Thursday, May 20, 2010

I left my heart in Napa

Day 1

Whenever someone asks me what my favorite part of the trip was, I hesitate to answer. There was not one "best part". There was a best city (San Fran), a best scenic view (Point Lobos State Reserve) but I can't pinpoint one best part. However, Napa comes to mind as one of the most beautiful places.

Our plane landed in Sacramento and we stepped out of the airport and underneath a clear blue sky. This was the beginning of ten straight days of uninterrupted blue sky. I think I have a skewed vision of California weather because of this trip, considering Napa had just had a rainy spell before we arrived. It was about an hour drive to Napa, and I could not stop staring out the window for the whole trip.  As we got closer to the Napa Valley, the landscape became more and more foreign to me.  The rolling hills seemed like they were going to swallow me up.  One minute, the road would be winding through these hills and the next moment we would be in a valley surrounded by a ring of mountains.  I could not figure out what was so different about these hills. I live in Pennsylvania, so I'm used to hills. I think the difference was that the hills that I'm used to are almost always covered in forest. So the trees kind of mask the slope of the land. The hills in the Napa Valley are like green humps that are just dotted by trees.

I had plans to find a cute place in Napa for lunch. Maybe a nice cafe and a salad with locally grown produce. But then we saw In-n-Out Burger. Frank's instincts took over and he swerved the rented Dodge into the fast food palace. I can't say I put up much of a fight. In-n-Out is only on the west coast and we had heard so much about it from friends who had been there. I won't go into detail about a burger, but let me say, best burger I have ever had.

We got into town a bit early so we could not check in yet. We checked out downtown Napa, drove around a bit and stopped in Oxbrow Market.We could not just walk by Kara's Cupcakes without getting something, so we both got mini-cupcakes even though we were feeling the effects from a burger-induced coma.

We checked in to the Inn next and were both a bit nervous. We had never been to a bed and breakfast before and didn't really know what to expect. We stayed at the Old World Inn, which is a famous B&B in Napa and was featured in Oprah magazine (so it had to be good right?) The owner showed us around the cute victorian house and showed us to our room, La Boheme. The room was beautiful and cozy (we had the smallest room because we're poor haha) and smelled like lavender. There were L'Occitane soaps in the bathroom (which of course I snatched up), a pull-chain toilet, clawfoot tub, etc.

We planned to go out to a nice dinner that night, but as soon as I sat down on the bed, extreme exhaustion hit me. We're talking about the kind of exhaustion where you start crying for no reason because your THAT tired. So it was a gorgeous afternoon in Napa, we were at a fancy B&B and we ended up watching trashy talk shows and napping away the rest of the day. We had been traveling since 4 am and we were three hours jet-lagged. I woke up for dinner but wasn't even hungry. I could not justify spending a lot of money on a fancy dinner out when I wasn't even hungry. So we went out, I got a smoothie from Starbucks, Frank got some beef jerky from Target and we called it a night. We went back to the Inn to find a tray of gourmet chocolate desserts and some wine set out in the dining room. Game on.
We spent the rest of the night eating chocolate (ok that was just me) and drinking wine in bed. Of course I had to set up the tripod to capture it.

We both promptly fell asleep before 10 pm, which would happen almost every night of our trip.


  1. That's so funny that out of all the places to eat you went to In and Out! Their burgers are awesome, but I've gotten spoiled because they have built a bunch of them in Tucson! In and Out all the time for me now!

  2. :) I really do hope you ordered from the not-so-secret menu! :) Napa is gorgeous and a frequently visited place by those who live in the SF Bay Area!