Frolicking Around St Helena
2:35am wake up call and we’re already en route to the airport the morning after Canada day. Where to this time?
Fast forward 6 hours, the plane lands in San Francisco – city where I’ve been only once briefly back in 2015 and that holds a special place in my heart. It’s just not like any other American cities I’ve been to – it has its pastel charm. But, we’ll get back to SF…
Rental car is picked up and we’re on our way about 2 hours north from San Francisco to California’s wine country!
Special thanks to SFO for having air train deliver you to the car rental building instead of regular busses that are often slow and even come with a wait sometimes.
Napa Valley is beautiful.
I love our local B.C. Okanagan and I knew that Napa wouldn’t disappoint either. It’s hot and sunny. Wineries after wineries right off the highway, happy (read: drunk) people passing you by in a wine tour train. It’s tracks run through big portion of the Valley.
There’s something about acres of grape trees that just instantly puts you in vacation mode. I haven’t been to Tuscany, but my travel partner is saying that some of the turns and wineries remind him of it – a good sign!
We have a few hours before check-in time to our hotel in St Helena, so we head a little further north to Calistoga – to have lunch and explore a bit. Calistoga is your typical little Cali wine country town: colorful, friendly, famous for its hot springs and Castello di Amorosa – a European castle that was literally brought to Napa stone by stone (local confirmed 😉
We had lunch at Pacifico – a Mexican place. It was good, but nothing special. Remember that it’s America, so portions are… huge. My passion fruit margarita on rocks was delicious though.
Early rise, tequila and sunshine did the trick and we took a three hour nap before heading to explore St Helena, the town where we were staying at, and have some light dinner.
It never seizes to amaze me how stumbling upon a random spot is almost 100% guaranteed best time! Same happened this day – we were walking on the Main St of St Helena and this little place caught my eye (mainly because it had burrata and prosciutto on their appetizers menu).
Turned out The Cook is one of the favorite places where locals go.
The food was delicious – Italian in origin it definitely had a Californian twist to it. In season, fresh and local ingredients were used in our salads and main dishes. Mouth watering.
We sat at the bar and as a bonus also got to chat with a guy who has lived in St Helena for the last 12 years and was in the wine business. The amount of recommendations he gave for wineries and restaurants to check out were priceless. We returned to The Cook on our last day in the wine country, that’s how good it was!
Stay tuned for part 2 of the wine country adventure!
Do you guys like these types of follow-me-around blog posts or I should stick to the shorter “top tips and places” types? Let me know below!