We started our journey on Monday, January 9. The trip was going fine until we got into the Oregon mountains. First it was just raining...and then it was snowing. Big fat snow globs. Still, things were going okay...until traffic came to a stop. And didn't move again for two and a half hours. We literally just sat there while it continued to snow, and the road was freezing over. It was so, so scary. It was now dark out and finally the police drove by on the opposite side of the road and hollered at people to get back in their cars (some of the more brave/dumb people were getting out and walking around) because traffic was moving. Laura had figured out that there was a motel at the next exit so after traffic started moving 5-10 mph we decided we'd rather get off and stop for the night. It was the probably the dirtiest motel I've ever been in, but it felt safer than continuing to drive.
Tuesday the plan was to get from Sunny Valley, OR to Napa, CA. We managed but the weather was less than ideal. It was mostly heavy rains, with a little snow thrown into the mix for fun sometimes. Once we got to Napa, we checked into our hotel, had a comfort meal dinner at Applebee's and watched movies. It was so nice to relax in a clean place! The simple pleasures in life! :) Napa got a huge rain storm Tuesday night...we could hear it pouring from our room and were so happy to not be stuck on the road somewhere.
Wednesday was a fun day in Napa Valley! Laura and I were so grateful to not be driving and it was almost sunny! We started our day in Downtown Napa; attempting to wine taste and visiting the Oxbow Market. Several of the tasting rooms were closed due to the storms and flooding and Oxbow Market turned out to be a lot smaller than anticipated. Our favorite booth was Napa Valley Distillery. The guys working there were super fun and friendly and helped with all our questions. I was able to pick up a nice souvenir for Loren. The only wine tasting we ended up doing in Downtown Napa was at the Vintner's Collective. The guy working there was friendly and had lived in Washington for 15 years so that was a nice thing to have in common. There was a pretentious wine-o there also tasting that made for good entertainment. :)
Since wine tasting had so far been a bust, we headed to Yountville. It only took a few minutes to get there and I'm so glad we went. We visited three tasting rooms there: Hope & Grace Winery, Hill Family Estate, and Cornerstone Cellars. Hill Family Estate was definitely my favorite. Jean was so helpful and friendly, and the wine was yummy. But honestly, all three places had fantastic staff that were easy to chat with during our tastings. Also, Yountville was really cute!
Thursday was our last driving day. We were determined to get to Long Beach and be done with the car and crappy weather. Of course, it rained most of the drive and then we ended up getting into the Los Angeles area right at rush hour...but we made it! There was so gorgeous scenery in between Napa and LA, and I wasn't really expecting that since we'd taken the less scenic route. Plus we saw the one and only rainbow on our whole trip!
Friday we took our time getting going for the day and then headed to Huntington Beach to grab lunch, browse some shops, and then wait for sunset. We ended up getting lunch at Fred's Mexican Cafe and it was DELICIOUS! Good salsa, good tacos, and super yummy margaritas! After lunch we walked to Pacific City and looked through the shops there. It was a cute place, the shops were the same as any other place (Urban Outfitters, Francesca's, etc) but we had fun. There are little tables and steps outside that are perfect to sit and watch the sunset. It's pretty entertaining to look around and see everyone trying to get the perfect photo!
And that's a wrap on the trip. It was a fun week that I'm happy to have been invited along (or did I invite myself? That's a bit cloudy). The weekend was spent snuggling up on Loren and Ruby. <3 around="" for="" friends="" happy="" marathon="" monday="" nbsp="" p="" post="" sticking="" thanks="" this="">