USA Travel Diary Day 2 – Napa Valley

We have an early start this morning – not a big deal for daughter no 1 and me, as our body clocks haven’t adjusted to the 8 hour time difference and we are up and raring to go by 5.30 am. When the kids were little and recently arrived in the US, I used to take them to Walmart in the middle of the night as it was the only place open where they could run around and let off steam until the rest of America was awake. Now she is older and less hyper, we make do with tiptoeing to the living room and checking our social media.

This morning, daughter no 2 and I are running Byxbee parkrun. Daughter no 1 cannot be persuaded to join in. Byxbee park is an area of wetland on the shore of San Francisco Bay. The run takes place on a trail by the water’s edge, lined with herons, geese and ducks. We were promised pelicans, but there aren’t any. The route consists of two out and back loops. I run up and back and up again. At the final turn, jet lag hits me with a thud and the final kilometre is a real struggle. Luckily, it’s Byxbee park’s 50th parkrun and someone has baked a cake. Knowing there is cake at the end helps to ease the pain and I make it to the finish line and cake – very tasty very British Victoria sponge cake. In the US, parkrun is mostly an expat affair – I think the fact that it’s free puts off Americans who seem to deeply mistrust anything free.

Byxbee parkrun

Run completed, we set off for our weekend in the Napa Valley. We drive through San Francisco, over the Golden Gate Bridge, stopping at the viewpoint for the obligatory photo op.

Golden Gate Bridge

We park up at tonight’s accommodation in Napa – the ever so classy Napa Motel 6, and walk the final 3 miles, along the Napa Valley Vine Trail to this afternoon’s appointment – wine tasting at the Laird Family Estate (via a grocery store to purchase picnic supplies).

Anyone for popcorn?

It’s a beautiful setting; surrounded by a rose garden, overlooking the vineyard. We get out our picnic while the first of our wine flight is served. We have a lovely afternoon eating and drinking in the garden in the sunshine. Our flight consists of 3 white and 2 red wines. I thought I didn’t like red wine, but it turns out that once you reach $60 a bottle, I actually do! Once our tasting is over, we choose our favourite wine and purchase a bottle (or two) to continue our afternoon.

Laird Family Estate

Drinking over, we catch a taxi back to town and check into our motel. The combination of jetlag, 10 miles of running/walking and an afternoon drinking mean I am absolutely shattered, and decide my day is done. I settle down on my lightly stained Motel 6 quilt for a sleep, while the girls take a wander into Napa.

Laird Family Estate

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