West Coast Trip Pt. 1: Napa
Very few things fuel me more than a solid adventure. Seldom do I sit on a plane, watching th clouds roll by without dreaming up the next opportunity to jetset. This time I had my sights set on Napa. Marshall and I both travel a lot, but between work, the military (and now FORMER problem, HOORAY!) and his softball, we don't get the chance to regularly check out new places together. Matter of fact, we never even make it to visit family as a couple! That's all going to change, and I decided it would start with Northern California. I figured since we both are into our 30's and have developed a sudden and deep appreciation for wines alongside a solid cheese plate (yes, that mustached man SWIRLS AND SNIFFS HIS WINE) this would be an awesome mini-trip, making it the first stop on our West Coast vacation this past March.
When deciding where to travel, I usually pick based on resorts. Yes, resorts. But for THIS trip I did lord knows HOW many hours of research (i.e. instagram stalking) in search of two things: the views and the food. That was all I wanted. Who cares about the wine? Gimme the pretties and the goodies. This girl wants to take some photos over here! Okay okay, and have a legit excuse to get a little tipsy without judgment in a fancy-ish place. Marshall wanted to experience some place cold (that's what an island will do to ya!) so we only had a few short days to pack in wine country before heading to snowy Yosemite.
We stayed at 1801 First (booked through Jetsetter, my favorite travel site!) and would both consider this, by far, our favorite part of the trip. The fact that we oh so dearly loved a victorian bed and breakfast is living proof that we have officially become old. O.L.D. But whatever, the bed was crazy comfortable, the room cozy, and there was a killer wine + cookie pau hana in the living room every night. They know the way to OUR hearts, and those chocolate chip cookies were da bomb. And...free booze. Sold, sold and sold. Upon arrival we were given a glass of wine and selection of truffles in which I promptly ate mine...and most of Marshall's.
Complimentary port wine in the lounge area. I don't know what that is, but sounds real legit.
Your choice of a chef-made breakfast every morning was some kind of delicious! A simple meal never tasted so good. Dining in the bright bay window and making plans for the day amongst couple's having coffee and reading the newspaper was endearing. And, you know, kept with the "we're clearly old" theme.
Since I was busy sampling wine most of the days, here are some details of our trip:
We wandered Oxbow Public Market (a trip to Napa just isn't complete without!). Honey, bakery delights, cheeeeeese heaven, So many great local offerings and gifts to choose from. While inside we became STARVING and had lunch inside at Kitchen Door.
Enjoyed a wine + chocolate pairing at Castello Di Amarosa (Marshall's favorite). Man, I never knew just how good wine and chocolate were together. I also found out I am horrible at picking wines to sample and Marshall does better. Thus, I must taste his, too.
A few other fun stops we made along the famed wine road:
Rose + Charcuterie at Auberge de Soile (the Bistro deck)
Champagne flights at Domaine Carneros during sunset, duh. Most of our trip was planned around colors, photo opts, and, of course, the light. And food. I had lost a few pounds I needed to find.
Fried Chicken at Farm at Carneros Inn. Holy smokes this was my favorite meal there! This southern girl was impressed. I have a friend who highly recommends staying at Carneros Inn. I would have loved to, but we're not that bougie.
Farmstead for pupus. The deviled eggs were bomb.
Enjoyed wine flights + cheeses at Cadet. There was a truffle crunch cheese so good I'm still talking about it. So good, in fact, at the time it made me STOP talking.
The hype is right, chocolate croissants from Bouchon Bakery are where it's at.