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Afternoon in Yountville

Napa California: I am afraid frequent readers of my little blog will become bored with the repeativeness of our activities in Napa: exercise, eat, drink wine. Often at the same places where we exercised, ate and drank wine on a previous visit. I guess we are creatures of habit or maybe we have just discovered the best places? Why don't you get in your RV and discover for yourownself?

We just love running/walking along the trails that follow the Napa River in Kennedy Park. This park is just behind the college and has many recreational facilities, including picnicking, playgrounds, ball fields, a boat dock and an area devoted to remote-controlled airplanes. Miles of paved trails and dirt trails that climb up to Skyline Park. Super safe and great for bird watching/dog walking as well.

There are so many shore birds, song birds and a zillion red winged blackbirds in the park.

Here is My Driver - running on the bike path! He is a very smart man and runs in the softer dirt on the side of the path.

What's not to love about blooming roses in late October?

We did not have breakfast this morning and we did not have dinner tonight. Our sole purpose in life today was a late lunch at Bottega in Yountville. We arrived to the adorable town of Yountville well before our reservation to spend a little time exploring.

We also stopped into Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery for breakfast pastries (for tomorrow). You remember his Salmon Rillettes? I have made the recipe twice now (2012 and 2013) - and you can purchase a teeny little crock of this heavenly spread for only $20 at the bakery... but you get to keep the crock. I can guarantee, this dish will be served again this Thanksgiving. Super worth all the effort (or the twenty bucks if you happen to be in Yountville).

Thomas Keller has four establishments in Yountville -  French LaundryBouchon (with other locations in Las Vegas and Beverly Hills), Bouchon Bakery and Ad Hoc (famous for fried chicken and I just love their "temporary relief from hunger" slogan.

Finally it was time for our late lunch reservations at Bottega. This restaurant is operated by famed chef Michael Chiarello. He owns/operates the NapaStyle (catalog) company, has a vineyard, and runs the newly-opened Coqueta on Pier 5 in San Francisco. In his spare time he is completely gorgeous.

Since this was our one-shot meal o-the-day, we each ordered appetizers and entrees. Living Large in Napa. A few photos of our choices:

This could have been a normal Caprese salad, except it wasn't. The tomatoes were heirloom. The burrata was ten minutes old and the balsamic vinegar had been turned into "caviar-like" balls. I vow to make balsamic caviar one day.

This was a braised short rib with a bit of creamy polenta, or possibly one of the best things we have tried in a very very long time.

Nearly as good as the strip steak with cucumber salad

This was the third time DT and I have dined at this restaurant. Reservations are very difficult to secure, so maybe if you can't snag a dinner reservation, go for lunch. Many of the same items on the menu and better light for photography. You won't need dinner.

This evening we sat outside and watched the Giants lose to some team in Kansas City. Readers Amy & Ted (in their brand new motorhome!) stopped-over to say hello and we had a great evening.

Until my next update, I remain, your wine-country correspondent.

RV PARK: Napa Valley Expo RV Park. Our favorite campground in the area. Long paved full-service pull-through sites with 50 amp. Bathhouse, laundry, free wifi, lawn, picnic table. At the fairgrounds and just a short drive to downtown Napa. We paid $45 per night, with a Good Sam discount.