Napa Valley in Pictures and Rambling Thoughts
Napa Valley in November was surprisingly stunning. The fall foliage in Virginia was a bit disappointing this year, so I was thrilled to see all the yellow vines. The wineries were mostly void of crowds, which meant our tastings were quiet and intimate. My parents had traveled to Napa a few times before, and it quickly became one of their favorite places on earth. It was my first time, and I was sold pretty quickly as well.
Every winery we went to had really nice wines, but our favorite by far was O’Brien Estate. My parents already knew about this hidden gem (and they’ve been wine club members for a few years). It’s one of the smaller wineries and located in the owner’s backyard. We spent a good two hours sitting out back, looking out to the vines, tasting their amazing wines, and chatting with our host, Julio.
Throughout our trip, I loved hearing locals’ stories of how they once visited Napa, fell in love, and made the big move to live (what looks to me like) a pretty perfect life. Every time we passed a real estate office with listings on display in the window, I’d stop and point out all the houses that looked perfect for my parents’ retirement.
Napa reminded me (in a lot of ways) of Charlottesville and Queenstown – places I could see myself living in for
eve r a while. (Thinking about living in one place forever still gives me the heebie jeeebies.) I’ve started to notice all the parallels between places that make me say, “I could live here”:
They’re not big cities, but also not tiny remote towns – somewhere in between. They’re set in stunning locations with lots of outdoor activity options and great hiking. They’re filled with people who are happy and just really nice. And they’ve got awesome unique (not chain) restaurants, bars, and wineries that I inevitably crave when I’m on the other side of the world.
Alright, enough daydreaming, onto the pictures: