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UP AND DOWN THE SILVERADO TRAIL
27 January 2006
The Silverado Trail is the back road through the Napa Valley, often the gateway to some of the smaller wineries, and definitely a beautiful alternative to the traffic-clogged Highway 29, the main road into the area. We spent a lot of time on the Silverado Trail.
After our sumptuous dinner at Martini, we settled into our "Rose Room," which had been aptly described: A beautiful hand carved antique oak queen bed invites you in ... the plush scarlet carpeting and the many windows dressed in lace are just the beginning of the old fashioned elegance. A fabulous fireplace and a tapestry and oak rocker love seat invites you to stay ... The large luxurious bathroom is spectacular ... the oversize tub and shower, a freestanding sink and a window in the bath make this picture perfect. (Oddly enough, I didn't think to take a photo until morning, when the bed was unmade, so I didn't take one).
I am always leery about beds in strange places and was not surprised when the familiar stabbing pain hit my back at 3 a.m. I hobbled out to the living room, found myself a blanket, and curled up on the (too short) couch, where I was able to get an hour of sleep or so until the muscle in the back of my thigh cramped up. I'll tell ya--it's really hell to get old!
But I manged another hour or so of napping sitting up and so wasn't too groggy as the others staggered in from their respective rooms to join us, sitting around reading the San Francisco Chronicle while we waited for breakfast.
We were served a delicious thick Belgian waffle with toasted walnuts and a peach compote that was fabulous. It was preceded by a mimosa, so our "wine tasting" for the day started at 9 a.m.
We sat around discussing blood pressure medication and cholesterol levels and then laughed at ourselves because we remembered when we used to sit around discussing toddlers and toilet training. We've been friends a very long time.
Char had made reservations for us to tour Pine Ridge winery at noon, and with some time to kill we decided to try and catch a tour at the Joseph Phelps winery, which was nearby. The scenery was beautiful, with the rolling hills, all planted with grapes, and the mustard growing up between the rows of grape vines...
...and the moss hanging from the trees along the road.
We attempted to take the tour, but we had no reservations they wouldn't give a tour to more than 6 people anyway, and we were a group of 8, so we were out of luck, but we did get a lovely view of the valley from their deck.
From Phelps, we drove down to Pine Ridge, Char's favorite winery in the valley, which we had been told gives the best tour as well. It was such a good tour that I decided it deserved it's own video and its own journal entry, so I will write about our Pine Ridge experience tomorrow.
After our tour, we stood around in the parking lot checking maps, trying to decide where to go for lunch. Char and I tried to guess how many photos I have taken of Mike and Walt standing somewhere looking at a map, over the past 40+ years!
We ended up at a railroad-themed restaurant in Vintage 1870, a large brick complex, formerly the Groetzinger Winery and now "The Napa Valley's landmark icon of shopping, entertainment and special events." I was still full from breakfast, so ordered soup, which turned out to be fabulous--a cauliflower and pear soup. Even at what looks like a greasy spoon in the Napa Valley, you find gourmet fare!
It's going to be difficult to come back to my standard "something with chicken in it" after 2 days of being literally wined and dined in gourmet fashion!
We left the group after lunch and took the back road to Winters, stopping to take pictures of the wild mustard growing in vineyards.
Next week end will be the Napa Valley Musard Festival and it's apparent that the valley is definitely ready to celebrate!
We picked Sheila up at the kennel, then came home to get ready to go off to Sacramento. I was reviewing Little Shop of Horrors, which is a show I like and which was a good production. However, after we came home, I was obsessed with getting a wine tasting movie done and found it difficult to concentrate on writing the review. At 2 a.m., the movie was finished and I was having difficulty writing the review, so I went to sleep and got up at 7 to get it all written and submitted in time.
(Note: I have gotten into iTunes as so
helpful for finding the right music for videos. I used a couple of pieces from Sideways
for the wine tasting movie, which seemed particularly appropriate!)
PHOTO OF THE DAY