California – Day 7 & 8

This was the end of our fun vacation – our final two days. On Tuesday, we got started on the right note by hitting Cakebread Cellars in Oakville. When we went to Cakebread last year we joined their wine club so we get free tastings every time we go…so, like any reasonable people we couldn’t pass up a free tasting on their VIP patio now could we??

After Cakebread we went to Grgich Hills Estate not far from Cakebread. I was a little tipsy from the previous tasting so I sat this one out but Jason enjoyed some nice Chardonnay and some Merlot among other things. I bought a box of Cab filled chocolates and some olive oil.

We asked the lady at Grgich where we should eat for lunch and she recommend Rutherford Grill highly. She also suggested that we try their specialty, house smoked salmon with homemade tartar sauce…

…so we did. It was one of the best things we ate on this trip, which is saying a lot because we ate a lot of awesome stuff on this trip. This makes me want to try and smoke salmon at home.

After Rutherford Grill we headed off to our 2:00 appointment at Nickel & Nickel a very small vineyard in Oakville. At Nickel & Nickel they produce single vineyard, single varital wines which is a very cool concept. I could go more into this wine stuff but I won’t.

After we were finished drinking more wine than we ever thought we could possibly ingest we went swimming and I fell asleep by the pool. At some point (which I don’t really remember) Jason woke me up and we went back to the room where I collapsed on the bed and fell asleep.

What happens when you leave your husband unattended during a nap? He takes pictures of you sleeping. It was an awesome nap.

After the nap we went to dinner at Bouchon, another Thomas Keller, highly acclaimed, though easier to get into restaurant in Yountville. It was super dark outside at this point so the pictures start to get a little questionable…

I had a pork belly that was braised then pan seared. Oh my! Jason had duck breast. A glass of wine and a beer later we stumbled back to the hotel and retired for the evening.

Our last day in California was met with mixed feelings. Part of me didn’t want to go home but part of me was really tired of vacation. We were both suffering from “vacation exhaustion” but we pressed on anyway.

After checking out of the hotel we stopped by The French Laundry garden to see what they were growing and found some of the most beautiful, happy plants on the entire planet. This place is part of what motivated me to start my own garden and during this trip it motivated me to do something else…make compost!

A quick trip to Bouchon Bakery, which is right next door to Bouchon (the place we ate at the night before) was called for before we left. Even though I had already eaten breakfast I just couldn’t help devouring a cream cheese danish that was calling my name through the glass case. Please…eat me! I’m yummy!

Okay. Easy enough!

We left Yountville sometime around 1ish and headed across some mountains down a really curvy road called Oakville Grade to the town of Santa Rosa for a visit to the Russian River Brewery where Jason drank a couple beers and we ate something called Beer Bites…which was really a cheese pizza minus the sauce cut into squares. Like we needed any more food at this point…

Our final stop of the trip was to Moylan’s Brewery in Navato. We discovered this place by accident last year so of course we had to go back and since every blog entry I’ve made about our trip so far included a picture of Jason with a beer I decided that it was my turn for a beer pic!

After Moylan’s we got in the rental car and drove back to San Francisco to catch our flight which didn’t even land in Dallas until 12:40am and we didn’t get home until 2.

And that was it. The trip was over. Thank goodness. I don’t think I could have handled much more fun than that! I need a vacation just to recover from our vacation!

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