Unrequested upgrades and dreamy destinations. Napa Valley Day 4
We start with a casual late check out today at Royal Pacific Motor Inn and feel as though the rest of the day will continue the same. Pick up to the airport arrives as we wave goodbye to sunny San Francisco, when suddenly we are thrown into conversation with the driver. First it’s why we’re in town, then it’s our choice of weed. This New Yorker moved to San Fran because the laws were a little more lenient for his lifestyle, he was a little disappointed when we knew little of the subject.
Suddenly our travels are thrown into turmoil as we’re taken into the almost underbelly of San Fran to pick up some wayward travellers. After an hours drive, a lot of laughs and a few bumps on the head, we arrive at San Francisco airport to pick up our very first rental car of the trip.
Simon, our Hertz customer service consultant seemed to know more about what we wanted then us. “Upgrade to a more luxurious car” “You’ll need more room I’ll upgrade to bigger car” “You need to sit higher I’ll upgrade you to higher car”. It was like trying to lose a salesman in a car yard! Finally we make it out and head to our rental, a silver Chevy, a large, luxurious and fairly high seated car, without the additional hundred dollar a day fee.
It’s Josh’s turn to stress. I get in the right side of the car as Josh heads toward the wheel. He looks nervous. I remind him of some helpful advice from one of my customers, passengers in the gutter!
Thank god for the GPS! If you think driving in Sydney is bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. This highway is intense. Josh grips the wheel tight as we merge into the middle, an hour passes and as Josh wipes the sweat from his brow we arrive in Yountville, a small town in the Napa Valley.
Yountville is a beautiful town. Large houses and quaint B&B’s surrounded by gardens, pebble paths and flowers, oh the flowers. We settle at the Bordeaux House, a French Provincial cottage slice of cake. Speaking of cake, Bouchon Bakery is calling our name.. After a lot of salivating we settle on croissants, pain au chocolat, chocolate bouchon, whoopie pie, ham and Dijon baguette, pork belly fouiee, eclairs and lemon tart. Finished with a double Mach for Josh and an iced salted caramel latte for me. This is just pastry heaven. Some of the best and most delicious pastries we have ever eaten.
Full of Bouchon, we detour to Thomas Keller’s pride and joy, The French Laundry. One of the only restaurants we were unable to book. We stalk the kitchen, behind the restaurant is a smell that could only mean chef is prepping for dinner, it’s garlic, butter and all things delightful.
For dinner, we head to Ad Hoc, another of Chef Keller’s top eateries. A four course set menu that is added to when fresh shaved white Italian truffle and bone marrow are mentioned, this time we welcome the upgrades. Ad Hoc is everything I love when it comes to eating out, Josh will tell you more about the food in the restaurant review but I want to mention our waiter. It really makes you love your job when you see front of house staff like this, always smiling, singing along to the 80’s retro pop/rock background music and hearing him say “I’m here for you” when a customer had special dietary requests.
Our stay in Napa is short and sweet.
The leftover pastries won’t last the night.
Jess and Josh