It pays to have a husband that travels on occasion.
Point one: Upon his suggestion we drove to Napa Valley upon our arrival in San Francisco on Wednesday evening. He explained to me the San Francisco is a business town so the hotel rates go up on weekdays and are lower on the weekends and Napa Valley is a tourist destination so they have higher rates on the weekend and lower rate on weekdays. Confused??? well it made my head swim a bit but in all the planning with hotel points, frequent flyer miles, airline vouchers and rental car points he managed to get us all situated.
We spent our first full day in Napa Valley on Thursday.
As it was just past 9:00AM as we headed out of the hotel lobby we decided that our first stop would be the Jelly Belly Factory that was a few miles away from our hotel.
The tour was free and the idea of a wine tasting at 9:15 AM was less than appealing to me.
Confession time guys. I love a good piece of chocolate but at heart I’m a jelly bean girl. I was giddy at the idea of being surrounded on all side by these sweet little bites of chewy heaven. I had visions of diving head first into fresh batch of Very Cherry Jelly Beans or swimming through a pile of tart tangerine or orange sherbet, cotton candy, raspberry, mango, cappuccino,sizzling cinnamon and on and on and on.
Sadly we were not permitted to take pictures while we were touring the factory. I will admit to being tempted to snap off a few shot to later indulge my childish fantasy of strolling through the endless trays upon trays of brightly colored confections.
It was just beautiful to see.
Throughout the tour they had multiple mosaics all made with Jelly Beans. There was an Elvis Mosaic, of course Ronald Reagan who had a jar of Jelly Belly’s on his desk in the oval office. One of the factoids we learned in the tour was they had a special container of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans made for Air Force One that would not get knock around should they experience any turbulence.
in addition to Jelly Beans they also manufacture Gummy Bears, Gummy Worms, Orange Slices, Candy Corn and lots of other sweet confections.
After the factory tour you are free to wander through the on-site candy store. They have a tasting bar where you can give all the different flavors a try. Be still my heart…..
I bought a few things, a bag of Belly Flops, those are the rejects. For the DD a box of Bean Boozled, this contains such lovely flavors as Ear Wax, Rotten Egg, Pencil Shavings, Vomit, Booger, Moldy Cheese and Baby Wipes.
I walked back to our car on a sugar high clutching my prize jelly beans that will be hidden in my secret stash. There mine all mine!!!!!!!!!!
Well after my sweet experience we headed out to the vines.
Mile after mile of vine covered hills, vine covered everything. If there was a spare plot of land then there were some vines planted on it.
If you ever get the opportunity to visit Napa Valley I would highly recommend that you check out this website. It had tons of helpful information a few maps that I downloaded of all the wineries. That was a huge help in getting around. I also found several online coupons for buy one tasting get one free. Big help on the old budget!!!The wine tasting were any where from $10 to $15 dollars. At some of the more snooty wineries they were as much as $25.00.
The Napa Valley experience was wonderful and even thought I am not a huge red wine fan I did taste a few that I thought were actually very good.
This is Robert Mondavi Winery.
We did not do a tasting here as they did not offer a coupon and the tasting was expensive$$$$$
We stopped at several smaller wineries.
This one Sequoia Grove was our favorite. We were the only ones in the wine tasting room and the woman who served us our wine was very friendly and very helpful. She gave us very good lesson on how the wine is made and why wines taste different depending on what grapes are used etc, it was very informative.
The hubs enjoyed it so much he actually bought a bottle of Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon to bring home.
One of the things we did not know was that October is harvest time in Napa Valley. Here is a giant tray of grapes at Sequoia Grove waiting to be turned into wine!
By far the most beautiful vineyard we went to was Beringer.
Again no coupon and it was very pricy so we did not do a tasting.
I will let the pictures speak for themselves!
Lastly we could not return home from Napa Valley with out a little something to remember the experience by. As I said my husband bought a bottle and I came home with one as well. Mine is from a winery called Goosecross.
Now here is the kicker.
The wine is called ‘Napa Valley Viognier” the gentleman took pity on me and gave me a piece of paper to bring home with me.
So in five or so years I will be cracking open my by then even more expensive bottle of Goosecross Napa Valley VEE OWN YEAH! and having a really good time.
Y’all it was good! the Jelly Beans, the wine and Napa Valley!
Next post will feature our trip to Muir Woods which was totally amazing and even more evidence that God is in the business of awesomeness X10!!!!!