Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hey Napa...We're Back!

Denise and I decided to take a little trip this summer with a visit to Napa, CA. Wine country, U.S.A. But long-time listeners/readers know that I don't drink wine. I'm a Scotch guy. So why would I burn up some valuable vacation time in this neck of the woods? To reminisce. One of the first trips Denise and I took over 20 years ago was to Napa. Back then we didn't know Merlot from Cee-Lo...but we thought it would be a good idea. In fact, 20 years ago I would go to the supermarket to buy a bottle of Beringer White Zinfandel for $4.99, and we would drink it ...WITH ICE!!! Boy..have times changed!

On this trip we flew into San Fransisco, and headed to Sausalito for dinner. Now, let me explain that women in Houston put on make-up to take out the trash. In Sausalito...women probably don't put on make up for their weddings. Here, it's flip-flops, pulled-back-hair, and no freakin make up, PAL! We stopped for dinner at Feng Nian for a great Szechwan Mandarin meal, got back in the car, and didn't stop until the Hyatt Vineyard Creek. We hit the rack, and got ready for an exciting day of winery tours.

The trip to Napa 20 years ago had Z-E-R-O planning. Denise and I got in the car, and drove down the main road where all the wineries were located. We'd pull over, sample wine, get back in the car, repeat! Not this trip, it was planned out like a fine military maneuver. We visited Silver Oak, Round Pond, Palmaz, Darioush and Joseph Phelps wineries. Private tours were arranged ahead of time. Denise and I arrived at these locations at a pre-arranged time, and representatives would be waiting to greet us. At Round Pond and Joseph Phelps wineries, we ended up eating and drinking for more than 3 hours. At the end of each visit, we couldn't resist buying wine to share with our friends and associates back in Houston.

It was soooo romantic coming back to Napa in 2011. Denise and I held hands...kissed..and often said," Do you remember when we went to that place...". We were able to enjoy hours of wonderful memories. All married couples should return to "that place" where they traveled early in their relationship. If possible, leave the kids behind and act like honeymooners again. Denise and I are no strangers to checking into hotels as honeymooners!!! Try it. You're not exactly lying. You and your spouse may not be recently married, but you can always ACT like honeymooners. And that's way more fun than fighting on vacation.

BTW, sooo much has changed in Napa since we last visited 20 years ago. First of all, the number of wineries has almost tripled, so plan out your visit. Second of all, the number of restaurants has also exploded. May we recommend Redd, Mustards Grill, and The Rutherford Grill. Mustards and Rutherford Grill served such large/tasty portions that Denise and I split all of our main courses. Seriously...these places serve a lot of food. And sharing meals leaves more $$$$ for buying wine.

When you're done reading this blog, go online and start eye-balling the website featuring the location of your "first" trip. Go back and look at the old photos and videos, and get off your rear end and make it happen. Go back in ensure and loving future with your spouse.