2017 Apr 09 | Anniversary in Napa

We cook a lot early in the week to have leftovers later in the week.

Mowing the lawn and these wild poppies are growing. I think I'll leave them there.

I bought a weed wacker from the small hardware store in town. I like supporting the local economy, but would it kill them to dust every once in a while?

I found these slugs up under the lawnmower by the blades when cleaning it out.

Oh great, I got $1.07 from a LADWP class action lawsuit. Glad they spend 49 cents mailing these to everyone.

I'm reading Doyle Bruson's old poker book. It's funny how un-edited it seems to be. He says, "I mean" a couple of times per page and has this weird bold and italic formatting.

Big house.

Another one.

We drove up to Napa for our anniversary. We stopped at this Brazilian steakhouse there.

Ogii getting a piece.

Lots of meat.

Then we walked along the historic commercial district in St Helena.

Grassy birdhouses.

Lots of shops.

An upscale one.

Cool ties.

Pheasant-feather and rattlesnake-skin bow time. I wish I could think of a time I'd ever wear this because it's so cool.

There are some expensive houses around here. I wonder of the broker makes 1% commission of off a sale like that? Because that'd be $390,000; you'd only have to sell one house a year at that price.

A house with a gorgeous view.

And another.

Candy shop.

Neat old building.

Steve's Housewares, a hardware shop open since 1878.

They still have the old safe.

Articles about the store.

We stayed at Roman Spa in Calistoga. Here was a very pretty open area.

Our room.

Some champagne.


Spa time.

Mud baths?

Mud baths.

They were kinda smelly and a bit too hot and kind of disgusting, but fun a try.

This is better: mineral bath.

Cooling off.

And time for massages.

That's hair of relaxed people.

A sauna.

There were three large pools. This one was indoor and medium warmth.

Then there was a hot tub and a cooler pool, although still warm.

Ogii in the hot tub.

It was really neat being out in the rain in a nice warm pool.

Us in the rain. Thankfully no lightning.

Some palm trees above the pool.

Ogii bought these t-shirts for us.

First stop on Saturday was the Napa Valley Wine Train. We had the Quattro tickets, which is a full day of visiting four wineries, atlhough there are many other options, including sunset and murder mystery rides.

Locks of love in the shape of a heart.

Many more on the way to the train.

This one is quite old.

A fish.

A map of the wineries along the route.

On the train and time to start drinking.

Although we didn't drink too much on the train; we wanted to save space for the wineries.

In between stops they had food.

We were at table 11; our anniversary is 4/11.

These three couples dressed up.

First bite.

A winery they built up the ground around.

A rabbit sculpture.

Neat logo.

First stop.

We walked along a path near lots of vines.

Robert Mondavi winery.

Ogii by his head.

Our first tasting.

Our second was down in this room.

Our guide explaining the wines.

Ogii getting a pour.

Elephant statue.

Nice lawn.

Bright flower.

Back to the train.

Us in front of it.

The untensil holder says which train tour it is.

Second bit of food.

And second winery: Charles Krug.

Gorgeous table.

Giant wine barrel.

Many barrels.

Up to this room for another tasting.

Ogii by a big bottle.

And by many bottles.

This bar had even more.

Third meal on the train.

And third winery: Merryvale, which was more modern.

Metal tanks.

Looking inside.

Tasting time.

They have a table set up inside this giant barrel.

Us with our shirts.

Fourth winery: V. Sattui.

This was also a more modern one with a big BBQ area.

Downstairs for the tasting.

Lots of wines.

Their gift store had tons of cheeses.

And other food.

Cool wooden plate with a built-in drink holder.

Our dessert on the train. I was surprised the food on the train was so amazingly good.

Us at the back.

Then onto the Symphony hall in Napa for Brahms Requiem.

All dressed up.

Funny license plate.

Backlit rock.

Gotta be tourists and take a picture in front of this sign.

We saw the wine train go by as we were driving.

After a day of very upscale food, we were in the mood for something more relaxed.

Up early the next morning. These old railroad cars in Calistoga house many little businesses.

Ours was for a balloon ride.

After a ride out to the west to get away from the fog, we saw the sun come up.

Between the balloon basket posts.

The balloon laid out.


Ogii in front of the balloon.

There was another balloon at the same airport.

The two of them.

A little weed growing up out of the asphalt.


The other balloon is almost ready.

As is ours.

Everyone getting in.

It was cold in the morning.

But warm in the balloon with the fire going.

And we're up.

The chasers watching us go.

A little rabbit running.


Ogii still bundled up.

Us with the balloon.


Grape vines below.

Lots of trees.

The other balloon.

Fog in the distance.

There was a third balloon as well.

Our pilot.

A giant river of fog between these two hill ranges.

Us with the other balloon behind.

An airport.

The construction vehicles look like toys.

There were some deer along these trees.

At least a few people waved at us and took pictures from their homes.

Very nice yard.

Grass blowing in the wind.

Our pilot had wanted to set down along a road but the wind blew us away from it, so he settled for this field instead.

Lots of little flowers.

The employees come out to pack up the balloon.

The woman who lived there didn't want us landing in the field and called the cops. However, she was just renting the place, and the actual owner came and said it was fine. He even got his tractor to help them move the balloon out of the field.

Brunch afterwards at Solage. I had looked at staying here but it was way too expensive.

Afterwards we drove to the Old Faithful Geyser of California.

There it goes.

Some cabanas.

Fun mirrors.

They also had some animals.

Us in the cutouts.

Ogii petting a goat.

And feeding it.


And feeding.

A four-horn sheep.

A baby goat.

A llama.

Next up was a horse ride near Chalk Hill Estate Winery.

Me on my horse.

It was a group tour but we were the only ones who signed up, so we got a private ride. The guide was very nice, informative, and loved horses.

A chapel.

Gorgeous view.

With us.

Heading back.

A huge area for events.

Amazing house.

And then a fairly easy drive back home, although there was a bit of a mess here.