roads.
We rented a car in the city and drove a couple of hours north to Napa County. We stopped in the town of Napa, and actually asked ourselves why people make a big deal about coming to Napa. It was kind of a mom and pop town in a weird way. There wasn't a lot to do off of the tourist train rides.
Like we usually do, we sat down and looked up reviews of Napa Valley, and all internet signs pointed us to St. Helena. As we got further and further into the county, we realized why people make a big deal about coming here. It's so stinking beautiful! It's just vineyard upon vineyard. It's quiet, roads lined with plantation looking trees (you know the ones right?? tall, old, sturdy, and hang over the road?)
We stopped for an afternoon cocktail at Goose & Gander just inside the town. We finally found our people here. It was very Austin feeling-a restaurant in an old house. And the old house had three parts-dining room which was decorated kind of like an upscale hunter's lodge, basement which had this cellar/speak-easy bar feel, and the outside which was a garden party with beautiful leather couches and a fountain.
The staff here was beyond incredible. The hostess first off recommended we go to her brothers Thai restaurant when we got back to San Fran. Our waitress randomly had a best friend from Des Monies, so she had been there and gone to the Iowa State Fair! We drank beautiful garden drinks- the best Pimms Cup's that I have had so far.
The hostess went back inside and wrote us out this huge list of things we needed to see and do while in town. AND brought us a little honeymoon desert. You guys! It was cocoa coated plants and edible flowers on top of some beautiful magic fruit squares. Seriously if ever are in St. Helena, you must go there right away.
We also got ice cream around the corner!! it melted almost instantly. Heat wave remember. I'm learning what it looks like to have my chin pointed upward in a photo....
It took us 30 minutes to drive 7 miles to our Air BnB house in the mountains. And mountains they were. The road was narrow and curvy. We could only go about 35 mph max. It was amazing though!! It was like a car commercial. We drove past massive entries to wine empires and old family farms.
Air BnB, guys. It is the way to go. We got to see a personal and intimate side to the valley tucked away so far from anyone else. We stayed in this awesome ex-treehouse, now just cool tin roofed shack. The owners are a couple from San Francisco who bought a farm and built a barn to do their hobbies in. Their hobbies are pottery, woodworking, floral arranging, gardening, and honey harvesting. If you know me, this is A DREAM.
They were more than hospitable and friendly and gave us free reign to sit by their giant spanish styled pool that over looked the valley.
Zach and I wandered off to find some food for the evening. The hosts directed us to a big gas station/restaurant that made pizzas and had cheese and crackers and great local wine. We were like "well yeah we are going to have wine and cheese and sit by your pool!" Well. Tuesday is the off day in Napa Valley. So with the sought after restaurant closed, we had to settle for the self-proclaimed "Red-Neck Drinking Bar" down the road. We turned down the $15 pizza (they seriously just warm up DiGiorno and sell it for $15). With somewhat bleak faces (see below) we headed back to the pool with weird homemade ham and cheese sandwiches and screw top wine from the cooler.
Zach and I are do-ers. We like to go go go and be active and adventure and explore. When we got back to the house and didn't really have reception, we had the first moments of "uhhhhh, okay what do we do now for the rest of the evening??" I think the wedding week, traveling, and walking 30 miles in SF the days before finally caught up to us in Napa Valley. We spent a few hours just sitting by the pool talking and relaxing and reading Kinfolk.
We were especially fond of this issue because it explains the idea of "the essentials" in various ways. Starting our lives together, we had awesome chats of what that means in our lives. Our essential needs and materials that we carry with us, and even into what we buy for our home and what we need to cook with.
We went to sleep in our tiny tree shack to it raining on the tin roof. SERIOUSLY, I think the drought knew we were on our honeymoon and needed the dreamiest night ever.
The next morning, we bid our adews and drove back through the winding roads through San Francisco and down to Santa Cruz.
Look for that post coming shortly!