Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Honeymooniversary - Wine Country

I know, I've been keeping everyone in suspense about the last leg of our trip to California ... or not. Well, I'm going to tell about about it anyway.

There truly is a difference between the big city of San Francisco and the quiet,easy pace of Napa Valley. There are fewer incidences of blasting car horns and police sirens, parking is more abundant, and instead of sewage the smell of fermenting grapes fills the air. Ah Napa, where have you been all my life?

A grape leaf in Autumn.

We stayed at a quaint little place known as the Old World Inn that was within walking distance of many restaurants. We were treated to hors d'oeuvres and wine in the early evening, as well as chocolate desserts to indulge in later on. Our room was cozy with feather-top beds and projector televisions that made watching a movie a comfy experience. And since our room didn't share a wall with any other room, it made the fact the the place was packed to capacity, totally acceptable.

The food? Let's just say that I still haven't weighed myself since our excursion over a week ago. The filet mignon was to die for as was the tri tip BBQ we had after an afternoon of wine tasting. Which brings me to the point of going to Napa Valley ... THE WINE!

It may be shocking to some that we actually only went to one vinyard for a tasting. We did tast six varietals at the Arger-Martucci Winery, and it was a eye opening experience. Concentrating mostly on the reds, I was able to smell, taste and see the differences in each wine we tried. For the first time in my life I truly
tasted wine. I detected notes of vanilla, oak, chocolate, cinnamon and fruit. Each wine was unique and inspiring. Plus, sitting in the courtyard by the pool, in the heart of wine country had quite an influence. It's like my senses came alive!

We attempted other places but found the admission to taste mediocre wines at a contrived castle to be too high, and another winery had a fire alarm situation, so a drive in the surrounding hills was perfect for us.

The Tuscan castle at Castello di Amorosa winery in Calistoga.

A view of the valley from a country road. Now that's a lot of grape vines!

Time with my husband away was a dream come true. Of course I enjoyed all of the sights and tastes of our travels, but being with him was the best part. And even though it was my hope to go to Europe or Tahiti for our 10 year anniversary, I still feel that I got the perfect second honeymoon. Besides, I did get to see palm trees, the ocean, a Notre Dame inspired cathedral, a Tuscan castle and walks through breathtaking vinyards. Mmm, life is good!

Grape vines at the Robert Mondavi Winery.


Journeying Five said...

looks and sounds lovely, seems like a nice long vacation!

heather said...

Loving reading about your adventure away. So glad you two were able to go and do that.