Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Redwoods and Castles

My Napa trip recap continues...

...with some crazy beautiful photos and some delicious food! I know I've said this before, but I don't think there was a single moment when I wasn't blown away by the sites of Napa valley!

We left our B&B after having a rather gourmet breakfast on the porch -- and headed to some nearby trails to hike amongst the famous California redwoods!

I'm pretty sure there are redwoods all around the Bay Area, but this was a whole different kind of wonderful!  Of course I was content looking at the window on the short drive to the trails..

I'm telling you, Napa in the fall/early winter = perfect.

So, we picked out the "Redwood Trail" to hike what seemed like an easy 4 mile loop... little did we know what we were getting ourselves into...

We started off slowly - probably stopping every two seconds to snap pictures.

Okay, and obviously there was some goofing around...

and some creek-crossings!

About an hour in, we found another couple (who had started the hike around the same time as us) and they said they were turning around and heading back to the car.  Of course, Mom and I had our hearts set on finding a looping path so we wouldn't have to back-track... so.... we started down "Coyote Peak Trail."

I was complaining about the never-ending uphills...
and then Mom hilariously pointed out the "definition of PEAK."

It was crazy!  As soon as we hit the peak, the temp seemed to rise about 10 degrees, the sun was shining, and the climate seemed way more SoCal.

We were ready to leave.
I called it a "nature overdose" -- there needs to be a balance between nature and shopping in cute boutiques... right?

hungry Casey:

We headed into the nearby town of Calistoga to grab a light lunch! 
I ordered the Veggie sandwich on whole wheat bread... and this is what I got.

Would you be surprised if I told you I finished that monster? 

Mom also bullied me into getting a Chocolate Chip Cookie which looked too good to pass up.  We took a few bites before heading to our next destination.

Castle Di Ambroso.
Okay, confession, I took a nap in the car while my mom went exploring... I need my nap time.

Apparently the castle was way more of a "site-to-see" instead of a vineyard.
It totally reminded me of some of the great castles we seen around the world --  in Tuscany, Germany, and Scotland!

Next up: strolling and shopping in St. Helena.
I stopped for a SnowBall! Which was shaved ice with a scoop of non-fat vanilla froyo in the center.  I chose strawberry and vanilla bean for my shaved ice flavors -- YUMMY.

Sorry if this post is lengthy and fast-paced -- our trip was kind of non-stop and I don't want to miss out on sharing the details with you!

At the festival of lights in Yountville, we had tasted an amazing 2009 Cab Sav from Sequoia Grove that had won a bunch of wine awards.

We happened to be passing the winery on our way back to our B&B... so...

Sequoia Grove Winery

I wasn't planning on wine tasting, but our somelier -- Bob -- was a sweetheart and let me taste about 7 different wines for free. and I got a wine opener too!

Okay, I've rambled long enough.

I'd fill you in on our dinner experience, but I'll save it for the next post -- the dessert alone deserves it's time in the spot light!

Hope you're having a great TUESDAY!
I'm not enjoying reality -- aka studying for finals.

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