Day 25: More of Napa, As Seen From Our Bikes

Another slow morning, but it’s okay.  We have a wide-open day to do whatever we want!  I woke up bound and determined to finally take our bikes down from the rack and tour around the area.  Greg was agreeable, so we got underway and made our first stop at a gas station to put air in our tires.  Once our bikes were wiped clean, and ship-shape, we headed out to explore.

Time to take the bikes for a spin!
Time to take the bikes for a spin!

Our first stop…The Public Market in the Oxbow District of Napa.  From the outside, the Public Market had a very similar look to the complex of the same name which we loved on Granville Island in Vancouver, so we wanted to take a look inside.  We had breakfast there and browsed the various shops and found that it was, in fact, similar to our favorite Public Market, although on a much smaller scale.

From there, we drove around the town of Napa and honestly, we were disappointed.  We expected that Napa would be as quaint and charming as the other wine tasting towns we’ve visited in central California. After all, the vineyards throughout Napa Valley are so spectacular, we had heightened expectations of the town. We asked around and were told to go to Kennedy Park, which would have a bike path for us, we were promised.  Again, we were underwhelmed.  Where’s the beautiful scenery?  Where are the grapevines?

Then we looked through one of our tourism magazines and found a bike shop, in Yountville, that offered self-guided bike tour maps, so off we went.  Eureka!! We found it!  We found the charming wine tasting town we had envisioned.  Yountville was everything we hoped Napa would be!  We found a charming sidewalk cafe called Bistro Jeanty and had a delicious lunch, to fill our tanks before we headed off for a 13-mile bike ride through gorgeous vineyards.

Ready to “fill his tank” before we head off for a 13-mile ride.

Even though we shared the highway for most of the 13 miles with cars whizzing past us, it was well worth the ride.  This was exactly what I had in mind (minus all the traffic, but life does have its trade-offs, right?)

It’s only 8:00pm and I am ready to put my tired bones to bed…I guess that’s to be expected since we pedaled over 20 miles today!  I gotta say, I may have a hard time sleeping tonight…so excited to go to San Francisco tomorrow and see our Sarah!

Day 24: We Must Need a “Napa”

I have a vague memory of a family road trip to Napa when I was a little girl.  As one of three little girls piled in the back seat of our Buick, I don’t remember much about the trip, except my Dad joking, saying he was a little sleepy and needed a “nap-a.”  (Mom, was this the same road trip as the one which brought us to the Jedediah Smith Campground?) Funny how these things stick in my memory.  Anyway, I think it’s fitting to tell that story today, as we are heading for Napa!

We’ll be in Napa for 2 relaxing days. Greg and I are looking forward to taking a little more time as we travel through California.  Having covered a lot of miles (appx. 5,700 miles so far) in a pretty short period of time, we’re getting a little tired.  That’s probably the reason why we couldn’t quite get our wheels in motion until noon today.  We took our time having breakfast, catching up on my posts, texting/chatting with our kids, making plans with Sarah for our visit with her in a few days…generally being lazy!  We will arrive in Napa in a couple of hours, get settled at our campground and then get ready for a sunset wine tasting train ride.  Sounds like fun!!

Fast forward to later that day…

The drive to Napa was very winding and very pretty.  Glad we got to see all the miles and miles of vineyards.  Clearly these vineyards are the star attraction here in Napa.

We didn’t stop at any, as we had to find our way to our campground in town, then make a 5:30 reservation on the Napa Valley Wine Train. We thought this train would meander down the tracks, stop and allow a tasting here and there and include a delicious dinner.  Well, not exactly…the 4-course meal was quite delicious, but there was no stopping, nor wine tasting. We were a bit disappointed when we realized that this train was only going to head down the tracks and then turn around and come right back again, and the views from the “Dome” on the second level of the train, weren’t all that spectacular.  I guess we should have anticipated that…with such a short time on the train.  Unfortunately, the evening wasn’t what we hoped for…but its likely a case of having too high of expectations, and also needing a little “Napa.”

Tomorrow we are on our own to discover more of Napa…time to call it a night!