Saturday, February 19, 2011

Napa Valley In All Its Splendor!

Wednesday evening Jim was out riding his bike and took this photo to show me the silver lining in this February sky. It was as if his message was, "Our trip tomorrow will be blessed with a silver lining in spite of the storm that is brewing." We have always preferred the inclement weather to lots of crowds, so we do a lot of our traveling in the fall, winter and spring. So after 28 out of 30 straight days of rain, tromping around Italy last year....what's a little rain for the day, right?

A couple of weeks ago we went to Napa to watch the Super Bowl with our family, making a mental note at the time to return soon. That is exactly what we did on Thursday. Just past Napa is the little town of Yountville. In Yountville is this fabulous old brick building that houses a collective of great shops and upscale restaurants called 1870. It was a torrential downpour when we arrived and we were happy to have a sheltered place to spend a little time browsing and staying dry. They have a disproportionate number of art galleries which were fun to stroll through.

A beautiful glass shop caught our eye, with some very interesting pieces. The glass shops are not places where we buy anything, but we lke to visit them after spending time in Italy, where they blow glass near Venice. We gained an appreciation of the art form there. Wouldn't want it in the cottage or anything, but we can still enjoy it in a gallery.

Snapped some fun photos of painting in various galleries and really enjoyed the ones of the local area and the vineyard in full swing. Right now they are all dormant, awaiting spring.

Loved this immense painting of the cherries~
it took up the whole window of this gallery.

Well, ladies this is definitely worth a trip to this area. Loved this sweet shop and it requires a trip with girlfriends! It's not the same "oohing and ahhing" with the husbster. Although he did take all the photos for me and didn't rush me, sometimes ya just can't let your hair down with the guys. I really liked what they did on the store front glass doors. They are painted with tiny grape clusters and vines and it looks so pretty.

One of the window designs outside in the corridor.

Another fun shop downtown in St. Helena

Gorgeous old oak tree stripped bare right now but,
it will be amazing in a few months.

The window shopping was fun but the best part of this day was just being out alone together in the car. Driving around the area and taking in the sights and taking photos was superb. Taking pictures in the rain has its challenges, but the lighting is usually really good and the colors the most true.

The creeks were rushing with water from all the rain run off. It sounded like Niagara Falls, it was so loud. They got an inch and a half of rain this afternoon. It just could not do anything but run off everywhere and take the mud with it.

The beginning of Spring Creek Road near St. Helena. A breathtaking drive with nothing but beauty and solitude to surround you. It was so lovely and so green. The kind of green that only God can make.

Great lamp post!
I bet it is so pretty in the evening when the light is on
and the trees are ladened with leaves in the summer.

We passed a home with this pinkness
that I just could not pass by without a photo or two.

This may be the prettiest nature sighting
I have had since New England.
Seriously a Gift from God isn't it?

The vineyards resting before spring.

Love the symmetry of the planted vines.

Some lucky person's mailbox!

The color of the moss that grows everywhere
is highlighted nicely on this old bridge.

Caught a rainbow and remembered God's promise
just when we were beginning to wonder if there
be a flood to cover the earth!

I want to just live in this picture.


We went for a late lunch/early dinner at Mustard's Grill. This is quite a famous restaurant in the area and always gets a 5 star rating for amazing food. They have these thinly sliced onion rings/strips that are made by the devil himself, I think. Needless, to say we passed on the bakery stop, in lieu of our trip to Mustard's, which happens about once a decade. Jim told me I was not allowed to look up the points...just begin again tomorrow. Bless his heart! And mine too after what we ate. No regrets! Pure heaven.

I know, Yikes!
Dear Weight Watchers...
We are living real life while trying
to be good most of the time.

It was raining so hard while we were at Mustard's. I had to borrow the flickr photo of the outside above, but this is the little pond in front with the cute, little man with the red umbrella. Very apropos for the day. I was standing in the pouring rain to take this photo while Jim made a dash for the car. Anything for you guys!

On our way home we stopped at the Robert Mondavi Winery. Jim ran in to check it out. Since we do not drink, I have no interest in the wineries perse, but Jim is curious about everything so he wanted to go in for a few minutes. (I am sure there is some kind of a winery tour in our future now!) I am happy to have him do this sort of thing anytime, I just bring my Kindle and phone along and enjoy the wait.

This place is nicely appointed and a neat as a pin.

