Valley Girl: A Lovely Little Jaunt to Napa

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Two weeks ago, I was fortunate to attend the Eat Pray Love junket in Napa Valley. My fiancé and I stayed at the gorgeous Villagio Hotel and Spa in charming Yountville, and I fell madly in the love with the villa-inspired décor and Tuscany-like landscape. The air smelled like fragrant flowers and I relished every fresh breath.

We saw the fabulous movie, interviewed the A-list stars, ate fancy Italian food, drank fine wine, relaxed by the pool, enjoyed massages, stretched in yoga, and hopped from vineyard to vineyard. Basically, it was a blissful two days. We lived the dolce vita and experienced a little taste of what Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about in her extraordinary memoir.

Here are a few candid snapshots from my glamorous getaway. Enjoy!

The Villagio Hotel has an amazing rustic appeal.

Doesn't this look like it belongs in Italy?

Every night, we'd sleep with the windows open in our room. We'd wake up and it would be freezing. That's the crazy thing about Northern California. In the mornings, it felt like Fall in July. We were tempted to try out the fireplace once it got chilly in the evenings. But we didn't ... Too much wine.

We'd take a brisk morning walk to the Coffee Caboose to get our daily dose of caffeine. Best. Vanilla. Latte. Ever. And the sweet girls behind the counter are talented too. They made pretty little floral designs in the foamed milk.

We continued exploring and found that our favorite new coffee joint was connected to a small hotel built on railroad tracks. I need to come back and stay in one of these adorably quaint rooms.

The press conference with Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, and the other stars of Eat Pray Love took place at the contemporary Bardessono Hotel & Spa right down the street.

We were taken to Napa's picture-perfect Carneros Inn for an intimate "prayer" event inspired by the film. We were treated to massages and a private yoga and meditation class. It's hard not to relax in this serene setting.

Sipping PlumpJack wine at the pool at the Carneros Inn = Heaven on Earth.

Later on, we were invited to an Italian feast at Michael Chiarello's Bottega Restaurant.

Here he is ... makin' a pizza pie!

How lovely is the dinner setting? ... I kind of want to get married right in this courtyard.


This was my appetizer plate. There's nothing like a family-style free for all among new friends and strangers. The champagne and wine flowed and so did the conversation.

Mmmmm. Gelato. Perfecto!

The next morning - a little worse for wear - we had an early start at the Napa wineries. First up, Cake Bread. The Chardonnay and Merlot cured by hangover.

We then took a spectacular private tour at Nickel & Nickel.

How sensational is this property?

The winemaker at Nickel & Nickel insists that they stain the middle of the barrels red using wine, of course -- because she doesn't like the look of "drippings."

We returned to Yountville before we had to scoot off to catch our red-eye flight. Fortunately, we had time for one last meal at Bistro Jeanty. Love the retro Parisian flair. What a wonderful way to end our jaunt to Napa...

Hope you enjoyed my mini moments caught on camera ... xoxo