I have to give Jenny some credit on this one...a couple weeks ago she brought up a good point - I take a TON of pictures. I mean, seriously. Its a little nuts. That's not the point she brought up, but they're related. She suggested working some of my (non professional) photography into our world a little more - like where my husband and I travel, for example. So, on her suggestion, I sent some pics from a recent Napa trip we took with some friends to Abby over at Style Me Pretty Living. Slightly to my shock, she emailed me back the same afternoon asking if I mind if they published it the following day! Needless to say, our trip to Napa is not blogged on Style Me Pretty today!
The husband and I have now been to Napa/Sonoma at least a half a dozen times, probably more. It's our quick weekend get away go-to. Now that we've been a decent amount of times, the novelty of all the wineries has worn off a bit...I mean that in a good way. The last few times we've been there, Ive been able to slow down from art of cramming in as many wineries as possible and been able to enjoy things a bit more. Something Ive really noticed the more Im there is the sheer beauty of the area that I feel most visitors miss in their wine rush.
Ive always been the romantic that swoons over "weeds" climbing up an old wall (I think they're vines, not weeds) or the way brick crumbles. The Napa valley is truly a beautiful area, even aside from the acres and acres of grape vines. The old gnarled trees that line the winding roads, the rolling hills and treelines, the fact that there aren't any freeways. Moss grows in the shade on bridges, trees and buildings, Jersey cows spot the landscape and Michelin star restaurants are tucked into nondescript old buildings. Plus there's wine.
On this particular trip, we found a darling little restaurant in St. Helena, where we were staying, called The French Blue. The white, bright open space is right up my alley! Quite a bit of the restaurant seating was at a long family style table, with little sections for separate parties split with table lamps and little potted rosemary and olive trees. All the seating was over sized, with large pillows. I just loved the open, bistro atmosphere and the simple charm.
We also got to take a cooking lesson at White Hall Lane with their executive chef. Their new kitchen is gorgeous, with the same bright light I love. Its on their second floor, and the balcony looks out over their vineyard. We've been member at WHL for a few years now, and its been exciting to watch the company and their facilities grow and change.
We have realized that renting a house is the way to go when you visit the valley - you don't have to eat out as much, you have more space and have so much more flexibility. I would encourage you to visit the valley, but pay close attention to the unseen beauty around you.