Monday, November 11, 2013

Napa, Yountville, and Calistoga

Yesterday we headed north and east toward the Napa Valley. We wanted to stop first in the city of Napa, where the Oxbow Public Market is advertised. The market was alleged to carry several great cheeses--and it did. Victor started talking about how he'd like to live in Napa, of course, so, of course, I started to research prices. A lake house could be had for $120K, a fraction of what a home in any other community that we've visited in CA would cost. Hmm.

We continued north to Yountville and Jessup. Last year, I and my two friends had agreed on only one wine in our serial tastings, a Jessup sauvignon blanc. Victor and I entered reverently.

Eh. The wines were average. Different vintages, different conditions. We didn't buy anything. We continued north to Calistoga, home of a geyser. At the 'Old Faithful' site, signs assert that the geyser is one of only three on earth, besides one in Wyoming (not yet visited) and one in New Zealand (yup, been there). No sign anywhere announced admission prices.

Scanning the sad gift shop, we overheard a family being charged $14 a head. We looked at each other. Even with the fainting goats and guard llamas advertised, $14 was a lot per person for a spout that we had seen once before, in 1998. Victor said, "That's an appetizer or drink each." We walked out. Next stop, my favorite restaurant anywhere, Tra Vigne.

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