Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | January 5, 2019

Sunshine and Wine, Two-Zero-One-Nine: Entry #4

So, after the last entry, it may have seemed like my last day in Napa Valley was going to be spent at my hotel. Instead, after a long sleep (eleven hours!), I decided to stop being a whiny baby and to Uber into Yountville after all. I’m incredibly glad I did!


Beautiful gem-like chocolates at Dollar Chocolates.

Yountville had the exact kind of charm I needed for the day, the small town with cute bistros and fun stores that I didn’t really find in Napa.  Of course, this may be in part because I started at the V Marketplace, and they have a little chocolatier. I browsed the art galleries then followed my nose – and my heart – to Kollar Chocolate, where they started by handing me a sample, so bonus points to them. The chocolates are beautiful, too; they look like little jewels, almost too good to eat. Of course, I absolutely will be eating the ones I took home with me.


One of the cute little places on Washington.

Yountville’s information webpage says it is the kind of town you need to stroll through, so that is exactly what I did, and it was a lovely way to check out the main street (Washington Street) while getting some sun. There are lots of little wine tasting rooms and stores and coffee shops, and everything was really quite beautiful. There’s also a great deal of public art installations, which I loved seeing, because I think art is important and it also made the stroll more fun. I walked up to the end of the street at a leisurely pace, then back toward the market so I could have lunch at Bottega, which my friend had recommended.



Bottega is not cheap, but definitely worth the price.  I was not super hungry because I’d had a late breakfast, which my wallet thanked me for but was too bad because there was so much food I’d have liked to try, including the grilled octopus that the table next to me had dropped off, though after I’d already ordered so too late to tempt me in that direction. Instead, I had a spaghetti squash started dish, then followed with Tagliata, di Manzo, a which was a balsamic marinated skirt steak with rosemary scented potatoes and a lovely salad. It was marvellous.

I next made my way to the Hope and Grace wine tasting room, because they had a $20 tasting and I thought that might be a nice way to spend some time. It certainly was, and the sommelier was very nice, though I think I liked the wines at my other tastings a little better. Still good, though! I finished the day by picking up some dessert for later at Bouchon Bakery, a few macarons and a chocolate eclair.  Then I Ubered back to my hotel for one last soak in the hot tub and then a quiet dinner in my room where I packed my back.


Another pretty little spot on my Yountville stroll.

Yesterday was an Uber back to Sacramento, which was a lovely drive, since it was not dark and in the middle of the night like the way to American Canyon. With my bag checked, I went through security and ate in the Iron Horse Tavern, which was the only sit down restaurant in the terminal I was in that I saw. I had a Luau Chicken Salad, and it was good, but the prices were pretty expensive for what you get in terms of food and drink. Then it was a short flight to LAX, where I made my gate in plenty of time since I thankfully landed in the terminal my next leg was leaving from. I’d upgraded myself to a West Jet Premium Seat for the three hour flight to Calgary, and I’m glad I did. It was nice to have a little extra space for the longer leg, plus I got a dinner and a drink.  And now I’m back in the Ramada hotel at the Calgary airport, with my flights home to Yellowknife this evening. I’m glad to be back in Canada, where my dollar is worth a dollar, and soon to be in my own bed. It was lovely break, however, and I know it will help get me through the rest of the long, cold winter.

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