Monday, October 18, 2010

The Napa Valley Trip, Part 1

Years later, I can now appreciate the charm of growing up in a small town. Part of that charm includes the relationships formed with friends from childhood. Attending grade school through high school with the same people enviably brings you lifelong friends. I was thrilled when my long time friend Charity invited me on a last minute trip to Napa, CA. I was just as excited about the opportunity to catch up with her as I was the chance to see California wine country.

It had been years since we had spent time together, but we managed to pick up right where we left off. (top photo: high school prom where one can never have enough hairspray. right photo: one of our many Gretna adventures. A story perhaps for another blog entry)

Charity had been invited to a small wedding in Napa and since her husband had to work, I stepped in as eager travel companion. This was a brief excursion, so I did minimal research on places to go and things to see. Upon landing in San Francisco we decided to take the driving route that would allow us to see a few top tourist attractions. Our only method of navigation was a GPS application on a BlackBerry and text messaging friends. Who needs plans or research when you have a BlackBerry?!

After a few hours of touring Fishermen's Wharf, we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge to wine country. Hits from the 90's set the tone for our weekend as we drove north in our red Ford Focus rental. Our first glance at Napa Valley was at sunset which
couldn't have been more beautiful. I was pleasantly surprised to see the area has remained rather rural despite the fact this is a world renowned travel destination. The landscape is a bit rugged at times, yet still beautiful in its western glory. We finished our first evening in Napa with drinks and sushi from Morimoto. I kept it local with a glass of California wine, Goldschmidt Cabernet Sauvignon Crazy Creek Vineyard 2007. Charity had a shiso mojito: interesting and tasty cocktail of rain vodka, micro shiso, lemon cucumber, japanese sugar syrup. We limited our drinks to one each since our internal east coast clocks were catching up to us. We had to get some sleep for tomorrow's wine country tour. Stay tune for my next entry to learn about the four small family wineries we visited on Day 2 of our Napa Valley trip.

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