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Napa: 10 August 2021

Napa, California: Not a very exciting day today. Just driving. We checked out of The Piccolo after 10a and pointed the car north. The hotel was very pretty and clean and new… but the service was just terrible because they can’t find staff. Full days go by without bell service, the bar was closed one day, the wine bar was closed as well. No housekeeping at all - you have to ask for clean towels, etc. The thing is - they still charge full board for this lousy service.

When we checked-into our hotel in Napa, we had the same news. Housekeeping every third day. Our “free valet parking” does not exist due to no valets, and “free” breakfast is served from 8:30-9:30a only (Super-Spreader Event?). Same fat price for the room!

Oh, Dear Reader, we are so very anxious to reach our motorhome!

Our room is nice (more on this later) with a kitchenette and - mercy me - a desk! Since we did not arrive until late afternoon, we just unpacked and relaxed in our room before donning masks to explore the hotel. Why is it so tiring to sit on your butt all day in a car?

The hotel seemed pretty dead, though there are several hundred rooms in this establishment. No other passengers in the lifts. Few people in the lobby. About ten people in the pool.

We dressed for dinner and walked across the river (via a bridge!) to downtown Napa for our reservations at Ristorante Allegria - our favorite restaurant in Napa. The food (Italian) is amazing, but the best thing about the restaurant is the building - in an old bank.

Somehow the restaurant has taken-over a wide downtown pedestrian cobblestone pathway and turned it into a covered outdoor dining room. The indoor dining room tables have been greatly diminished and plexiglass-glass dividers seem to be everywhere. Happily, we were seated outdoors.

Ristorante Allegria is famed for the dip/spread they serve with sliced baguette. This dish (something like this, but maybe made with shallots and no rosemary). Definitely a sweet-and-sour situation:

One of the specials tonight was a Caprese salad made with local heirloom tomatoes:

Pretty, and fun with the addition of red onion and capers. I can’t even begin to describe the tomatoes: ripe, soft, sweet. Summer on a plate.

Why does DT read the menu at this restaurant? He always orders the same thing: Vongole (pasta with clams). I am not speaking truthfully here, as there is no leather-bound printed menu at Ristorante Allegria during a pandemic. Patrons are asked to use their phone camera/QR Reader to view the menu on their phone - and no substitutions! Dave had no idea about this situation, but I set it up on his phone and he was good to go… though, as I said, I knew he was going to order the Vongole.

And he did.

My Driver’s Happy Meal.

Though sure to grow tail feathers soon, I again ordered one of my favorite dishes, Roasted Chicken. No idea why I order something I make at home so often… maybe because I am not at home? Have no kitchen? Am days away from my motorcoach?

Is there anything more satisfying than a roasted chicken? I think not. We enjoyed our meals with a bottle of Italian Arneis wine.

Walking back across the river to our hotel after dinner, we met up with a man carrying pizza boxes, etc., back to our/his hotel. He had just arrived from the east coast with his wife and young children - only to find no food/dinner/room service available at our hotel. He had to walk into town to bring food back to his children. What is going on?

We went down to the lobby of the hotel for an after-dinner drink. The lobby bar was open - but no food service - and they poured us a glass of wine. We took our wine outside to enjoy by the fire pits, only to find a free-for-all of hotel guests eating take-out (and maybe delivery food) outside. What a bizarre situation. It’s the Wild Wild Wild West again here in Napa.

We still have a box of crackers, a few mixed nuts, and a wedge of brie. If we are careful, it could last us two days.

Until my next update, I remain, your camping (at $400 per night) correspondent.

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