California: Napa Valley No. 1

This month, I was lucky enough to visit Napa Valley for the first time! Luckier still, I was able to bring my sweet mom along, to celebrate her 65th. (I know, she doesn’t look a day over 35)! She is the absolute best person in the world, and we had so much fun eating and drinking and laughing our way through Napa. So many memories I will treasure forever.

Visit Napa Valley Calistoga Ranch St Helena Yountville

When: April 2016

Where: Napa Valley, California

Stayed: Calistoga Ranch

Instagram: #wellsincalifornia

As we worked our way up towards Calistoga, we passed through so many adorable towns. Our first stop was at Farmstead, where I stocked up on beef sticks for Matty, and their special Stumptown blend for myself.

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We then headed to the center of St. Helena, where we sampled strawberry muffins and horchata cold brew from Model Bakery, and wandered into all of the cute shops lining the street. There was an incredible rug store I forget the name of – it looked straight out of Turkey!

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Lunch was at Archetype, in their beautiful greenhouse that reminded me of Terrain. I salivated over a pulled pork sandwich with homemade bbq chips, while my mom had the veggie crepes. Everything was delicious, and we could have sat in that sunlit room for hours.

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After lunch, we checked into our beautiful hotel, Calistoga Ranch. Love at first sight! The property is hidden in the hills, with each villa tucked away in the trees. Our ‘Oak Creek Lodge’ had two living areas, connected by a sun deck with a fireplace and a hot tub. We also had the most blissful outdoor shower, with a giant tree right in the middle. My  mom was so happy, which made me so happy, and it was truly incredible.

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We headed back down to Yountville for dinner, to eat at Ad Hoc. The tasting menu was SO GOOD. A leafy green salad, followed by a heaping plate of pork belly, cornbread and greens. The third course was a scrumptious spread of cheese, biscuits and jam, while the final course was make-your-own-sundaes (in an elegant way, of course)! We happily rolled ourselves home afterwards.

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The next morning, we wandered through the lush property, stopping to pet each and every succulent. We ended up at the Lakehouse, for fresh squeezed juice and breakfast sammies. Served on Model english muffins with tons of cheese, no crumb was left unturned.

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After checking out (sigh), we walked around Lincoln Avenue in downtown Calistoga. So many cute storefronts, and so many photo ops for the prettiest yellow dress I have ever owned.

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After that, it was time for our next destination: Napa Valley No. 2!

Lauren