By the third day in Napa on our mini getaway, we were getting pretty spoiled by wonderful food, wine, perfect weather and amazing views. I woke up wired again at 7 AM ready to hit to gym, but had to kill a little time drinking coffee and surfing the net before it opened at 8 AM. I wasn’t the only hotel guest anxious to start the day with a workout, there were quite a few couples waiting outside the doors for it to open. I decided to be adventurous and try one of the newer grading ellipticals since one was available, then a few new weight machines. Not the best idea, my upper body was a sore for a long run the next day. Oh well.
We checked out of AVIA Napa by 10:30 AM and headed north for an early lunch at The Culinary Institute of America, one of my favorite buildings with it’s beautiful castle-like stone exterior and landscaping or fragrant spices and olive trees.
We got an amazing table on the patio with a perfect view and ordered more wine with lunch. Normally I never drink at lunch, but it’s vacation in wine country. :-) This time I went with a dry Riesling.
Lunch was this unique corn polenta dish with sliced squash, baby carrots and green chickpeas. The polenta was served in two fried triangles, like polenta tater tots … but wonderful with a creamy texture and amazing flavor.
After lunch, we headed to the elegant and pricy culinary shop where I drooled over the CIA Professional Vita-Mix. I was considering getting this model before I got my Vita-Mix 5200 simply because it matched my other kitchen appliances and was slightly more powerful. But, that was hardly worth the additional $200 and not including the extra containers the Vita-Mix package deal I got from Costco came with. Anyway, I ended up picking up a new spoon made from recycled materials and some flavored olive oils from the shop.
Then we headed farther north to Rombaurer Vineyards to complete our trip visiting the home of one of my all-time favorite red wines. I was surprised at how small the property seemed nestled in a lush hillside and landscaped like a serene English garden with beautiful paths to explore.
After exploring the grounds, we found a cute, shaded patio to sit at and enjoy the view a bit more before heading in for wine tasting. I noted that I’m truly spoiled by having amazing views constantly for the last few days and wondered how I’d get used to our boring old dining area again. :-P
Rombaurer Napa Valley Zinfandel is truly one of the best zins I’ve ever had, fruity without the bite some zins have. I was first introduced to it when a then friend gave me a bottle for my 30th birthday. She’s now a frienemy, but that’s another post after perhaps an entire bottle. We only picked up a couple of bottles becausethey’re a splurge for special occasions at $31 each. And Whole Foods usually carries the slightly cheaper blend for $26 which is also a fave. We mainly wanted to see the vineyard and it was worth it, we had a great time chatting with other guests in the tasting room and enjoying the unique grounds before starting the 3 hour drive home.
Since we were both wiped and in no mode to cook, we stopped by Whole Foods for a quick dinner – a loaded salad for me and a new dessert adventure.
First time trying Coconut Bliss Ice Cream and wow! Decadent dark chocolate flavor with just an underlying hint of coconut and the texture was dead on as ice cream. Not something I usually buy, but it was a nice splurge to wrap up a fabulous weekend.