Napa Valley

Today we made our way farther north to the vineyards of Napa Valley, California.

Mostly, the local population appears wealthy but then there is a rattling little truck, whose owner may or may not have been trying to fool everyone. No matter, I think it's ever so cute.

Just inside Napa Valley we pulled over at a roadside market for a cold drink, but exited with sparkling peach and blackberry drinks, two wedges of cheese (Bellweather Carmody and San Joaquin Gold), and a baguette. 

I freely admit, I have eaten more than my share of the bread. Both the cheeses were also quite good.

Now, as to our actual destination...we are in search of a castle.

The winding lane up to Castello di Amorosa

I tried, unsuccessfully, to grow a few of those cypress trees in my Ohio gardens. They are so tall, stately, and elegant. But I will just have to enjoy them from afar, which I certainly did today.

The gatehouse... 

The castle was built with stone from Tuscany. Perhaps that helps explain why I felt like I had been transported to Italy. It is amazing architecture on a grand scale. 

Welcome to the castle. I stepped inside but did not actually take the tour. I am unconventional that way. There are other ways I'd rather spend my money. And just wandering the grounds, snapping photos, was free of charge.

The gray clouds and occasional light rain only added to the grandeur of the place. That's not to say I wouldn't have loved a sunny day, but I found this atmosphere quite serene. It helped that we were the first visitors of the morning.

An olive tree in bloom

They had a few domestic animals about. I heard a peacock but never saw it, and the roosters were crowing as well. Birds were singing all around, welcoming the morning and creating a joyful mood.

There are so many lights strung about over fences and buildings, it must be dazzling at night.

Many of the roadside vineyards plant roses at the end of each row. What a lovely idea. Happily, they are currently in bloom.

We had lunch at Bounty Hunter in Napa...a shareable plate of ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, and coleslaw. 

Back near our hotel, we found the San Francisco Bay Trail along the shoreline. I took a walk and Dale watched the fishermen.

He tells me I need to stop posting photos of him but I replied, "I can't do that because he is on this trip with me." He relented slightly and went so far as to say, "You can take pictures from the knees down...or from the eyes up!"

What a guy! I disobeyed him just a tad...with his permission. I guess that means I didn't disobey.

It's been another lovely vacation day in California.