In one overnight trip to Napa, I got a hell of a lot accomplished. Bribed my teenaged daughter Samantha – with DC comics and a massage appointment – to see the beauty of Napa for the first time. Got to see the newly remodeled Oakville Grocery, sort grapes with Del Dotto’s winemaker Gerard Zanzonico, see my essay in a book and not learn how to drive in the fog…
Dr. Wilkinson’s Hideaway Cottages
Teaser: A personally delivered “Tote Breakfast”, Calistoga Roastery coffee in my room, swimming, teen massage and 90 minute best-pumpkin-facial of my life.
When I called Mark Wilkinson to get a room at Dr. Wilkinson’s hotel in Calistoga, they were filled up. I didn’t like the sound of that as I prefer to stay in Calistoga to avoid the crowds in Napa. Anyway, quick work on Mark’s part, and he offered me a cottage to check out.
Built in the 1920’s – I think ours was called “Paris” – we had our own little porch, screen door, kitchen with all the appliances you could possibly need, a small living room with a couch and television, a bedroom and a large bath. Each room had windows, nice furnishings and just begged us to stay in. But we couldn’t do that – yet.
After checking out our room, which my teen really dug by the way, we put on our swimsuits and the robes from the room and took some time to enjoy the large outdoor spa. From there we walked a block up to Lincoln, and into the Wilkinson spa, to check in for our services.
I haven’t had a facial in years, but since I had to wait for Samantha to have a massage, I booked one. My aesthetician was generous – with the slathering on and washing off, yes, but also with her time. She ran 30 minutes over without realizing it. Best facial Of My Life.
And, as you can probably guess, we were far too relaxed to head out to dinner so we walked across the street to Cal Mart Napa Valley where I made myself a fresh salad, and chose some bread and a nice split of wine to pair it with. Samantha had a much bigger haul as there are tons to choose from. We went back to the room, ate our dinners, set our alarms and then there was a knock at the door.
We were being delivered their Tote Breakfast at night as we were leaving so early in the morning: Oatmeal with dried fruit, scones, juice and my favorite Calistoga Roastery coffee. So very pleasant, I can’t wait to come back.
Situated amongst mature shade trees and lovely gardens, Hideaway Cottages is a perfect setting for a completely relaxing vacation. We are a unique cottage vacation resort offering a peaceful getaway. Hideaway is an ideal setting offering a quiet atmosphere, yet is within minutes of many world-class restaurants, wineries, and shops…
The Wine Dogs
Teaser: My take-home swag included six copies of Wine Dogs 3, and the “Anatomy of a Wine Dog” sketch on both a handy Frisbee and t-shirt.
This was the real reason I was coming to Napa for one day: The Wine Dogs 3 book signing party at St. Supery.
I was met in the parking lot by someone who had just purchased the book, and of course I told her I was in it, and of course she was forced to ask me to sign it. A highlight for me!
At the party, Craig McGill and Susan Elliott, the writers and publishers of this very popular series – and plenty of dogs – met me. I had lots of fun trying to get photos of the animated creatures but I’d have to say my best shots came as I watched the dog paw printing in action. Pick up the paw, put it in the inkpad, press it gently on the book’s first page, wipe and repeat.
I could go on about the book but most of you that read me know that I contributed an essay and Michael Perlis edited if for me. Suffice it to say seeing my work printed in a book was a thrill, so I just had to buy all the swag and was grateful that the generous publishers gifted my six copies to share with my family and Michael.
Wherever good wine is made, you’re likely to find a dog scouting the tasting room or winery. Wine Dogs USA 3 features over 190 wineries across the United States and over 200 stunning photos of their loyal pooches. Along the way, the mutts and purebreds are interspersed with short essays by Robert Parker Jr, Cole Danehower, Eve Bushman, Benjamin Spencer, Greg Duncan Powell and many more…