Nap…..aaahhhh.

The Seattle gray is getting to me. I need inspiration. I need to think back to sunshine and… lollipops and rainbows…where is that to be found? Napa. Some friends and I went to Napa and San Francisco in April of 2013. We were in need of sunshine and relaxation…jackpot.

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We had a great start in San Francisco. We walked along the waterfront by the Embarcadero and then popped into the Ferry Building for lunch. My eyes spotted Miette. You might have seen their cookbook and their characteristic rounded cakes and flower topped pastries.  I have a radar for not missing out on treats like this. Thanks go-go-gourmet eyes! And they had a Swedish princess torte!

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IMG_0467IMG_0472Ok, we were fueled for the drive up to Napa. Weeeeee, my first trip driving across the Golden Gate Bridge!

SLEEP: Our hotel, the Embassy Suites Napa,was perfect for the three of us. Two double beds and large pullout couch in the adjoining living room.  And they had a free happy hour every evening. Sitting in the courtyard watching swans circle around the pond while munching on popcorn and cheese and crackers is OK by us!

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EAT: Boy, did we ever! The concentration of tasty things in Napa/Sonoma is outstanding.  Here are some highlights:

Oversized birthday cake macaron from Bouchon Bakery.

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Potato Pancakes with lox at The Girl and The Fig in Sonoma.

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And, drool, the ahi tuna burger at Gott’s Roadside.

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THINGS TO DO IN BETWEEN EATING: Wine, silly.  Our favorite was Grgich Hills Estate. Mike Grgich was a major player in the history of Napa.

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And the true feast for the eyes, the scenery–rolling hills of vineyards. It was difficult for me to focus on driving…I wanted to crane my neck every which way to take it all in.

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OK, we put our glasses down and did some actual sightseeing too.  The Petrified Forest…where we learned that lizards do push ups. Fact. I made a You Tube video of our lizzy doing his thing on a loop to “Push It” but blah copyright infringement laws won’t allow me to share it with the world!

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And The Old Faithful Geyser of California:

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OK, I’m not going to push hard to sell you on the geyser but if you like a little bit of kookiness, the place will be for you as it was for us! Napa Valley exceeded our relaxation expectations, but it was time to pack up our wine and travel back to San Francisco….Bye Napa! Sad. Oh wait, San Francisco is decent awesome.

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We grabbed one of my favorite combos in San Francisco before boarding our flight.  A stop at Tartine to satsify my craving for the salty olive tapenade and mozzarella panini. And a quick jaunt around the corner to the Bi-Rite Creamery for sweet ice cream.

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