Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Napa without wine

Yesterday I took off with my daughter Renee and headed over to the Napa Valley.  We live about an hour and a half away, so it's an easy trip.  It was her birthday and she usually requests a shopping trip with  mommy, and I'm always happy to oblige.  Now, we didn't go wine tasting (I used to live in Napa, and was even married there, so wine tasting is kind of a "been there, done that" thing.  I know.  I'm spoiled rotten), but we had a particular store we wanted to visit.
Yep.  All the way to beautiful Napa Valley, close to harvest time, when the grapes are hanging in big globs just waiting to be plucked, and we go to Dean and Deluca.  I don't know who had more fun though, me or her, and after she got a few things for her birthday, I came away with some olive oil from Greece, black truffle sea salt, (had it on my eggs this morning, just OMG), and some great coffee.  I even bought a few Christmas presents.
Then we headed to one of our favorite places for lunch called Mustards
We didn't have lunch reservations and had to wait 30 minutes for a table. It's still just as popular and delicious as it was 20 years ago when I lived there.   While waiting, we walked around the kitchen garden and took a few pictures.

Good lord, I would love to move back there.  Anyway, after an amazing lunch we drove another half hour to Sonoma.  Iced tea in hand, we strolled around the old town square and window shopped.  Plenty of nice little shops ring around a lovely park complete with duck pond, roses and big shady trees.  It was a great day!

Inspired by the sunflowers in the Mustards garden, I made a doily out of Simply Crochet (UK) magazine, issue number four.   The pattern is by Nicki Trench and can also be found in the book Crochet Living by Debbie Bliss.
I used Paton's DK wool and an F hook.  A little Fall for y'all.


  1. What a beautiful day you had with your birthday Girl! The pictures are breathtaking! And I LOVE your doily. I have that issue and have thought I need to make that doily. You have inspired me :)
    Love to you,

  2. Well that was a fun trip with you and your daughter!!! I would love to go there. My oldest and her husband have gone, and loved it!!
    Such pretty pics!
    Love your crochet project too. So pretty!!!
    xo Kris

  3. You do this to me every time--I just plain yearn for California, I don't know why, really. So, so, so beautiful. :)

  4. Lovely photos, what a nice place to visit! Like your crochet, looks great!

  5. Hello Lynne
    Sounds like a good birthday fun day out!
    I can certainly see the doily is inspired by sunflowers. You got the colours just right. Lovely!!!
    and..... you didn't even do a teeny weeny bit of wine tasting? I know what you mean if you have lived in the area as we have vineyards all around us here in Alicante and the province. Where ever you go there is wine tasting to be had. We usually have little taste....when my sister comes to visit she says its better than a pub crawl LOL!
    Great photos and gives me an idea of your area in the States. I have only been to Chicago city and was not terribly impressed. The people were great though.

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

  6. Your pictures are beautiful...looks like a nice place to visit! Love me some Nicki Trench!

  7. what a great place to live, or at least be able to drive to!! i love the statue of the person and umbrella inthe pond

  8. Gorgeous. The photos of Sonoma are exactly how I imagine small towns in the US to be. I'm reading (re-reading for the millionth time) Bill Bryson's The Lost Continent and it's how I imagine Amalgam to be. His made up perfect small town.
    I stayed near Napa a very long time ago. One day I'll remember the name of exactly where! My mate moved to the US from London and her husband worked in San Francisco and I went to stay with them for a couple of weeks. I know we left the city by The Bay Bridge. It was nearly 30 years ago, give me a break! I also remember we got the BART into SF (get me) and it didn't take all that long.
    It's my age. Everything's going.
    Lovely pictures and looks like you had a rocking day.


You guys are awesome! Thank you for the comments!