April 16, 2012

Equal Time for Napa

We couldn’t leave Wine Country without giving equal time to Napa.  It just didn’t seem fair!  That decision led us to a Sunday afternoon in Napa County.  But before we left our campground, we took some time to talk with a local couple who spotted our RV and wanted to ask us about our decision to purchase a Class B van.  This has happened more than just a few times on our trip, and we have enjoyed sharing our thoughts about why this type of RV is perfect for us.  We also love to talk about our experience in traveling the country in a small motorhome for an extended period of time.  If we can help someone else’s decision making process, we are happy to do so.

We sought out the less-traveled roads through Napa County, and it was so pleasant to drive where there was much less traffic.  I’ve come to the conclusion, however, that traffic is a fact of life in California, virtually anywhere you go.  We just have to deal with it.

By the time we reached the town of Napa, it was time for lunch, and we spotted the Oxbow Public Market.  What a find!  It’s not what I envisioned a public market to be since it was way more upscale than most markets I’ve been to.  Here there were specialty merchants offering gourmet olive oils, teas, spices, cheeses and cupcakes.  Then there were the restaurants that tempted us with a wonderful variety of artisanal cuisine.  We chose an Italian spot for lunch, and we shared a simple but delicious lunch of an antipasto misto platter and a wood-fired prosciutto, arugula and asiago panini.  We finished our visit with a stop at the creperie and watched our dessert crepes being made.  For a foodie area such as Napa, this market may not be unique, but it was quite the treat for us and a great resource for the town.

Oxbow Public Market
A Great Place for Lunch
Watching Our Crepes Being Prepared
We picked up the Silverado Trail that parallels the busier highway through the Napa Valley and winds its way through the smaller vineyards of the area.  It was fun to pass by vineyards whose wines we’ve tasted in the past.  This was the perfect Sunday drive, made even more beautiful by the wildflowers that had been planted beside the road.  I found it so cool that these wildflowers were sponsored by local organizations and businesses.  Fields of blooming mustard flowers added to the visual delight.

Many Wineries Are Housed in Historic Buildings
Beautiful Vineyards
Interesting Stone Features
Wildflowers Lining the Roads
Lots of Poppies
Yellow Fields of Mustard Flowers
As we drove northward, the traffic decreased even more.  We crossed back into the northern part of Sonoma County and ended our day in the Alexander Valley.  We settled into a lovely KOA campground with lots of trees, a pond and a view of the valley.  The campground was almost empty, and we decided it would be the perfect spot to spend an extra day.  Today has been beautiful, and we finally have been able to enjoy a day off outdoors.

This evening we had the good fortune of spending a few hours with two interesting couples from Colorado.  They provided the wine, and we brought the cheese, and we had the nicest conversation.  They have been here a week and are enjoying their exploration of the different wineries in the region.  They had selected a Purrfect Petite petite sirah from the Sausal Winery, which features the winery’s two cellar cats on the label.  I sometimes select a wine based on its label, and this is one that would have caught my eye.  I think I’ve become a cat lady.

Wine Always Makes Me Feel Better


  1. OMG, I've have to have that banner!! ha ha Food, flowers and wine, I think you had a perfect day. LV

    1. LV, Isn't that banner the greatest? I had to take a photo of it when I saw it. Yes, we did have a perfect day. What more do you need when you have those three ingredients? Sarah

  2. Looks lovely. Springtime is a great time. Love A

    1. A, I also adore springtime. Everything is so fresh and new, and also very welcome after a long winter. Sarah

  3. I have been enjoying your blogs and photos so much. You need to write a book.

    Jeanie Hockins

    1. Jeanie, Thank you so much. You are so kind. I do enjoy writing the blog, but I'm afraid I wouldn't know where to start with a book. It's an intriguing idea, however. Sarah