We spent the last week in Northern California, the part of Cali where I grew up and no longer call "home." There are still many friends and family near and dear to my heart up north, so it's always a nice, low-budget getaway for us. We decided to use our mileage and take the plane this time around. It was Baby J's first plane ride, which was quite exciting (more so for us, since he probably had no idea what was going on). We held our breaths as we ascended until the we descended, and we were quite proud of the lil fella! He fussed a bit here and there from the pressure and boredom, but all in all he was a trooper. First test passed: Baby J is sure to be a world-class traveler in no time!
Believe it or not, the Hubby and I had never been to Napa Valley, even though we were only an hour away every time we were in San Francisco. Leave it to us in deciding to go after we had a baby. What does one do with a baby in Napa? Take them along for the ride, of course! I promise you, we were both responsible drivers/wannabe-wine-connoisseurs. There were places with 2 for 1 deals, so we took advantage of that. Otherwise, we shared the tastings in order to get a "taste" of the wines. We were probably more excited to try out the restaurants in the area, after hearing so many great things. Now I don't know if it was because we didn't go to the French Laundry (the pricing is outstanding and we cannot bring ourselves to pay for food that ends up elsewhere, if you know what I mean), but I wasn't thoroughly impressed with the food in Napa. For the prices on the menu and the location, I guess I expected more. The best thing I had was the fried chicken and waffles at Boon Fly Cafe. It was the kind of good that leaves you speechlessly munching away at the table until the food is demolished. Napa Valley itself is still a beautiful scenic place, with all the vineyards in St. Helena and Yountville. I'll definitely be back for the wineries next time: wine glass in one hand, fried chicken in the other.
The rest of the week was spent in SF with loved ones (my Mama's meals are the best!) and visiting the usual places. We also came across an area called Bernal Heights, where we found the most adorable little consignment shop for children, carrying clothing and toys- both new and gently used. The area is so tiny that you could drive right through without ever realizing you were there. The area was littered with small shops and ergo/bjorn-carrying Mamas and Papas (guess we weren't the only ones!). I enjoy finding hidden little gemstones in these large caverns we call cities.
Before we knew it, the week came to an end and we were back on the plane heading back to smogville, aka SoCal. That's the thing about travel...it's a high while you're there, and once you head home, you plummet downwards back into reality. Okay, I'm exaggerating, it's not that bad, but you get what I mean. I guess that's why we're always shooting away with our camera (some of the photos above were taken by my lil bro- being trigger happy runs in the fam), trying to capture every moment while living in the moment can be a challenge. Photos do tell great stories, but not always the full story. The back story is usually far from perfect- for example, Baby J nearly had a meltdown after the food arrived while dining at Redd (after his picture-perfect smile), so we nearly scarfed all our food down and left the restaurant before receiving more dirty looks from some of the diners. But for the purpose of sharing and remembering the happier and beautiful moments, the camera does its purpose. And isn't life about finding the silver lining? However, sometimes I wonder, maybe the back story is more interesting...