Napa Valley

View from Alcatraz

Oh Napa Valley, you stole my heart. We headed out to Napa for my husband’s boss’s wedding. What a great place for a wedding! Off we went to Napa Valley, the home of free flowing wine & boundless fun and debauchery. We packed the required rations – breakfast bars & dried snacks – expecting to have our bellies full of wine and only wine. We tried a new service called Silvercar, it’s a car rental service similar to Avis. Except that they give you a brand new Audi A4. It’s basically a really nice car that other rental agencies don’t carry because they want you to fit in with the crowd. The difference is that they give you free GPS, Wi-Fi, Satellite Radio, Toll Tracking and a fair fuel plan. Upon landing we drove off to the Park Central San Francisco hotel for a good shluf. The hotel was good enough for a one-night stay. Waking up early we noshed on our rations and made our way to Alcatraz, the mother of all jails. Make sure to book tickets well in advance of your trip (like 3 months)! We tried to go to Alcatraz on a previous trip but tried much too late to get tickets. We took the guided audio tour and wondered around. You need a good solid two hours for this expedition.  A former Alcatraz inmate was on the island that day hawking his book Alcatraz #1259. I haven’t read my signed copy yet, but will let you know how it turns out. I think he gets out. 

Helpful Hint: Make sure to book your Alcatraz tickets 

3 months in advance!

View from Alcatraz

An inmate’s cell

From there we drove up to Napa Valley (just in time for harvesting season!) passing through Oakland so we could pick up some food at Oakland Kosher Foods. I’ll be honest; I was expecting overpriced mediocre food & service. But we were delighted to find reasonably priced ready-to-go sandwiches and meals. And the service was wonderful! Retrospectively, we should have picked up more food. But c’est la vie. Their website is a little hard to navigate, but give them a call with any questions you have. They were super helpful & friendly.

After dropping off our food & belongings at Oleander House & Garden, a cute little bed & breakfast, we were off to Hagafen Cellars to get loaded. I mean to tastefully sip wine and spit it in a bucket. I’ve never been to a winery before, but was a bit disappointed by Hagafen. We were served by a gentleman that sounded more like he was from the back alleys of Brooklyn than California wine country. Knowing nothing of wine paired by his inattentive behavior made it a bit of a struggle. Not to mention that at the same time he was serving us he was flirting with a blonde in the room. Luckily, he was soon distracted and this cute female barista with wine stained teeth came to our aid. We ended up tasting (i.e. drinking) half the menu and went home with three bottles of tastiness.

Hagafen Cellars

Eating grapes off the vine

Napa has been by far one of our favorite spots in California. It was overall just a relaxing weekend sprinkled with a wedding & tons of wine.


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