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May Day

Kennedy Park in Napa, California

Napa, California: Could it be? Another day of eating? (Yes, and 20 photos posted tonight, sorry.) But we did some running, some photographing, some walking and some shopping as well. The weather continues to be just perfect and all over Napa, the blooming trees and flowers are simply breathtaking. According to the local NPR station, things were not so smooth in San Francisco. Due to the May 1st International Worker's Day, the ferries went on strike for the morning and the Golden Gate Bridge traffic suffered from the suddenly-driving commuters.

No such troubles in The Napa. Our morning started with exercise along the trails in Kennedy Park. I brought my SLR camera - always trying to capture the very-difficult-to-photograph red-winged black birds along the river trail. I snapped about twenty photos, but only kept two. It's a learning experience.

Beautiful Kennedy Park in Napa, CA

Speaking of snails... we went to Morimoto in Napa this afternoon for sushi.

This is the first time either of us had dined at a Morimoto property and we were very happy with the experience. I had made a reservation several weeks ago, but there were only a few tables filled during our lunch. The restaurant is minimally decorated - very much in the Japanese style - and some genius has placed grape vines on the walls in a tree formation to tie the space to Napa. So pretty!

Why is my grandmother sitting under that grape vine, and what the heck is she drinking?

It's a "Casual Encounter" martini - Rain Organic Cucumber Lime VodkaDomaine di Canton Ginger, lemon juice, with a Persian cucumber slice garnish. Half the rim was lined with sugar. Very different and very delicious. Who thinks of this stuff? If I can ever round-up the ingredients, I will give it a try.

For lunch, My Driver ordered a fine selection of sushi and a tray with three assorted kimchees.

I must be very careful in Japanese restaurants, as I am seriously allergic to shellfish. It's everywhere at a sushi place - even in one of the kimchees today. I went with the very safe "Lunch Set" - a bento-style plate with tempera vegetables, miso soup with tofu, three types of fin-fish sushi and "Angry Chicken" - spicy chicken thigh over a bed of rice and vegetables. I was so happy with my lunch! Dave was too (he helped).

No, I did not use that dang fork, but we asked our server and he said most people do.

Why is this chicken angry? Yum. Can't wait to try this recipe - with a "Casual Encounter" of course.

After lunch, we decided to walk around Napa for a bit, then I shopped while DT took a yet another Olympic Trails phone call. These few days in Napa are my Last Hurrah with Dave - as soon as we get home, he will turn himself over entirely to final preparations for the Olympic Trials. Our RV will be kept in Eugene, serving as his base-camp. He will be returned to me sometime mid-July.

Pretty Napa, California

Our next adventure was a stop at Rancho Gordo - purveyors of new world heirloom beans. Yep, there is a company that sells nothing but dried beans. It's one of my favorite places to shop because their varieties are highly unusual. Who can resist a bean named Good Mother Stallard? Some of my favorites are their Yellow-Eye, Cannellini and Black Beans. Today we also bought a pound of ready-to-cook hominy. I predict a few moregood meals in our future.

Back to the RV for a rest and one piece of that lovely Kollar Chocolate. We had to rest-up for our dinner reservations at Ristorante Allegria! Every time we enter our motorhome the automatic airbag leveling system repositions itself. This is a sure sign we need to lose weight get out of town soon!

Ristorante Allegria is such a pretty restaurant! Situated in an old bank building, you can still imagine how it must have appeared when the building was used for financial purposes. So happy to make a deposit to the chef tonight! We shared a roasted portabella mushroom appetizer, served over polenta with marinara... and then went straight to our main courses. DT had Veal Scaloppini.

I ordered the special halibut (every restaurant in town is offering halibut, so they must be catching it like mad off the coast), which was encrusted in pecans and served over a blob of creamy mashed potatoes and fresh veggies with a mango sauce. Hello! Delicious! We were recognized by our server, Teri, from our previous visits. (DT must be a good tipper?)

DT says: Apparently the "Napa Style" is BIG.

Until my next update, I remain, your over-weight correspondent.

SLOGGER REPORT:  Tried a different route along the river today, but was much more interested in photography today than jogging. Two lousy miles. Shin splints seem to have disappeared.

RV PARK:  Napa Valley Expo RV Park - Our favorite spot to stay in the area. Very small, so reservations are essential. (Call (707) 253-4900 #102 Monday-Friday, 9am - 12 noon & 1pm - 5pm to make a reservation.) Long paved full-service pull-throughs, bathhouse and laundry. We paid $40 with our Good Sam discount.