Napa – Thursday

The heavy rain and thunder woke the Arnold household up at 4:30 AM last Thursday. Fortunately, George was able to get back to sleep. Sadly, John and I were up for the morning. We packed, worked, and got organized for our trip to pass the time. Once George woke up at 7:00 AM, we sat him down for breakfast and had a little family time together. Once all of us were dressed and ready to go, we loaded up the car and hit the road. We dropped George off at school before heading to IAH. The journey was a bit harrowing with all of the rain, but we made it safe and sound. We parked at Terminal C and made it through TSA Pre Check security in a snap. We picked up water and snacks and were resting in the United Club before 10:00AM.

Our flight took off a bit late due to all of the rain, but it wasn’t a long wait. Our flight crew was amazing and lunch service commenced almost as soon as we hit 10,000 feet. We started with the ramekins of warm nuts and we both had sparkling water. For our entrees, John chose the chicken and I chose the ravioli. I clearly had the better dish. My pasta was good, but I didn’t touch the salad. John didn’t either. It just looked strange.

T_plane Collage

Anyhow, we both skipped the sorbet dessert and dove into work. To be fair, I did listen to/watch “Million Dollar Listing LA” while I got things done.

T_J on plane

We landed just before 2:00PM – a few minutes ahead of schedule. We took the Air Tram to the rental car center and got a car. With no child, we got a small car this go round. I prefer SUVs, so this was quite a change for me.

T_car

Unfortunately, we hit typical, frustrating, annoying California traffic.

T_traffic

After an hour, we made a pit stop at McDonald’s to go to the bathroom…and apparently to eat our frustrations. Just kidding. Once we saw the calories listed to the items on the menu, we slowed our roll and chose our snacks wisely.

T_mcD

In the end, it took us THREE hours to get to Napa. Sigh.

But it was worth it, in part, because our hotel was amazing (more on that later). We quickly checked into our room, got settled, and relaxed a bit. I should also note that my very sweet husband called ahead and had special flowers delivered for me. Look at these pretty flowers!

T_flowers

After a little rest, we walked to our hotel’s lobby to partake in “Magic Hour.” Every late afternoon, the hotel hosts a local vintner and has a little happy hour in the lobby. Blackbird Vineyards was the winery of the day and we were so happy to sip their delicious wines.

T_B Vineyards

We also enjoyed the hotel’s awesome cheese plate.

T-magic Hour

Later, we got ready and made the quick drive to Yountville to eat at Bouchon.

T_sunsetAnd oh my…it was a great experience. We kicked off the meal with a very tasty roasted artichoke appetizer. Next, John had the homemade Parmesan gnocchi with black truffles for his entree, while I had the steak frites. Friends, I don’t have steak often (I try to limit my red meat intake), but when I do, I make sure it has a glob of butter on it. For dessert, we shared the rhubarb tart with homemade ice cream. Sigh. I’m a big Thomas Keller fan and this meal did not disappoint.

T_bouchon Collage

This was a great way to end a long day of travel.

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