Monday, March 31, 2014

Northern Cali Adventures

We love our weekend adventures & ever since we moved, it's been great living here as well as being tourists.  I think we've seen more of California than lots of people who have lived here their whole lives.  The last several months I've worked at least part of the day on Saturdays though so we haven't been able to go far.  This past weekend we went to the Saturday night service at church though so we had all day Sunday free.  We drove up to the Sonoma & Napa area & had a great time!

These were a few of our favorite places...

We're not drinkers, but love the wineries that are all over northern California.  They're beautiful & the landscaping is great & it's really cool to see them different times of the year & at different phases in the process.  This was our first stop.

Next we drove into Napa & had lunch at Oxbow Public Market where I had the greatest grilled cheese I've ever had.

The market has lots of little restaurants & shops to walk around.  I've never had a blood orange & have been wanting to try them lately, & finally found some!

Next we went to Bouchon Bakery in Yountville.  They're known for their macarons & we'd never had any, & they were great!  I always thought they were just for looks & woudln't really be good, but that was definitely wrong!  We tried passionfruit, espresso, & salted caramel, & all three were good.

Our last stop of the day was Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga.  A San Francisco man with an Italian heritage went over to Italy & fell in love with it.  He came back, opened his first winery, & then eventually built this huge castle just the way they would have been built in Italy.  Even the bricks were brought over from Italy.

We went on a tour of the castle...chapel, underground tunnels, & even a torture chamber.  Grayson was like a little boy, he was so excited!

The grounds are huge & colorful & have interesting animals just roaming around.

The castle was definitely our favorite, & a place we'll have to take people back to when we have visitors!

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