Nov 16, 2015

Fours Days in Napa

Art and I just got back from Napa last night. 
Today has been a day of playing catch up and laundry. 

     Art had a conference in San Diego last week and flew out on Sunday (Nov. 8). He has been in an organization for many years and we have made some really good friends through all of the traveling, dinners and meetings. One of the friends we have made has a home in Yountville, California in the Napa area.  We, along with three other couples were invited to spend four days there with them after the conference in San Diego. 

Nobody had to twist my arm! 

     I flew to San Francisco and met Art and another couple there in the airport and we drove to the house in Yountville.  I have been two other times before, but each time was in the spring when everything was just starting to bloom. It was beautiful then, but I have to say that fall is giving springtime a run for its money. The leaves are changing on the trees and grapevines, the roses are still in full bloom and so are the other flowers. BEAUTIFUL!

The first night there, we went to eat at Farmstead, but because of the jet lag we called it a night after that.

     Thursday and Friday we spent sightseeing, eating and visiting wineries. Napa is definitely not the place to go if you are on a strict diet and are trying to be "good".  I am paying for it now!

On Friday we went to Bistro Jeanty for lunch. 

(fried smelt appetizer)

(my lunch - tomato soup with puff pastry)

We stopped one of my favorite places, Oakville Grocery.

Wine tasting at Raymond Vineyards.
This place was very different than any other winery I have ever been to. It was very risqué and really not my cup of tea wine! 

(See that mannequin in the background - I am not sure what that is about and what it has to do with wine tasting, but she was one of many mannequins in the wine tasting room. Creepy.)

We went to Revana Family Vineyard. 
It is worth noting that the winery is owned by a cardiologist!
So cheers to good health!

(olive trees around the grapevines)

That night we went to Redd Wood for dinner.
Our friend knows the owner there and had a special tasting menu set up for us. 
Delicious - but we were all misreable after the first course.  

 Have you ever tried fried lemons? They were in the calamari and were soooo good!

 Friday morning we went to Castillo di Amorosa.
After walking the grounds and visiting the animals, we had a tour of the castle. 

Lot's of interesting things to see...

Of course after the touring there was a little wine tasting involved.  

     If you follow me on Instgram you may have seen Gweniverie one of the winery cats. There is a second cat named Sir Lancelot, a yellow tabby, but he was a little shy.  Gweniverie is 100% living a very large life.  She roams the castle and sits on the tables in the wine tasting room. 

 We stopped by Gott's for lunch.
(Gott's was on Dinners Drive-ins and Dives so you know it's good! 

We ended our winery tours with a visit to Del Dotto Vineyards  and had a tour with the owner. 

Saturday morning the six of us that were visiting got up and headed to San Francisco.
We spent the afternoon wandering around and visiting the piers. 


(sea lions)

We went out to eat one more time, 
and went to bed early and because we had to be up and out of the hotel by 5 AM
Sunday morning. 

Today, when I was walking around in my sweats at noon, I got hungry and started looking for a menu. 

Back to reality.

Nov 8, 2015

26th Birthday

Brittany's birthday was on Friday.
She turned 26 at 5:04PM.

We had a busy weekend and our house was full and noisy, just the way I like it. 

     Brooke and Mr. E left DC at 5:30 in the morning on Friday. Mr. E had to work, and can work from home or anywhere as long as he has his laptop and phone. That was why they had to get on the road early so that they could get to Raleigh early enough for him to get his work day started upstairs in our office. It is a little more than a four hour drive. 

     Brittany was just getting up when Brooke got home. Luckily Brittany didn't have to work on her birthday! I was sitting on my bed drinking coffee waiting for Brooke to get here. When she did, she and Brittany ended up in my room dancing, laughing and finally chasing each other around the house. Brooke was taking snapchats of Brittany and Brittany was protesting because she had just crawled out of bed.  

     After her classes on Friday, Barrett headed home for the weekend. She was so excited to bake Brittany's cake. She misses not being able to bake because of being away at college. She made a chocolate ganache raspberry cake.

     We had reservations for dinner, but they were a little late so we made a charcuterie tray to nibble on while we waited. Well, we went into the dining room because Mr. E wanted to give Brittany his birthday gift to her, a bottle of nice champagne........

when we went back into the kitchen this is what we found!

This is a picture of one of the dogs that had a tummy ache! 
Poor Lola (and Charlie)!

I was a little worried about leaving the dogs at home and inside while we went to eat, but we did and they were okay. 

We went to a little locally owned italian restaurant near our house that we've been going to for more than 15 years.  I love small family owned restaurants.

It was time for cake when we got home!

Then it was present time!

Brittany really liked the gift that Mr. B got her, can't you tell?

Barrett gave Brittany the cutest coffee mug!
It came out backwards in the picture, but you can figure it out. 

Brittany insisted we play a few rounds of  Guesstures and even though we were all really tired and so full that all we wanted to really do was lay around and watch a movie we played.....
it was her birthday after all. 

On Saturday we had tickets to the UNC/Duke game, but since it was raining, Barrett and I opted to stay home and go shopping a little.

 Today, was a lazy day and late this afternoon our house emptied. Art flew to Dan Diego this morning. Brittany took Mr. B to the airport later so he could fly back to Nashville. Brooke and Mr. E left for DC and Barrett loaded up her clean laundry and headed back to school.
I'm not going to lie, I am sitting in a chair in the living room watching TV and am enjoying some quiet time with just Brittany.

I am also very happy knowing that my bathroom no longer looks like this....

Girls will be girls!