Monday, August 11, 2008

Napa Valley...Day One

Well, here we are...on our annual summer week in the Napa idea of an hour north from home and it's like being in the French countryside...great scenery, great wine, great food and a week of relaxation.

First stop at 9 a.m.: Sweetie Pies Bakery/Cafe in the town of Napa.

How I love the pastries it was a Sticky Bun for J and a Blueberry Honey Scone for me. Louie ate whatever we dropped.

After the pastry break, we walked along the River Walk...saw the wine train taking off for its first trip through the Valley.

Checked out Angele, a lovely restaurant which has added a nice painted wall on the river makes me think of Nice. I can't resist the Napa General Store which sells gift items, many by local craftspeople, and also has a popular casual restaurant and a wine shop. Today, I bought two pair of earrings and some greeting cards.

Back in the car we headed north to Atlas Peak Road, across from Silverado Country Club, to the

Jessel Gallery. Owner Jessel Miller is a artist whose fanciful characters are usually seen each year on the Posters for the Napa Valley Mustard Festival. Her gallery is cozy and features her work and the works of other artists and crafts people.

By this time, it was noon and we started thinking of lunch.

We wound up at Pizzeria Tra Vigne in St. Helena...a Chicken salad for J and a Lemon Chicken Piadini for me.

Right across the driveway from Pizzeria Tra Vigne is Merryvale Winery

...we walked in for a tasting, a look around the their gift shop, and a peak at the cask room where private functions are held...very dramatic.

By now, the temperature in St. Helena was up to about 90 degrees and it was time to head to Yountville and our hotel.

I jumped in the pool to cool down; J and L cooled down in the room.

We walked across the road to Hurley's for dinner. We love the food always and we like that locals tend to dine here.

We had grilled asparagus with parma ham to start. Then, Vegetable Risotto for J and Grilled Scallops and Gnocchi for me. For dessert, a shared fresh Plum Gallette.

Back at the hotel, I caught some Olympic synchornized diving, beach volleyball (yea Misty and Kerri!), and Michael Phelps in the pool.