Napa, California:  Jimmy Buffett sings, “The weather is here; I wish you were beautiful”. Jimmy is just mean. I know you are allbeautiful – and the weather in Napa is so beautiful, I wish you were all here!

Okay. Maybe not. This RV park only has 19 sites.

Still, the sentiment is real.

This morning DT found a really great place for us to run because running on the Silverado Trail highway in front of the RV park is a recipe for disaster – narrow, winding road with no shoulder. We drove to Kennedy Park, about two miles from our campsite to run on trails. Designed by the Corps of Engineers to aid in flood protection, the park’s marshland is home to countless birds. Paved and dirt trails meander throughout the park and the city operates two golf courses at Kennedy Park.

It was so pretty – as you will be able to see tomorrow, because we will go there again to run tomorrow morning and this time I will bring my little camera. I saw wild asparagus, many red-winged blackbirds and several baby geese.

Really. I did.

Since we didn’t have dinner last night, we were both fairly hungry, so we set out for lunch just after noon. We wanted to try Redd in Yountville. We were lucky enough to be seated at an outdoor table! In the sunshine! Just lovely.

Again, we shared three appetizers. First we tried Sashimi of hamachi, sticky rice, edamame, & lime ginger sauce. (Hamachi is similar to a tuna and is also called Japanese Amberjack.) Unseen in this photo is a lovely seaweed salad under the soy beans. We both really enjoyed this dish, but we were drinking wine and I just (I know, I know, I am basically a Neanderthal) can’t wrap my head around wine and Asian food. I feel beer is a better accompaniment.

Our next appetizer was a warm asparagus salad which was “today’s special”. The steamed spears were served over a bed of frisee and baby arugula and topped with a gremolata of pine nuts, tarragon and croutons. A perfectly poached egg was placed over all. If you come to my house for dinner any time this summer, you may be served this dish (except without the egg, because I think poached eggs are simply disgusting).

But, don’t forget, I am a Neanderthal.

Our next appetizer was a warm asparagus salad which was “today’s special”. The steamed spears were served over a bed of frisee and baby arugula and topped with a gremolata of pine nuts, tarragon and croutons. A perfectly poached egg was placed over all. If you come to my house for dinner any time this summer, you may be served this dish (except without the egg, because I think poached eggs are simply disgusting).

But, don’t forget, I am a Neanderthal.

I am also some sort of cannibal. For being such a huge Oregon Duck fan, I certainly have consumed my fair share of duck over the past few days. Because Sonoma County Poultry can now locally raise ducks of such great quality, many area chefs are creating tasty dishes featuring the Liberty Duck. Today, we had Crisp duck confit, lentils and duck meatballs with crispy spaetzle. Duck confit (pronounced cone-fee) is duck that has been salted for several days and then poached in duck fat. Crispy duck. Crispy noodles. Lentils. Meatballs. There was nothing not to like about this dish.

We certainly enjoyed Redd and will happily recommend the restaurant. If you visit, I hope it is on a sunny day and you get a table on the patio!

After lunch, we had a nice long stroll in the pretty little town of St. Helena. The main street is lined with fun boutiques, food shops, olive oil shops, galleries and even a dog boutique – Fideaux. (Get it?) Adorable.

We returned to the Magna Peregrinus via Luna Vineyards on the Silverado Trail. My Driver simply adores Italian wines and Luna is making Italian-style wines in Napa. Every time we are in Napa, he loads up on their luscious wines. I was on the phone with my sister so didn’t even go into Luna today. DT went inside the tasting room and returned with a case of their Sangiovese Reserve. Imagine my happiness when DT reported Luna is now producing a Pinot Grigio!

At eight o’clock we went to Ristorante Allegria in downtown Napa. This is the third time we have visited this wonderful Italian restaurant – situated in a cavernous old bank building. We didn’t eat much, but Ristorante Allegria had the Luna Pinot Grigio by the glass ($9) and I just loved the wine! I told Dave the wine was a “bit complicated” and he told me the wine was 5% chardonnay. See? He couldn’t fool me! Chardonnay aside, I still adored the wine and we will be returning to Luna Vineyards tomorrow to purchase a few bottles.

Tomorrow should be a fun day. The weather is again supposed to be perfect and after running on the trails in Kennedy Park (photos will be snapped, I promise), we are going to tour two French champagne companies producing sparkling wine in Napa. 

Expect a “bubbly” post tomorrow!

Until my next update, I remain, your 95% correspondent.

RV Park:  Napa Valley Expo RV Park – Best choice in the area. Full service, paved sites. Free wifi. Bathhouse and laundry. Sites are massive and most are pull-through. Some traffic noise. Safe, friendly, one mile to downtown Napa. This is one RV park where I would recommend making a reservation – the park is small and popular. Don’t take chances.

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