Today marks exactly one month until we’ll be in Disneyland, which made me realize that I haven’t finished my October trip reports for Napa or Ohio. Honestly. You guys shouldn’t let me get away with stuff like that.
The morning after our big date night at Carpe Diem, I woke up insanely early. Sleeping arrangements at the house were a little crazy since our room was too tight to comfortably fit the four of us. Kyle and Eva ended up sleeping in the living room, which meant Kyle spent the week on a recliner instead of in a bed because he didn’t want her to wake up all alone at night. Best Dad ever. Anyway, that meant that Calvin and I had a room to ourselves. It also meant that I was at the mercy of Calvin’s infant sleeping schedule. Hence, waking up insanely early.
It was still dark when I woke up, but I have a habit of waking up early and then working every now and then, so I couldn’t get my brain to shut off. I didn’t feel up to working, so Cal and I got dressed and we tiptoed out of our dark house to take a drive up towards St. Helena.
The Napa Valley is such a beautiful place and when we visit I like to sneak off when I can just to drive around. It’s an indulgence that’s part nostalgia, part tourist, and part missing-my-cousin-so-much-I-can’t-swallow. Calvin was the perfect date for my little excursion, since he’s up for anything. Don’t you just love people who aren’t hung up on the destination of an outing?
We made our way up the road with the early morning commuters. Harvest season had started in Napa, so big trucks were slowing down the traffic and I was able to roll the window down on the highway and breathe in that sweet vineyard smell. The smell of grapes is unavoidable all through October and even though the air is just a little bit overripe, that smell has always reminded of home. I couldn’t get enough of it, so I pulled into the Oakville Grocery lot to watch the sunrise next to the grapes.
Oakville Grocery is a must if you’re in the area. Great picnic foods and even though it’s pricey it’s still a much more affordable option that Dean and Deluca or any of the tourist restaurants in that area (outside of fast food chains – bleh). The sun was just coming up, so I snuck in to grab a coffee and some photos.
Funny story: After I got my coffee, I threw my camera in the van and walked to the end of the parking lot to watch the sun come up. I was wearing Calvin in the moby wrap and holding my to-go cup when a man approached me. I could tell he was a local because he had work clothes on and was driving one of the vineyard trucks, so I thought maybe he was going to tell me this wasn’t a good place to stand or maybe just compliment me on the baby. Instead he asked me if I needed any help, which was very confusing because I was just looking at the sky and drinking coffee and it’s not like I didn’t have a handle on both of those tasks. I said no, he asked if I was sure, I said I was sure, and he left.
Later, my uncle told me that those stores are a big area for people who are panhandling the tourists. Apparently, I was looking a little needy that morning. Good reminder to do more than throw clothes on and pop out the door!