Two Days in Napa — Day 1

One evening at a dinner party my friends and I decided to go to Napa. Because of our busy schedules, the time we had to spend in Napa was just two days, a Saturday and a Sunday. We made the most of our whirlwind weekend. We arrived late on a Friday night and stayed at the Grand Hyatt SFO. This hotel was so convenient since it is attached to the airport terminal and took just a few minutes to get to. The restaurant was closed by the time we arrived so we got a bottle of wine and some snacks from the 24-hour market and had a relaxing midnight snack.

At 8 a.m. the next morning, we were picked up by the driver we hired for our safe travels this weekend. Our first wine tasting stop was at Whitehall Lane Winery where Brian, our wine educator, shared his knowledge and enthusiasm of Whitehall, wine, and life with us. We snacked on an assortment of cheeses and nuts from Oakville Grocery as we tasted some delicious wine. Before leaving Whitehall, we put in our wine orders and we also all bought wine carriers to bring our wine home in.

Our next stop was at Gemstone Vineyards where we would be staying for the next two nights. We were the only customers there and Lyndsey welcomed us with wine and cheese and awesome Napa hospitality. The guest house is available at no charge to valued customers who purchase a minimum quantity of wine and what a deal it is. We made our wine orders and went next door to our four bedroom home for the next two days. After exploring the house, we walked the vineyards and found persimmon, apple, chestnut, pomegranate, and lemon trees bearing fruit. What an amazing experience!

Our dinner that night was a kaiseki dinner at Kenzo Restaurant. I heard about this restaurant during my last trip to Napa this past summer and was so excited to get a reservation. Amazingly, the date of our dinner fell on the weekend of Kenzo’s anniversary and they had a special menu on this evening. I tried to choose a favorite course of the 6?7? Courses and I think my favorite was either the appetizer that wasn’t even listed on the menu or the sushi.

This crazy group wanted to make a stop at Walmart before heading back to the hotel where we picked up snacks like popcorn and pub mix and cup noodles. When we got back to the hotel, we had a nightcap, listened to some music, and chatted until the wee hours. We definitely wouldn’t have been able to do that as comfortably in a typical hotel. What a full first day of wine and fun. Living Hilo Style in Napa.

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