As far as I can say, the best part of the winery stop was seeing this guy frantically walking around at a nice clip, looking for shelter from the rain. We went to see The King's Speech on the way home so were gone for 12 hours! Our longest day out yet! We were definitely blessed by the silver lining of this storm. Can't wait 'til you can enjoy the SSRP. (The Secret Society of Retired Persons!)


Today is another rainy day and Jim is working with his friend Dave on Dave's new shop hanging sheet rock. I am delighted to have this day to catch up on my posting and everyone's blog and to write to some of you that have been very patiently waiting for me to get back to you. Love to all. Enjoy your three or four day weekend if you live in the US. (And your regular weekend if you live in the UK, Canada, or other places you might call home.)


Sister Susie said...

Gorgeous pictures! I saved three to my picture file. The first was the brook running through the forest. The second was the rainbow. The third was the white fence and the trees with lilac colored blooms. The world has such beauty our GOD had created. Thanks, Bonnie for sharing your pictures!
Love and hugs,

Marie said...

Looks like you and Jim had yet again a beautiful day out, despite the rain! I do so love to go on these little trips with you! You do such a fabulous job of recording them for us. I send love and hugs to you on this quiet sabbath morning! xxoo

Julie Harward said...

Looks like another fun trip for you two1 (The lavender farm in here in Utah, about a hour south of Provo.)

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Morning Bonnie,
thanks for stopping by over the weekend. How could I be disappointed by a lil time span....after winning a prize I never knew I even had a chance of was such a sweet surprise, and am in great anticipation knowing that maybe today or tomorrow will be the day!! that anticipation in and of itself, is fun!!

Well, my tulips are all gone now,
I went to pull a few out that didn't look so hot yesterday and all the petals just started falling off of all of them. Believe it or not, I had rearranged them again,
and by yesterday they had turned a deep burgundy/purple color and were standing straight up again, all buy one anyway. So Funny!
Liked your idea of why....that was
so sweet!! and wanted to hang on to that thought until Megan said,
Scott got her red tulips as well,
and she said hers did the same thing. Bummer!! lol

As I am typing this Jim is constructing an email to send to
Ligionier to thank them for the interview and to ask if he is still being considered for the position, since they were suppose to get back to us last week. Course, he didn't say the later part of that sentence. lol
So at least maybe we will know a lil more today hopefully.
It is disappointing to think about him not getting it....cause it was nice to be able to think about the possibilities and the Wedding and all, but truly if it is not what the Lord wants for us, we have learned not to want that either.
God always has better plans altho,
we might not always see that at first. Sometimes you wish you didn't have to deal with emotions,
that would make many things a pc.
of cake, wouldn't it!!
But those drat emotions.......
course, life would be pretty dull,
boring and lifeless without them!
So guess they really are a good thing. lol

Dee and Jerry checked out the new place they found, and are now working out details and pricing and such. Sounds really nice and later
after it is over I will probably post where the place is and pics but didn't know if it is a good idea beforehand, cause you don't ever know who is reading. Think the wedding is gonna be in October now
due to lack of openings at the time they wanted it.

Yea, you are right....we do cherish every moment we get with our kids cause you never know how long you will have them nearby. or how long you are gonna be here.
I tell you with all the stuff heating up in the MIddle East sometimes I wonder how much longer the Lord will tarry!! Cause that is sure the area where it is all gonna come down!!

Wow, your trip to Napa looks wonderful. Loved all the pics of the scenery, so truly beautiful,
my most fav kind of beauty!!
Yea, I am with you about crowds,
we aren't too into that either!
That building with all the shops reminds me of a place in St. Augustine where they have all the lil shops inside, fun place to escape the rain for sure! and for here the heat!! lol

Our temps are suppose to be in the 70 and 80's for the next 10 days or so. We sat outside yesterday and read the paper and it was simply divine!!
You have a Great Week ahead hon,
Love ya Sweetie,

laura.elizabeth said...

Awesome Post- beautiful pictures. I love Napa too! It has a very European feel to it. I love that it is raining in CA and not snowing! I love that the trees are blooming. So fun!

LA Adams said...

What absolutely fantastic pictures!!! You two are really the best photographers around. I love how you capture color, beauty, and light. I think I'll be just like you someday. I love the idea of reading while Jeffrey runs off to explore his historical events - not that I mind viewing them, just not as extensively as he does!

Caroline Craven said...

Ah-ha! A place I have been too. Your pictures are beautiful and I am wondering why we left CA in the first place. Utah just isn't the same. But if you love mountains, and I do, then this is the place for you.