Today we plan to hire bikes and cycle the Napa Valley Vine Trail. From the map, I had assumed it to be a Dr Beeching style trail along a disused railway. In fact, the railway is still there and the trail is a tarmac strip which runs parallel to the track and the adjoining freeway. It’s not, therefore, as idyllically rural and scenic as I’d imagined, but it’s a pleasant 9 mile ride from Napa to Yountville in the morning sunshine.
We reach the quaint little town of Yountville and stop for brunch amidst the tourists and Mamils at The Railway Inn, a café in a converted train.
Then we take a wander along the high street, stopping to purchase the obligatory fridge magnet. Along the way, daughter no 1 manages to lose the card containing the combination number for the bike lock, but luckily, we retrace our steps and find it lying in the road outside a store, where it fell out of her pocket when she put her face mask on.
Now we are able to unlock our bikes, we cycle back to Napa; 18 miles in total – I am not a confident cyclist and this is my longest cycle in the real world, so I am shattered by the time we reach Napa. First stop, the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) because, well it has a giant fork made out of forks and I love a piece of public art.
After a stop at the Oxbow public market; a converted warehouse full of quaint food stores, for refreshments, we stop at Tourist Information for a Napa Art Walk map. We spend the rest of the afternoon wandering around town.
Eventually I flag and opt to rest in the park a while. The girls continue to explore a little longer (at least until they’ve located ice cream) but I’m tired and opt to sit in the park in the sun for a while. Ice cream located, they return to retrieve their poor, decrepit mother. It’s time to return the bikes and return to Palo Alto as daughter no 2 has work in the morning. We stop at Trader Joe’s to buy some food and eat it with our last remaining fancy bottle of wine from our lovely weekend in Napa Valley.
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