We arrived in Napa in the mid-afternoon and with nothing in our bellies but some cherries. We did a quick check in at a beautiful bed & breakfast located right in town. The proprietor let us know where the diner, Taylor's Automatic was located. This was a place that we saw on Food network's Drive-ins, Diners and Dives that we thought looked pretty neat. I ordered a burger that had an onion ring with blue cheese in the middle and bacon. We also ordered some buttered garlic fries that tasted fantastic. It was like diner food with a Napa gourmet twist and it was dee-lish!
By the time we finished our late lunch, there really was no time to visit any wineries since most closed by 430PM. Luckily our B&B room had a jacuzzi tub for 2 and we took a nice long soak. It was perfect and fun and I'll spare you the details of what else we did in the room. (altho, look for me to upload some digital video soon...) We eventually poked our heads out and checked out other parts of the inn. They had a table with some cards and giant checkers. So I jokingly used the checkers as poker chips and we played each other heads up for a few hands. (red was $5 and black was $10) The game soon changed into blackjack and then the wildest game of Crazy Eights I've ever played. The damn game just wouldn't end. I kept picking up spades and diamonds and Lynn kept picking up clubs and hearts. After 20 minutes we called it a draw and went out in search of food and wine.
We went into the main town of Napa and found a wine bar that had some decent food. We shared a cheese plate and had some soup and started to drink some copious amounts of red wine. Lately I've been into Red Zinfandel and Lynn has been liking the Syrahs. Before I could get too drunk we made it back and called it a night.
The next day we had decided to visit a few wineries on our own before going to the wine train for our anniversary dinner. That day was our actual anniversary. Lynn's co-worker had recommended 2 wineries to us when she heard we were visiting Napa. We plugged the address into the GPS system and quickly learned it was 90 minutes away!! I guess she thought that any winery in CA is close to each other. (we later found out that Napa valley only produces 6% of California wines.) Not to be daunted by the trip, I trudged forward as it was something my wife wanted to do and it was my anniversary and I was willing to do whatever made her happy.
Of course just as we got close to the Rte 101 exit to Healdsburg the GPS system was flashing low battery- no problem- we'll just plug it in and let it charge as it works....
It didn't charge at all and it the damn thing just quit on us!!
So, he we are in a place I have no idea where I'm at, no maps, no GPS, and no idea on how to get back to the Inn! I called Alamo to complain and to see what could be done. They said it was like to be a fuse in the charger that needed replacing and to find one at a local gas station. We eventually stumbled on an auto parts store and after not finding the needed fuse at first we did find the necessary fuse in a box of 20 assorted fuses.
Murphy's law is still in play here....
We ended up on winding curvy roads again but this time there was a big bicycle touor going on at the time. It was impossible to pass the bikers since you couldn't see if someone was approaching on the other side of the road. So, basically we're stuck going 15 MPH down these roads and when we finally got to where the GPS said the winery was- THERE WAS NO WINERY!!
Fed up I did a U-turn and headed back towards the highway. I saw a random winery and immediately drove in.
My impatience turned into some luck. The winery was called Everett and the people there was perhaps the friendliest people we came across the whole trip. The man did at first chide me because of my Phillies attire (the Phils beat the Giants the night before) but it turned out to be a pretty good batch of wines, plus the view was fantastic- it was situated on top of a hill that overlooked the valley and wineries. We bought a few bottles and headed towards the other winery recommended by Lynn's friend. That did turn out to be the right address and we found some nice mustards to buy aside from a few bottles of wine.
We didn't have time to visit Mondavi or Berringer's due to our reservation but even though we were out of the way, it was worth the trip.
Next up-- the wine train and getting sick of wine...