Erin's Journal

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Just a thought... I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. [Sarah Williams]

Hi there! Happy Friday and, before I get to our travels, I wanted to remind you that you don't even have to leave your own balcony or backyard to see one of the biggest shows of the year.
 
Tomorrow through Monday, the annual Perseid meteor shower takes place with tomorrow and Sunday night promising more than 100 shooting stars per hour. Of course, you'll want to find a dark spot and, thanks to the new moon tomorrow night, there will be no competition among the heavens. I wish you clear skies and you can learn more from Gary Boyle, The Backyard Astronomer, through this link.
 

Napa Valley, CA

 
We were looking to the skies, too, during our recent trip, as our drive from San Francisco to the Napa Valley was just under 90 minutes of late day glory. If, like us, you've never been to this part of California but had heard of it forever, I can tell you that it's quite similar in some ways to the interior of BC and its gorgeous Okanagan Valley, while also reminding a traveller of the Niagara Region's copious vineyards and endless views of regimented greenery. 
 
After a busy day traipsing through San Francisco, we were delighted to be warmly welcomed as we checked into an inn in the Stag's Leap District for two nights. The sun was disappearing behind the mountains...
 

Napa Valley, CA

 
...but we still got glimpses of the beauty that would greet us in the morning.
 

Poetry Inn, Napa Valley, CA

 
After a wonderful sleep (that finally didn't require ear plugs) and a full breakfast, we started out to do a little exploring. Seems everyone we met was shocked when we said we weren't going to visit any wineries; it's by far the number one activity for people in the valley.
 

Come in and wine a bit

 
The folks staying with us at the inn were horse people from Kentucky; they'd flown in for the weekend and rented a limo van to take them from one tasting and Michelin-quality meal to another. That is so not our style: we wanted to wander some streets and maybe eat at a bistro. Besides, the inn stay was quite spur-of-the-moment and I packed for a ball game, a concert and a tour, not some once-in-a-lifetime dining experience!
 
The city of Napa is quite a commercial little spot that's been built up to accommodate the wine country visitors. Made up of shops and restaurants, it paled in comparison (in our opinion) to nearby Yountville for artistic charm and understated personality.
 
There were lovely little art installations everywhere, including this mushroom "garden" made from river rock...
 

Napa Valley, CA

 
...while grapes grow within reach of the town's sidewalks. Hey - who's this handsome guy?
 

Napa Valley, CA

 
We ended up dining on a rooftop bistro and just taking in a perfect, quiet summer day. And to put a cherry on top, a nice soak in the hot tub at the inn. (Yes, I had to go buy a bathing suit for the occasion - didn't want to scare the vintners!) Ahhhhh.
 

Napa Valley, CA

 
I hope your weekend is ahhhhh-some too, that you get a view of the Perseid show and when we come back (and yes we're home safe and sound), I'll share with you tales of the California, Oregon and Washington leg of our trip. We were extremely fortunate not to be anywhere near the massive fires hitting California during our travels; the MINI's top was sprinkled with ash one morning when Rob was en route to SF due to the Carr fires, but that was truly the extent of our experience. How lucky we were! 
 
We'll be back here with you on Monday.
 
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