Holiday NorCal Trip

At the end of last summer, prior to Dan knowing that I was pregnant with our third child, he arranged a romantic overnight trip for the two of us in the Napa Valley in mid-December. He booked a night at a beautiful historic cottage and then presented his plan to me as a 37th birthday/6th wedding anniversary gift. Then I told him that I am pregnant. Despite this new knowledge, we still wanted to get away, even though, unfortunately, my ability to taste wine would be limited. A night away comes only every two years for us now, so we’ll take what we can get when we can get it!

Dan’s parents had agreed to watch our girls overnight, so we flew up to Oakland and sandwiched our parents-only getaway in between a trip to visit them. This itinerary also gave us a great opportunity to celebrate Christmas with Dan’s parents and in Livermore.

Seeing the Lights at Deacon Dave’s in Livermore

Unwrapping Grandma and Grandpa’s Christmas Gifts

While the girls played with Grandpa and Grandpa and went bowling with Uncle Alex, Dan and I drove north from Livermore to the Napa Valley. We stopped and ate lunch in downtown Napa and then went wine tasting at two wineries – Clos Du Val and Silver Oak. Honestly, we were underwhelmed at Clos Du Val – the wines were good, but we didn’t feel that they merited the high price tag that some of our other favorites do and the tasting experience was unremarkable (especially for $40/tasting). We had just randomly stopped at this winery on our way out of Napa, so after this experience, we decided to focus on stops to some of our favorite wineries. So…next up was Silver Oak, which we’ve been to before and which we love. It did not disappoint. We had a fun time tasting there and seeing the winery decorated for Christmas.

Outside Silver Oak

Next, we continued north to Calistoga and checked in for our spa treatments at Baths Roman Spa – a mud bath and massage for Dan and a mineral bath and facial for me. Calistoga is known for it’s healing mineral water and mud and so…when in Rome… The baths were certainly an…um…experience. We probably won’t repeat it in the future, but we are glad to have some funny memories from it.

We checked into our cottage and then ate a lovely and quiet meal at the Calistoga Kitchen. All in all, it was a great day!

Brannan Cottage Inn

Brannan Cottage Inn

The next morning, prior to leaving Calistoga and driving south back to our girls, we checked out the Old Faithful Geyser of California, one of only three “old faithful” geysers in the world (the other two are in Yellowstone and New Zealand). We did indeed see the geyser erupt – many times. We also walked the grounds, visited their little museum, and checked out their goat heard. The entire place was a huge tourist trap, but it was fun in a kitschy sort of way.

Old Faithful Geyser of California

After leaving Old Faithful, we stopped at Twomey, Duckhorn, and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars to taste their wines – this was, of course, the best part of the day! We grabbed a to-go lunch at Dean & DeLuca’s and then continued our drive back to Livermore.

Twomey Cellars

Duckhorn Vineyards

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

Our girls were happy to see us again, although they did great with Grandma and Grandpa (and Grandma and Grandpa survived 30+ hours with two young children). Dan and I had a truly wonderful time in the Napa Valley and are counting the (sniff…sniff…years) until we can return again sans kids.

Two Precious Girls & Their Grandparents

About Carrie

I'm a Midwest transplant in SoCal...spending my time exploring, questioning, reading, writing, baking, skiing, and running.
This entry was posted in Baby, Drinking, Eating, Holidays, Sightseeing, Travel, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Holiday NorCal Trip

  1. Robini says:

    Now that you’ve broken Grandma and Grandpa in, can’t you take more vacations? I guess it’s a little bit of a reset button to be adding a third kiddo, but I do feel kids tend to get easier as the kids age, at least in terms of keeping them safe and occupied for a day’s worth of time. We basically get one overnight getaway a year, when Jeremy’s mom comes to watch the kids, although Gma and Gpa C have provided some date nights and dinners out as well. Even just being together without kids for a few hours can seem refreshing after all the day-to-day drudgery!

    • Carrie says:

      Yes, we are setting the reset button…again. We’d love to take more couples trips, but your parents were definitely maxed out after one night. When my mom retires in four years and the kids are a little older, hopefully we can leave the kids with her for a few nights and take some more parents-only vacations. We do enjoy traveling with the kids, though, too (or, well, we enjoy the memories we make!).

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