Vacationing in Napa

One thing I miss about being in college is the vacation you get every three months. First a break for the holidays, then spring break and finally summer. During the four years I was at the U of O I became very fond of those breaks and often traveled. I have yet to find that same pattern in the real world! To those still in school – revel in that time off!

To kick off the summer I found some time to take a vacation from work and visit a best friend from college in Napa. If you’ve never been to the Napa Valley or the San Francisco Bay you must go. It’s beautiful and there are millions of things to do! Here are the highlights and a few photos from my trip!

Day One: After a horrible flight and very nice man to calm my nerves I made it to Sacramento, found Emily {college friend – yes, we have the same name} and drove to Napa. Wine country in Cali is gorgeous. Napa Vacation Tip One: Spend a day driving around and looking at the endless hills of vineyards.

Day Two: One word – Oxbow. We ate at the Pica Pica Bar and it was delicious. You can’t go wrong there with food choice; it took us two loops around to decide. If you are looking for a food heaven in Napa you’ve found it.

Day Three: A trip to Napa is not complete without a stop at Model Bakery for the world’s best English Muffins. They melt in your mouth and I bring a bag home every time I go. Em and I spent the morning in St. Helena; the main street has great shopping. We then made our way to Berkeley for amazing food at Grégoire, Em’s brother works there and the food is indescribable. After eating enough to feed an army we drove into SF for none other than a SF Giants game! Highlight One: Watching Tim Lincecum strikeout his 1,000 batter. Highlight Two: Giants winning in the 13 inning!

Day Four: Marin French Cheese Factory in Petaluma, Point Reyes Lighthouse and Dillon Beach – all worth a visit. Make sure you try the breakfast cheese and the triple cream. Note To Reader: Don’t go to the lighthouse on a Tuesday it’s closed.

Day Five: San Fran! If you have limited hours in the city these three things you have to do:
1. AT&T Park for a Giants game
2. Pier 39 for salt water taffy and sea lions
3. Ghirardelli Square for the world’s best ice cream sundae.

We added lunch at the Boudin Sourdough Bakery {get the bread bowl} and met another friend from the U of O at the square. We ended the night at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for the Bruno Mars concert! He sounds even better live and is still on tour. Buy tickets and go! I would go again and again to whiteness his amazing voice, to die for personality and unbelievable guitar, piano and ukulele skills.

Day Six: Wine Tasting and Yountville! We started the day at Judd’s Hill followed by Hagafen and ended at Honig. I’ve decided to dedicate an entire post to wine tasting so stay tuned for that. After Honig we made our way into Yountville to explore V Marketplace, Bouchon Bakery and French Laundry {my dream is to eat there one day.} Yountville is adorable and I can’t wait to go back. We ended the night at Azzurro Pizzeria e Enoteca {try the ice cream with homemade caramel sauce and sea salt} and Napa’s Downtown Chef’s Market – a must go if you are in Napa on a Thursday night in the summer. Napa Tip Two: Drive the Napa Silverado Trail and visit as many wineries as possible – we saw a couple biking parts of it – not my cup of tea but a great idea, I’m not sure if wine tasting and biking would be a good mix for me.

Day Seven: Judd’s Hill trip 2 and homeward bound! I ended my trip with a few hours at Judd’s Hill a perfect winery to relax and wind down at. I wanted to soak up as much Cali sun before I went back to Oregon and this was the perfect place. Napa Tip Three: Spend your last few hours at your favorite winery and plan your next trip back!

Great way to kick off the summer, am I right? I’m already planning my next trip down and this time I’m driving. There were too many things I wanted to take back home with me and not nearly enough room. If you’ve been to Napa or San Fran I’d love to hear about your favorite things!

Is anyone kicking off their summer with a trip?



2 responses to “Vacationing in Napa

  1. Pingback: San Jose | According to Em

  2. Pingback: 2011 | According to Em

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