Since I moved to California 20+ years ago, I have been lamenting to my husband how much I missed my many girlfriends back home. Through social media, especially Facebook, we sort of got updated in each other's lives. That's all nice and good, but nothing replaces the face-to-face talks, the laughters and hugs you get when you visit with your girls.
So when my college roommate told me about maybe coming to my neck of the woods, I went into my happy dance and issued her an invite to stay with me. She and her family were embarking on a road trip that would take them from their home in Southern California to Las Vegas, Idaho. Wyoming and South Dakota before backtracking to see Seattle and Portland before driving back home. Since I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, it would be an easy stop to make.
They arrived last Friday night and was slated to leave on Sunday, which left us with only one day to explore this area. Now San Francisco is not in consideration since they have been here before, but Napa was the one that they were eyeing. So Napa it was.
This past Saturday was the perfect day to visit Napa. The weather was glorious; the sun shone brightly. And it seemed that everyone thought Napa was the perfect Saturday destination. The roads were packed, the wineries were full.
We were planning on visiting one winery for tasting and that is the Castello de Amorosa. But when we got there, we were turned away since we did not have any reservations. Return by 5 pm, the guy in the gate said, the time they expected the crowds to thin out and would accept walk ins.
To kill time, we decided to grab some sandwiches and salads and have a picnic at Beringer Winery.
While we looked around in the gift shop, the kids were honing their photography skills. The older kid by the way is my godson.
Finally just before 5 pm, we were off to see the castle. The wine tasting was conducted underneath, in a structure that mimicked a cave. There was quite a wait for the tasting, plus it was so packed that the guy pouring was allowing people to cut in line. He was apologetic about it later on, but there should be some sort of order, you know.
If you want to have a virtual tour of the castle, click here.
View driving up.
View from lower courtyard.
Friend and husband in upper courtyard
This is the wine tasting bar for families which was packed. They give grape juice to minors. There was a crying baby while we were tasting.
Murals cover the walls.
Friend and husband in the great hall.
This detail got us into talking about Game of Thrones.
More to explore
A little area on the way to the terrace.
We went higher and took and posed for more shots.
Some of the rooms are only accessible by joining the tour, which was not available at such a late hour. I'll probably go back, earlier in the day and sign up for the guided tour and tasting.
Time to go home. It had been a great time experiencing Napa with my girlfriend and her family.
Because we had so much fun with this visit, we are planning on visiting them in SoCal and most likely go on a cruise all together. Cannot wait for that to happen.
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