We drove up to Napa late Saturday afternoon. We were overdue for a visit and after what turned out to be a somewhat stressful week, we were very ready for some relaxation. Daniel and I dropped off our things at his parents' house and headed out to dinner at Azzurro Pizzeria in downtown Napa. We had a leisurely meal (and a great bottle of wine - a Gerard Artistry Napa Valley Red, 2011, courtesy of Daniel's dad) and then met up with Daniel's parents and their friends Jane and Craig for a bit of a stroll and some gelato. Afterwards we headed home and I fell asleep pretty much as soon as my head touched the pillow.
The next morning, we had breakfast and then Daniel's dad took me out to their local farm stand to pick up some produce. It had been pretty well cleaned out by the time we got there, but it did give me the chance to see the vineyards in their about-to-be-harvested state. Because of the unusually hot year, the grapes are ready to be harvested several weeks early this year and I walked around looking at the long rows of chardonnay and cabernet grapes hanging heavily from the vines.
We headed over to another farm stand on Big Ranch Road and picked up tomatoes, torpedo onions, some tiny summer squash, and some greens. The tomatoes in particular are so good right now it's hard to be moderate - I wanted to scoop up big armfuls to take back to the city.
After picking up the produce, we headed to the Oxbow to pick up pork chops at the Fatted Calf and then stopped in at the Napa Valley Distillery. Daniel ended up joining as a member, so now we'll be receiving quarterly shipments of small batch spirits and other cocktail fixings - heaven preserve us. We headed back to the house and I spent the better part of the afternoon lounging by the pool. In the evening, Daniel fixed cocktails and we tried (without success) to take a few pictures of his parents' Weimaraner, Katie. We ate dinner on the back porch - the aforementioned pork chops, corn, fresh tomatoes - and tried to keep the hungry yellow jackets away from our plates.
So, a very nice weekend and a lovely break from the city. I wish we hadn't had to come back so soon; it really felt the way summer is supposed to feel - sun-filled and wonderful. But with any luck, we'll be back very soon.