Now that he’s had a chance to experience it, the husband will tell you that you should never book a flight that departs so early that you have to set the alarm for 3 a.m.  I will tell you that, while it’s not ideal, it does maximize your time at the destination.  Unfortunately, the husband was kinda right in this particular instance.  Arriving exhausted, dehydrated, and hungry—Sun Country® will not give you a single peanut, not before COVID and not now, and the beverage distribution brought to mind drought-fueled water rationing—all that extra time was accompanied by a pounding headache.

You can try to sleep at the gate.

After surviving the aggressive, Formula One-style driving San Franciscans seem to favor, in which half a car length is in invitation for surprise, unindicated merges, and weaving in and out of traffic is all in a day’s commute, we pulled into Napa, the heart of California Wine Country.  We were only there for 24 hours, and once I (prescription) drugged, slept, and hydrated my headache into submission, it was very enjoyable.

Our B&B—Candlelight Inn—was lovely.

I was particularly wowed by the toilet paper flourish.

I’m totally going to master this technique and use it to impress houseguests. I shall call it: Fanfare for the Common Bog.
We like to support businesses that support bunny-themed art.

Napa, too—small and manageable—was very nice.

The Napa River – a little disappointing that it just contains water.

We spent some of our time taking advantage of the amenities.

Not pictured: Drinking wine in our 2-person hot tub. . .
. . . at 8 a.m. Hey man, when in Napa . . .

But other than that, all we really had time to do during our two half days there was wander around the downtown area full of shops and restaurants, which is easy to cover on foot, given its size.  The husband also found time to drag me to a TV-strewn pub to catch the Euro Cup championship while we ate a much-needed lunch.

And before we knew it, it was time to move on.  A little cat named Max, lounging languidly one valley to the west, was getting ready to meet his latest staff members petsitters, and we didn’t want to keep him waiting . . .

45 thoughts

  1. Your B&B looks quite lovely and spacious too! Before the COVID, the high airfares during school breaks and summer holidays often felt positively punitive and most of the time the only solution was to opt for the least convenient flights—typically in the late evening and early morning. One of the things I love about early flights, besides saving tons of money and not needing to spend an awful lot of time standing in the queues, is that upon landing, we always had a full and productive day ahead at our destination. Look forward to reading more about your trip to California Wine Country 🙂 Aiva

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Despite having lived in the Bay Area for eight years, I have never been to Napa. Always wanted to check it out…it looks charming. And I love that you sipped wine in a hot tub shortly after the sun came up. That’s hardcore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I knew someone would appreciate that!

      Never made it to Napa? That’s amazing! I thought it was noteworthy that I’d lived in Minnesota for – I dunno – 15 years or so before I ever stepped foot in South Dakota, but I think you’ve beaten me!


    1. Yes, but unfortunately I don’t think you can buy any of them outside the region (or possibly outside the winery). It’s wine club or bust. I’m probably going to do a separate post on the wine tastings, so I’ll reveal it all then. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I could follow the travel architect to the ends of the Earth! Only thing missing in Napa was Dave and Anne

    On Fri, Jul 9, 2021 at 8:54 AM The Travel Architect wrote:

    > The Travel Architect posted: “Now that he’s had a chance to experience it, > the husband will tell you that you should never book a flight that departs > so early that you have to set the alarm for 3 a.m. I will tell you that, > while it’s not ideal, it does maximize your time at the desti” >

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have never been to Napa Valley before, despite living in California practically all of my life. Then again, I live no where near the area, and I’ve never been that north of my home state. It’s a bucket list destination, however, as I love wine and I love wine-tasting. Looks like a beautiful vacation, that’s for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love wine country. Fun trip but rushed it appears. I lived in the Bay Area for a few years way back when and really enjoyed Sonoma County and the Livermore Valley if you ever get there . Yes, I’m a wine aficionado. Red, bold, full bodied and I’m a happy guy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Napa part was short, but it was a way to get to the region a day before our petsit began. We didn’t want any travel/plane delays derailing our hosts’ vacation. I’m with you on wine preferences.


  6. Just staying at that lovely B&B might have been worth the trip… looking forward to the wine tasting part. I’ve been using a combination of driving (to get down from the mountains) and mass transit (can park free for a month at the tram station, and then it takes a while to get to the airport), so my schedule is often influenced by those considerations. I’m not good at sleeping on planes, so usually spend the first day anywhere a little strung out, but it doesn’t slow me down. Whatever works!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Except for the ridiculously early flight, this all looks and sounds wonderful. I could even deal with the wacko merging on the highways if I knew there was comfort and wine in my immediate future.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You take such creative photographs. I love it! When we visited the area, we hit the Sonoma valley, so it was fun seeing pictures of Napa. Looks so peaceful! Glad to hear you had a great time!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Definitely pro-early (departure) flights! Not so keen coming back but as you say, it’s great for maximising time in a place. Looks like a lovely place to stay, glad the hubby was able to drag you along to watch the football too! Haha

    Liked by 1 person

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