Anniversary Honeymoon: Day 4

This entry is going to be a little bit hard for me to write.  Day Four of this trip was all about Napa Valley.  Calistoga, at the north end of the valley, to be exact.  On Wednesday, October 11, Calistoga was evacuated because of the wildfires burning all around it.  On our drive from Jenner to Calistoga, we passed through the Sonoma Valley town of Santa Rosa.  The fire all but decimated Santa Rosa.  We've been watching the reports with great interest because the little town of Calistoga absolutely stole our hearts!  It's a place to which I would gladly return.  It's a place I've been carrying in my heart ever since we left.

(End of Day Three) We stayed at the Best Western Stevenson Manor, located in easy walking distance of downtown Calistoga.  We rolled in a little later than planned, so shops that might have been open on Sunday were already closed, but finding a place to eat was no problem.  When Mr. Snark checked us in, he got a few tips from the desk attendant AND...complimentary passes for the Calistoga Winery shuttle.  Bit of a driving break for my Mister after a full day of white-knuckle driving.   We settled on the Calistoga Inn for supper.  It was a lovely night to sit on the patio.  There was a musician...singing and playing his guitar.  It was really nice.

(Day Four's story...proper)  We enjoyed a lovely breakfast in the hotel's courtyard.  There was jasmine, money grass and azalea planted...I felt right at home.  And the coffee was very good.

Always looking out for fox things...they make me think of my Littlest Friend.

It was a perfect day for walking through the downtown area.  We visited a couple of antique stores and even wandered off the main street to see what we could see.  And look what we saw?

This was just a couple of blocks from the main drag through Calistoga.  I thought it looked like a house from "Mary Poppins!"  I LOVE "Mary Poppins!"

A jolly holiday...that's truly what we had!

And I have a thing for wrought iron fence work!

It made me laugh.

Our view from the tram when we visited 
Sterling Winery.  It was so cool riding the tram up to the hillside.

Not a bad view, at all!

If it's of us, it's an ussie, right?

His view.

Inside the winery.

Views from the roof top terrace.  Just absolutely gorgeous!

Like I said...the views were gorgeous!

 The garden that we enjoyed waiting for the shuttle to take us to our next stop.  The pink and yellow lantana is my favorite variety of that plant.  White roses will always be at the top of my list and the orange ones were just so beautiful.

There weren't enough empty blanks for me to include my thoughts.

On the recommendation of our first shuttle driver, we left Sterling and paid a visit to 
Brian Arden Wines.  He asked us our plan for the afternoon and we told him.  He could not say enough wonderful things about this place.  His exact words?  "They are taking the valley by storm."  He wasn't kidding and he wasn't exaggerating.  Probably one of my most favorite experiences of the entire trip.

This is Calleigh.  She belongs to Brian, the winery's owner.  We were told, by Mr. Shuttle Driver, that if Calleigh is roaming the property, that means Brian is there.  

She was smiling and posing for pictures.  And then she wasn't!

Pumpkins and succulents on display.

The view from the patio.  

He was kicked back and whistling.  He whistles when he is happy.  He was very happy.

Young vines right in front of the winery.

How do you end a day like this?  Well, you happily eat the leftovers from supper the night before and then walk into town to visit one of the other shops on the list.  Unfortunately, the shop owner...a very fascinating French lady was on a conference call with one of her vendors.  And she was also closed for the day, but we didn't realize that as the door was still open and she was buzzing about outside while on the phone.  Picayune was the name of the little shop.  The lady on the phone was not only the owner of the shop, but the winemaker as well.  She was kind enough to put her phone call on hold as we made a couple of small purchases.  Should we ever make it back to Calistoga, this little place is at the top of the list. 

We had a "light" supper of leftovers and ice cream!