This past weekend I had such a nice time with my visitors, my parents. (Hence my day-late post. Monday was a day off for sure!) I always love when they come to town and explore new places with me, try new restaurants and of course, as parents do, help with household projects. I’m missing them already! Thankfully, we had perfect weather for their visit. Hot and sunny every day. Now that the sun and warmth seems to be consistent here in Chicago, I am really trying to savor every bit of. There is nothing better than sitting in the sun and just feeling the warmth on your face. Lately when I do this, as I start to relax, I am transported back to the beginning of the year (January oddly enough), when I took a nap at a winery. Yes, you read that right, I napped, at a winery!
Picture this…you have been riding a bus most of the day, sipping mimosas, then wine as you stop at vineyard after vineyard, and at your last stop, you are sitting in the sun, letting it warm your face as you stare out at the beautiful vineyard. What do you do? In my case, you fall asleep! But how can you blame me? It was the perfect day in the Napa Valley and I was so relaxed, so full of wine, and so warm. Ideal napping conditions! All naps aside, if you have yet to make it to Napa or Sonoma you need to add it to your “must see” list.
Regardless of whether or not you like wine, it is beautiful countryside that is absolutely worth exploring. Liking wine is of course an added bonus. And you will not run out of options here. There are hundreds, if not thousands of vineyards, at your fingertips, all within a matter of miles from one another. It truly is a gem of a place.
While my friend and I were in California for New Year’s Eve, we decided we should test out California’s wine country for the day, before committing to a longer stay. While I loved it and now know I would like to go back, this was the best decision and a great way to wet the palette (get it, because of the wine!). We went with a tour through Napa Valley Wine Country Tours and were so happy with our choice. They picked us up in the morning in Fisherman’s Wharf, which was a few blocks from our hotel. They had mimosas and breakfast ready for us as we boarded and headed to our first stop, the Golden Gate Bridge. How courteous that they planned out a photo op, right?! Then we were off to the vineyards.
Our stops included Jacuzzi Family Vineyards, downtown Sonoma (mainly little shops offering wine tastings), the Madonna Estate and Michael Mondavi Family Estate. My favorite was probably the last. Not because of my nice little nap, but because it was exactly what I pictured Napa being. (See photos below!) Along the way we had a lunch (provided by the tour company), plenty of time for photos, lots of time to mingle with the other wine-o’s (we met a group from Australia!) and some great entertainment by our driver Keith. He was hilarious all day, but he even sang to us and played the guitar. He made the tour that much more enjoyable! Plus, being in the hands of a safe, and designated driver, could not have been more reassuring. We did not have to worry about getting around with our wine filled bellies at any time, which was so nice. I should mention, we did all of this for $89. Can you even believe that! (Keep in mind that you should factor in extra depending on the season, as prices can fluctuate, plus tips for those serving you at the vineyards and a tip for your driver.)
I am going to take you back to that scene I asked you to picture earlier….you have been riding a bus most of the day, sipping mimosas, then wine as you stop at vineyard after vineyard, and at your last stop, you are sitting in the sun, letting it warm your face as you stare out at the beautiful vineyard. What do you do? It’s up to you to decide! Make the journey and write your own ending. You won’t be disappointed…even if you do take a quick nap along the way! 😉
Signed with Style,