This has been an odd week for all of us I'm sure. I had Monday off from work but still went into the office, of course I had Tuesday off, and then a three day work week with essentially two Monday's and two Friday's...and two Sunday's? Now I'm confusing myself. But, I think you catch my drift. Happy Friday however which way you want to look at it!
I am overwhelmed with desire to take some time off for myself to focus on packing and transitioning to my new place. In between I very well may not have much time to cook and write and focus on my Bible study, but who knows. God has given me the grace to get everything done in the past so I will leave it up to His will. In the mean time I am going to share a quick post about my trip to Napa two weekends ago as my Friday Favorites this week, linking up with Andrea.
Aside from the amazing company of some of my closest friends, great laughs, and plenty of shenanigans, we also visited 14 vineyards while there (or was it 13??). I'll reference my favorites with photos below and exclude mentioning the ones I didn't think too much about.
In no particular order:
San Francisco. I love this city. It's beautiful and hilly and coastal, yet its rough bay inhabited by tons of marine life scares me to no end. I have a fear of deep water where my feet would just dangle there with animals larger than me lurking beneath to snatch my feet. Eek! But, let's put that aside for now. The cooler temperatures and unpredictable fog captivate me. Plus, I have so many fond memories from visiting the city. Fresh seafood, visiting friends, and biking along the coast - over the Golden Gate Bridge - and down the steep decent into Sausalito ranks as my favorite memories of the city. If you've never been then I encourage you to go and explore!
Napa day 1 - we stopped for lunch at OSO in Sonoma and then headed to Ledson and Peju wineries. Both places had great wines and beautiful landscape perfect for pictures.
Later we checked in to our B&B in downtown Napa and went to dinner at Tarla Mediterranean Grill with excellent food where our final friend joined us as she made it to town. And then there were six (of us).
Napa day 2 - the six of us ventured to 4 vineyards throughout the day, stopping for lunch at the Oxbow Market, and finished the day with happy hour wine at our B&B (because we needed more wine) before heading to dinner to meet up with four more of our friends who came to town from LA for Saturday's tours.
We started the day at Shafer which has always been one of my faves since tasting wine there three years ago. Three years ago we met John Shafer and this time we met Doug Shafer. Gracious owners, fantastic wine, hefty pours, and beautiful vineyard views.
Next we headed to Altamura out in the boonies but this made for some fun road trip memories. The wine was delicious so it remains on my fave list.
Then we headed to Jarvis for their cave tour & tasting and you guessed it...great wine!
We ate dinner at Ristorante Allegria with the whole group (10 of us in total by this point) and had an early birthday celebration for one of our friends whose birthday is in July. As we walked the few blocks back to our B&B we accidentally stumbled upon a restaurant turned dance club (?) to which me doing a little jig in the street to make my friends laugh landed us all agreeing to go dance. We found a secluded area outside perfect for people watching but age-appropriately situated away from the crowds and danced with just us girls. Those are fun memories. Even if I was wearing a "blanket" as one of my dear friends so affectionately called my shawl. ;)
Napa day 3 - This was the most intense day with 5 tastings and one "let's kill time in between with a patio and bottle of wine" stop. Thankfully with so many of us it made sense to have a limo bus so we could truly imbibe without a concern other than hydrating with water in between. The wineries that I really liked most that day were:
Chandon - because starting the day with a glass of champagne is always in order. Always.
Inglenook surprised me as not only a stunning vineyard labeled as one of the oldest wineries in Napa (5th oldest, I believe?), interesting multicultural history (says the one who rarely pays attention during tours), and excellent wine.
We stopped for lunch at Cindy's Backstreet Cafe, then another winery tasting, and on to Freemark Abbey. While I wasn't super thrilled by the level of effort our "guide"/"host" put into our tasting I was definitely excited about their wine. Mark this one down as a must. We didn't tour around their land so I can't speak on whether it was pretty or not behind the building itself. And in fact by this point we weren't taking too many pictures either. Let's just say our minds were focused on the wine.
After this we stopped for wine on a patio before heading to Ehler's Estate for a wine dinner. I've been there before and yes, the wine is divine. The dinner itself was set up beautifully and the sunset hit so many shades of bright orange and pink that I ended up taking at least 100 pictures of my friend sitting next to me because I couldn't get enough. (Sorry JMo!)
Napa day 4 - Ok...so this day was intentionally left a little unplanned because one of our friends flew out that afternoon but we had ideas of places to work in to our day as it unfolded. However, it started with a scheduled tour of my now absolute favorite vineyard, Amizetta. It was a perilous drive out there along small winding roads into the mountain but once the treacherous trek ended (praise God), we not only needed some wine, but were blown away by the beauty, views, and wine at this vineyard. They stole my heart.
It was their family home turned into a vineyard, ran by two brothers, overlooking the vines, mountains, and lake. It's chic and industrial all in one. Did I mention the wine touched my heart? It's a little slice of heaven right there.
Afterwards we headed to lunch with a view at Auberge du Soleil and then over to Stag's Leap to taste on a beautiful patio with very interesting wines because of how their vines grow on either side of a hill/mountain and which side gets more water.
After Stag's Leap, we popped into an olive oil farm at Round Pound, briefly stopped at Caymus for a tasting, then headed to our scheduled wine train dinner. I was admittedly very excited to travel by train and we opted for only the dinner because of our schedule. I think the train tour with vineyard stops would have been better for us since we've all been to Napa multiple times before but schedule didn't permit for that. The dinner was good and took us past a lot of vineyards from Napa out to Saint Helena and back. For a Napa newbie this would be a great way to see vineyards that you may or may not plan to go to.
How was your July 4th, Independence Day holiday and weekend(s)? Go anywhere fabulous? You can view my previous Friday Favorites here, and in case you want to find anything specific on my blog site then click here for help navigating around my site.
Wishing everyone a wonderful Friday and great weekend! Also - a very Happy Birthday to my beautiful and amazing Mammaw!!! Today she is 92 years young. Our family, as well as everyone who has ever met her, has been utmost blessed to experience her love. We celebrated her birthday a week early, last week, with 40 family members in Tennessee. Those who do not live there all traveled for the celebration. I've never hash-tagged the word blessed before - but this would be the time to. #blessed
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