My children were born on the same day two years apart. Every year as their birthday approaches, I cringe at the thought of coordinating a giant party with two cakes and hoards of seven and nine year olds running around my house, crashing into things and rubbing chcolately fingers all over the white arm chairs. (Yes, I was the dummy who chose white) This year, much to their delight, I did something a little different. We went to Napa Valley.
Napa Valley is one of my favorite spots to visit. The kids absolutley love it, and it's just a quick one hour drive from San Francisco. I know what you're thinking : You brought the kids to Napa Valley? Yes, Napa Valley isn't just for romance seeking honeymooners and celebrities trying to remain incognito, kids are welcome to run around, swim and just be goofy.
The weather (warm) The sky (vast) The stars at night (bright) The wine (intoxicating - literally) The food (Michelin Star anyone?) All great reasons to plan a trip.
Our destination: The Carneros Inn. I chose this hotel because it doesn't feel like a traditional hotel. All rooms are free standing cottages with private outdoor space. So if you're a nudist - it's perfect! March is still considered off season, so the discounted room rate saved quite a bit of money. If you happen to hate kids, the hilltop pool is reserved for adults only, where you can sip cocktails overlooking the magnificent valley and vineyards below. I hang at the large kid-friendly pool down the hill where I too, can sip a cocktail.
If you're planning a visit to Napa, it seems as if the amount of wineries are endless. Two of my favorites are Cliff Lede and Robert Sinskey. Head to the town of Yountville and have lunch outside at Thomas Keller's Bouchon or dinner at Redd. The quaint town of St. Helena has plenty of shopping, and don't forget to pick up some locally grown olive oil. If you're in the mood for a burger and a glass of wine, stop at Gott's Roadside, a fun outdoor restaurant with picnic tables. For something different, try a wine tour on The Napa Valley Wine Train, they even have a Big Gay Train event coming up featuring gay winemakers...
So much to see, never enough time. If you've thinking of visiting the Napa Valley it'll certainly be a trip you won't regret.