Back to our usual variety here this Friday. Until then, you get travel photos of a total stranger - and who doesn't enjoy that?!? In the words of dear old Jane Austen*, "You're S.O.L."
*I might be paraphrasing here.
Oh, and as usual, none of the hotels / restaurants / wineries / etc. mentioned are paid or solicited placements; sadly, we paid for them all ourselves.
So when the opportunity arose to piggyback onto the Anonymous Husband's Napa work trip, I had a split-second of hesitation before eagerly accepting. I'm here to tell you that no fear of wine snobbery should hold you back from this feast for the eyes and palate. Our trip was fairly free of pretentiousness - if you ignore the fact that I was involved - and simply full of good food and wine.
I arrived on an afternoon when the AH was still at work, leaving me to check into our hotel, the Westin Verasa Napa, and entertain myself for a few hours. I'll get into the hotel review later, but what you need to see first is an image that any parents reading will identify as nearly pornographic in nature.
Not to worry, darlings, this image is entirely safe for work:
I had an afternoon to myself, no toddlers to supervise, and a fluffy, insanely comfortable, crisp-white-sheeted bed before me . . . as any sane person would, I chucked my luggage aside and dove into that bed with abandon to take one of the better naps of my life. I napped ("Napa'd"? I'm sorry, I had to . . .) the hell out of that thing. I nearly left a $20 on the nightstand in sheer gratitude.
I reluctantly arose around the same time the AH's conference concluded; he met me at the hotel so we could commence checking out the place (code for "go to happy hour"). What the Westin lacks in unique charm it makes up for in creature comforts - the service was consistently excellent, and the rooms minimally chic (if corporate), clean, and well-appointed. It isn't the place to stay if you want that local charm and more one-on-one feel of a bed and breakfast - I'll have one of those to recommend tomorrow, by the way - but hearty golf claps to it otherwise.
We left the hotel to dine at a local legend, Thomas Keller's Bouchon:
This was one of those rare dining experiences that lives up to the hype - as promised, Bouchon is the best of the French bistro experience. We'd been to the Las Vegas location, and the Napa (Yountville, technically) experience is much the same - the dining room is boisterously loud, and the tables stacked atop one another, but the food was note-perfect and the service attentive. If I had to pick a last meal, Bouchon's baguettes and mussels with truffled french fries would make the list. Unsurprisingly, the wine list was terrific, but more on the grape goods tomorrow.
Speaking of, here's a teaser for tomorrow:
|Notice anything amiss here? This is what happens when you go wine tasting in the a.m. after a light breakfast.|