Trip to California, Part 2

As promised, here is part 2 of our trip to California.  If you missed part 1, you can find it here.

After spending a few days in San Francisco, we made our way to Napa Valley.  And let me tell you, I fell in love.  It is such a beautiful area.  I didn’t want to leave.  While we did do quite a bit of relaxing at the hotel and wandering around downtown Yountville, we also made a few stops at wineries to explore.  They were harvesting grapes while we were there, which was pretty neat to see.  While on a tour at one winery, we saw crates full of grapes that were harvested overnight.  What a sight.  Of course there was also some wine tasting involved.  Trip to California, Part 2Trip to California, Part 2

Hands down, my favorite part of our trip was when we took a hot air balloon ride.  So ridiculously cool.  While we had to get up very early, it was definitely worth it.  Did I mention I was completely obsessed with taking pictures of the balloons?  When we arrived at the location, we watched as they prepared them to take off.

Trip to California, Part 2

And then as they fired them up.

Trip to California, Part 2

Next, we climbed in – which was very interesting, as you have to scale the side of this huge basket to get inside.  And then away we went!

Trip to California, Part 2

It was pretty foggy when we first took off.

Trip to California, Part 2

Trip to California, Part 2

But it cleared up quickly.  Either way the views were simply stunning.

Trip to California, Part 2

Watching the balloons land was also incredible.

Trip to California, Part 2

Okay enough balloon photos.  Let’s move on to the food.  Holy moly was it good.  We ate at so many amazing restaurants, all featuring fresh, local cuisine.  There are too many to mention, so here are just a few of our favorites:

The Farm at Carneros Inn – One of the best meals I’ve ever had.  Bold statement, I know.  Between the five of us, we tried a number of different items on the menu.  To start, I had the beet salad and my husband had the watermelon soup.  For the main course, my sister and I both had the jidori chicken.  I try not to order chicken when out at restaurants since I make it so often at home.  But I made an exception in this case and it was the best decision.  It came with zucchini, hushpuppies and jalapeno butter.  Out of this world.  My parents and husband had the lobster risotto, filet and succulent pig.  All were amazing.  And don’t get me started on dessert.  The apple fritters and chocolate heat were our favorites.  The service was great and it was beautiful inside.  I would love to go back someday.

Lucy at Bardessono – We ate here on our first night in Napa.  I had the sweet corn soup, the pork and the butterscotch pot de crème.  My husband had the soup as well and the lobster risotto.  I can’t remember what everyone else had, but they enjoyed their dishes immensely.  The meal was delicious, the service was fantastic and the decor was gorgeous.  The bathrooms were also ridiculously high-tech – just saying.  It freaked me out a little.

Tra Vigne – We had dinner here on our last night.  They make fresh mozzarella, which we shared as a starter alongside freshly picked heirloom tomatoes.  It was still warm and oh so good.  The house-made pasta was also excellent and the strawberry shortcake was the perfect end to the evening.

All in all, we had such fun on this trip.  It was great to spend some time with my family and explore a new area.  Hopefully we’ll be able to make it back out there at some point, as of course there were many more things that we’d love to see (and places to eat as well!).


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  1. Angela says

    Uncle Bruce and I always went Reading Balloon Festival every year when we lived in NJ. I have tons on photos including Forbes balloon. Ortho always had a balloon in the festival and were always looking for employees who were willing to pilot the balloon. One of my goals was to become their balloon pilot and if I still worked there I would definitely have learned.

  2. says

    Beautiful photos of Napa and the balloons. Reminds me of a time a couple of years ago when I took a balloon ride in Napa too, and I took a lot of aerial pictures out of balloon. I am sure the food part of Napa was the best part of the trip ! :)

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