Vacation Photos: Napa Valley

Two weeks of vacation is a marvelous thing!  While Charles' held down the fort back in Boston, we headed to Jamaica where days were spent on a beautiful beach, reading books and letting our winter parked skin soak up the 85 degree moist air. We headed back to Boston, there was a day to play with Penny, and repack, and we were off to Napa Valley for the second half of the trip. This part of the vacation was all about wine and food! Yippee!
We arrived at our cottage in the outskirts of Calistoga and were instantly in love. We lounged on the stone walled yard, sipped our LMR Cabernet Sauvignon bought at the vineyard that morning and watched the sunset.  
The next day, after a delicious breakfast prepared by my amazing boyfriend (more on him later) we had a date with sparkling wine!
At Schramsberg we explored the underground caves and sampled lovely sparkling wine by candlelight. Our guide provided the perfect balance between education and entertainment. She told the story of the long history of this winery, one of the first three established in the valley. But, she kept things light and fun, as it should be when drinking bubbly.
Larkmead Vineyards was our next stop. This is our absolute favorite place. Their wines are unmatched and the tasting room and gardens are incredibly peaceful. We were met with two red rocking chairs set in the garden just for us. 
So, you may have spotted the guy in the photo above in previous posts. That's Patrick, my partner in crime. He has such a great smile, doesn't he?! He introduced me to Larkmead Vineyards back when he lived in Sacramento. Our love of Napa Valley started when we were dating long distance and would take trips down to Napa together. It doesn't get better than that! I think I'll keep him around for a while.
Ok, back to our trip...

Next stop was Sterling Vineyards. This is a pretty fancy place. We rode a gondola up to the top of the hill and arrived at a stark modernist building. The bell towers seemed like very, very distant cousins to those at Ronchamp. We sipped wine on outdoor deck overlooking the valley.

The sun began to set and we returned to our little cottage to make dinner, relax and enjoy our view from the top of the hill. It was a perfect day.

P.S. Stay tuned for lots more photos of the rest our trip! 

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