Little fairies sprinkled gold dust over my life in early December and suddenly I was in Calistoga, California rubbing shoulders with some of my favorite bloggers. Consider this your weekend guide if you’d like to eat your way through this magical land.
We stayed at the Calistoga Guest Ranch and this was the view outside of my room. Just green. Lots of nature. I kept saying I was on the set of the movie Twilight. It was dark, drizzly and vibrant green. Moody…lots of mood for days. I dug it. As soon as I arrived, Teri (@nocrumbsleft | nocrumbsleft.net) who masterminded the entire week, shoved probably one of the best english muffins I’ve ever had my way. It was from The Model Bakery…and that should be your first stop.
Above is Christine (@c.r.a.v.i.n.g.s | whatdoyoucrave.info) looking pensive in the outdoor living room…as you can see we started an intensive wine/hydration system early in the week. It was only moderately effective. Our beds were beyond cozy, each house had its own kitchen + indoor and outdoor living areas. My housemates were Christi (@bazaarlazarr | bazaarlazarr.com) + Stephanie (@cookwithcolor)…we had lots of loud music, wine and the occasional Easy E. The Ranch was perfect because even though we were stupid loud, I don’t think anyone could hear us. I think…
Our first day we went to Phifer Pavitt Winery and sipped amazing sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon. Our food blogger crew included: Abi (@abisfarmhousekitchen | abisfarmhousekitchen.com), Teri, Jen (@thelemonapron | thelemonapron.com), Naomi (@thecooksinthekitchen | thecooksinthekitchen.com), Adam + Ryan (@husbandsthatcook | husbandsthatcook.com), Christi, Deborah (@rainydaybites), Stephanie and the lovely Christine. We mingled, we schmoozed and got to know one another.
Later we jumped into St. Helena and stuffed our faces at Gotts Roadside. Burgers, fries and wine. Done. I’m always happy when a burger joint is a) delicious and b) offers wine + beer alongside shakes + sodas.
On our second day we stayed at the ranch all day listening to the completely engaging photographer George Lange (@george.lange | langestudio.com), he photographed us, we photographed stuff (like the Valrhona chocolate on the Erickson board above) and we all pitched in and made dinner together. Loud music, hella wine…it was a good night…I think this was the night I crawled in bed and Christine Snapchatted her way around the Ranch, in the dark, at midnight. I sent her a text telling her it looked like the start of a horror movie…
Our last night we went to Michelin-starred Long Meadow Ranch (aka Farmstead @lmrwine | longmeadowranch.com) which was nothing short of spectacular. By this meal it honestly felt like we’d known each other for years. It was still dark and rainy, pictures were hard to take, but we ate and laughed and cried and laughed some more. I think it was at this point that we all started talking about where our next meet up should be.
We headed over to the Goose & Gander (@goosegandernapa | goosegander.com) and had the prettiest cocktails with the best music and the nicest people.
Our last morning, Christi and I made breakfast…those gorgeous breakfast potatoes up there are hers. The reality was I was pretty useless at this point and Christi did most of the heavy lifting. Thanks Christi. Then Christine, Ryan, Adam and myself motored over to Sonoma and went to Abi’s house, which is also the gorgeous Annadel Winery. We sat by a fire, looked out huge windows to grape vines and more drizzles and sipped some hella delicious wine. We never wanted to leave.
This whole glorious trip came about because Teri went on a little vision quest. Last spring, I think, she posed the question: what would you guys think about a get-together in Napa? Umm, yes please. And consider me forever a yes for wherever these trips may take us. So thank you for the idea and all of the hard work that you put into making it happen.
Ok. Stay tuned. I hope to have more hijinx coming soon.
On My Mind
- This post took me FOREVER to get up…I have no idea why. But here we are. On my next trip, anything special you’d like to see? Let me know.
- Lots happening in the US right now. Speak up. Be active. But be kind.
- Sending lots of love to each and every one of you. Wherever you might be.
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