Oct 5, 2011

Napa & Recipes To Come...

How do you even begin to describe how wonderful a kid-free trip was? It was. Wonderful, that is. I surprised my husband with a long weekend in Napa Valley. I'm not sure if he was more surprised that I planned a trip without him, or that I didn't bring along my (8-month-old) baby.

I had a blast playing around with my camera. Enjoy the pics and a peek into our trip...

Pretty much what you do in Napa is eat and drink. And relax. We visited a couple of wineries each day, and then made reservations at a restaurant each night. Life is tough, huh? :) Some wineries we visited (for the friends who told me they also are planning a trip to Napa)~

  • Robert Mondavi (pictured above) - a good tour
  • Cade - amazing views, really good, expensive wine, by appointment only - loved this one
  • Frog's Leap - our favorite (pictured below), by appointment only {thanks Steph!}
  • Beringer - not the greatest wine or experience
  • Domaine Chandon - a sparkling wine/champagne tour - nice views and service

I think we ended up enjoying the boutique wineries the best - more personal and better service. However, we didn't realize until we got there that many of the boutique wineries require appointments.

One thing I am so inspired by from visiting Napa is all of the beautiful gardens! Everywhere we went, it seemed, there were the most beautiful and peaceful gardens, flowers, vegetables, growing. This is one domestic aspect I haven't quite grasped, but am totally inspired by this after visiting this place. I couldn't stop commenting on (and taking pictures of) the foliage, as you can tell. :)

Oh, and the food... My new favorite thing is California cuisine. To tell you the truth, I wasn't sure exactly how to describe California cuisine, so I looked it up (thanks Wikipedia):

"California cuisine is a style of cuisine marked by an interest in fusion cuisine (integrating disparate cooking styles and ingredients) and in the use of freshly prepared local ingredients. The food is typically prepared with strong attention to presentation."

We also had the most amazing breakfasts. Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Dungeness Crab Omelets, Mini Apple-Ring Donuts... I have some recipes for these things coming up in my next post, so stay tuned.

We stopped in San Francisco for the day too. Except the hustle and bustle made us miss Napa, so we actually headed back early and had another dinner there instead of the city (Bottega and Market were two of our favorite restaurants. And Boone Fly Cafe in Sonoma. Oh and the Fremont Diner).

(I liked the molding and photo arrangement in the pic below)

Okay, a few breakfast recipes to come! Don't miss them. :)


Steph said...

what great photos! Makes me want to hop a flight to Napa today. :)

Glad you liked Frog's Leap... and did you go to the Fremont Diner? Just curious.

Kristen | Cottage Modern said...

Nealy--these photos are breathtaking! Thanks for the "tour". Definitely be putting this place on our list of places to go in the future--looks like you had a wonderful time, and glad you were able to get some R & R with your sweetheart!

misc.alaina said...

Such amazing photos! What a great trip you planned!! Thanks for sharing your experience - you've got me thinking a trip to California is in our future!

Kate B said...

I found your blog via the Klausers and love reading it! You are an amazing photographer and your recent vacation pics really showcase that. I look forward to reading the recipes to come!

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