Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Family trip to Cali and Napa favorites

Last week Team Kauffman packed up and headed out to gorgeous northern California for a weeklong vacation with the Kennedy-clan. I didn’t know if Coop and I were going to make it, we both got a terrible cold a few days before we left - but this girl never misses a trip to the wine country. I mean, if it weren’t for the fact that I’d be living way-poor in Cali, it would be such an incredible place to live. I have yet to visit a city there that I don’t love.

The first night was spent in San Francisco. We spent the day at the oh-so-touristy Fisherman’s Wharf and found this little fruit stand...I mean can you see those plums behind me? Their humongous!

We made Snoop some food with the fresh peaches we bought there. Cooper was such a trooper. He was lugged around all day, and was POOPED by the end of it! Can you tell?

[caption id="attachment_344" align="aligncenter" width="167"] Coop's pooped.[/caption]

We spent the rest of the week hopping around wineries in Napa and had gorgeous weather! Cooper literally spent hours in his car seat jumping from one winery to another and he did awesome. Way to go Coop!

There were so many highlights from the trip but here's just a few:

1. Chappallet Winery. I’ve never seen a more spectacular winery. Reservations only here. Wine was fantastic. www.chappellet.com

[caption id="attachment_336" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Vines of Chappallet at Pritchard Hills.[/caption]

2. Regusci Winery. We had this wine at dinner one night and decided to check it out. It had a fabulous patio overlooking the valley and was a great red wine experience. The grounds were gorgeous too. http://www.regusciwinery.com/

3. Del Dotto Winery. This was a very different experience. You get to tour the caves and got to taste wine out of the barrels. We did the tour in Napa, but there is another location as well. http://www.deldottovineyards.com/. Here’s a pic of my sister Elaine and her short date.

[caption id="attachment_337" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Look at the cave behind them - the wine barrels that fill the caves are the ones that we got to taste from.[/caption]

4. Oakville Grocery. Right off of Highway 29 this place is an adorable little sandwich, cheese and all-things-picnic stop with a cute outdoor patio. http://www.oakvillegrocery.com/default.php

5. Farmstead Restaurant. Relatively new to Napa, I could have eaten here every night. They have rows and rows of vegetables and fruit right on site that they use in their dishes, truly farm-to-table. I really can’t pick a favorite food I loved it all. The guys loved the ribs, fish, and their biscuits are pretty darn good too. http://www.longmeadowranch.com/Farmstead-Restaurant
[caption id="attachment_339" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Our little family.[/caption]

6. Uva Restaurant in Napa. This is a yummy local Italian spot in Downtown Napa with live music. Love this little place. http://www.uvatrattoria.com/

It was fun to re-visit Napa where Jeff and I got engaged 3-years ago. We didn’t get to go on the hike we were on where he proposed, but we did drive by and gave it a little shout-out (Bothe Hiking Trail, for those that love a good hike). I pulled an old photo out for fun:

[caption id="attachment_345" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Engagement photo in Napa circa 2009 with the stunner Wal-Mart ring.[/caption]

Unfortunately, there was one low-point of the trip. This was, obviously, when we learned of the TRUE Twilight tragedy. Yes I am referring to KStew cheating on RPatz. I’m seriously upset y’all. I’m aware no one is really concerned about this besides me and other Twi-hards (holla), so mums the word unless you ask me about it; and then I’m full of opinions and I’m all “why Kstew, why?” Jeff tells me that I don't understand how it works in Hollywood. "Lauren, this is just one of many girls for this guy...I mean, he's a Director...that's what they do." Ah, sigh.

I'll leave you with a picture of the family from vacay. As always, it was so wonderful to get the entire gang together, which has now grown from 6 to 8. "Families are like fudge... mostly sweet with a few nuts." -Author Unknown. As for me, I sure do love our little nut-mix.


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