I had planned on posting snapshots of our anniversary trip earlier this summer but kids and plans got in the way. Maybe I’ll just post over the fall. Might be a bit ambitious with marching band and cross country season!
Choosing a hotel from 2000 miles away can be a daunting and stressful task. It’s not made any easier by the fact there are hundreds of fabulous places to stay in Napa. However, we wound up choosing a hidden gem: The Old World Inn. It’s a lovely bed and breakfast.
The Old World Inn. Courtesy of Old WorldInn.com
Merlot House was where we blissfully slept in “The Walk In The Clouds”. It was on the third floor and typical B&B: homey, nicely decorated and sporting a few charming oddities like quirky bathroom lighting. Try shaving your legs or beard by skylight. Challenging but doable.
“Walk in The Clouds” Courtesy OldWorldInn.com
The staff was exceptional. They helped us out in finding gift shops, restaurants and wine shipping services. They even added a few personal touches to our room. The pièce de résistance was an Anniversary card hand-signed by the innkeepers and all the staff. I’m tearing up just thinking about it.
The Inn was also in a great location. We had an easy 5-10 minute walk to downtown restaurants, entertainment venues and shopping. On a personal note, it saved us from flipping a coin to choose a designated driver each evening. One of us would have been cranky which is a real romance killer. It was nice having the freedom to walk to TORC for cocktails and then Atlas Social for dinner and finally Methode for after dinner drinks. The benefits of walking surely cut some of the calories we consumed. At least, I kept telling myself that mantra. “Walking = wine. Walking = another wine. Walking . . . .”
However, one tiny challenge to the Merlot house was also location. It’s on a very busy street. The adrenaline rush we got from trying to cross the street was invigorating. But we decided The Hotel Napa Valley, which is located on a quieter road, was better suited for non-sprinters. Plus, they host the complimentary wine-tastings for all the Old World Inn guests. Walking down a flight of cellar stairs to taste wine seemed a bit safer than dodging speeding traffic.
“Wine-Tasting Marathon” Breakfast or what I like to call “Breakfast of Wine Champions”
In the mornings, we fueled up with the Inn’s “Wine-Tasting Marathon” breakfast. The Inn’s menu was delicious but this is a B&B which means eating in a group setting. It’s always a bit awkward eating with strangers. Especially when some are still in their pajamas, bed-head, etc. I never know if I should make small talk beyond a polite ‘good morning’. Fortunately, chit-chat was minimal since most of us wanted to get on the road and visit some wineries.
A little sidenote to the trip:
Each morning, after stuffing ourselves with the Inn’s breakfast, we walked to Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Co. and grabbed a second cup of joe. Sitting at one of the tiny tables outside the door, we reveled in the beautiful California mornings. For us, it was the best seat in town. There were locals to greet. Dogs to pet. Stylish Baristas brewing coffee with flare.
NVRC Cup of Joe
Me. Checking on kids
After a day of vineyard tours, we hustled back to the Inn to partake of their complimentary wine tasting. A Napa Valley winery/vineyard was invited to host a tasting in the wine cellar of the Hotel Napa Valley. A winery rep poured wines from a renown winery while we munched on appetizers and chatted with fellow guests.
Pour a little wine and you meet a friendly face every time, I like to say!
Freemark Abbey was the first evening. The rep chatted about Freemark Abbey’s history while pouring chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot and a few others I honestly can’t remember. He was an interesting and fun guy. We considered going by the tasting room and, of course, that didn’t happen, but we now have Freemark Abbey on our list of wines to buy.
Wine Tasting for all!
On the second evening, we tasted an excellent selection of wines except I can’t remember the winery. The rep was really nice but only interested in sharing the tasting room hours. Basically, she was just there to pour. A fun gig I would love to have. We still had a great time hanging out with the other guests and comparing winery tour notes. And who can pass up Free WINE!?
Sit, Sip, Relax. It’s vacation.
In the end, The Old World Inn was the perfect place to make anniversary memories.