Napa: I know many of you will be completely shocked that we are over in Napa. Just a little respite on our way home. A “vacation” during our vacation? We just love coming to Napa this time of year because the flowers are so gorgeous.

An entire carpet of flowers!

We are staying at the small Napa Valley Expo RV Park at the Napa County Expo (fairgrounds). A few years ago they really spiffed-up the joint and most of the sites are now long paved pull-throughs, with a few smaller back-in sites also available.

Everything is well-maintained and there are roses everywhere:

While we are in town, we have reservations at four restaurants. Two new establishments and two old favorites. Between stuffing our faces meals, we will have a few adventures and plan to cover many miles on the jogging trails in the nearby park.

Tonight we dined at a new hot restaurant, Oenotri (translates to “vine-tender”… as in a person who takes care of grape vines), in downtown Napa. The restaurant is operated by two local guys, both raised in the area. Oenotri was quite pretty, lively, noisy and crowded – and our reservations were at 8p. We tried four different items – sharing each. First course was an interesting salad of wood oven roasted young fava beans, with beets, citrus, fennel and pistachios. The fava beans were so tiny – the same size as everyday green beans – and we really enjoyed the combination. Different.

Our next course was kale chips with chilies and pecorino. Kale chips are the latest/greatest thing in the foodie kingdom. Most are coated/sprayed with a bit of oil and baked. These suckers were deep fried. Super salty. We only had a few – though it is easy to see why the dish is so popular. Addictively salty. Just like potato chips… you can’t eat just one.

The true test of a pizza oven? The Margherita – tomato, mozzarella and basil. The most classic of all pizzas. Oenotri really nailed it. The pizza was perfect. We each just had a slice, so this perfect pie will also be our breakfast in the morning.

This delicious entree consisted of hand-cut spaghetti-type pasta and beans in a green garlic sauce. Except for the pizza, the pasta was my favorite dish. DT and I liked the restaurant, but our service was pretty lax. Our waiter was so busy entertaining other tables, we enjoyed our pasta with empty wine glasses. Simply not good form.

Speaking of wine… Mary and Cory went to the Vatican and heard the Pope read mass this morning. After the service, they had lunch – and wine – and then flew to Paris. I think they are finally on their way home.

Looks like a little tiramisu as well, ladies???

More wine country adventures planned for tomorrow. Until my next update, I remain, your Napa correspondent.

SLOGGER REPORT:  An easy flat course around the old Castle Air Base. Perfect weather and free entertainment from planes and helicopters taking-off and landing on the airstrip. Just a little pain on my right shin, which I iced after the run. 3+ miles.

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.

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