Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 246 - Welcome to Napa

So much going on, so little time to blog.

Yesterday we tore up Chinatown. Loved it. Highlight was the fortune cookie "factory"

The place is a narrow slip of a room off an alley. I had a guide book and still walked right past it. These women, 3 of them I think, take the flat, warm, pliable cookies from the gas-fired press, and hand fold them with the fortune inside. Charming, and unfathomable.

The evening was a customer event. Lots of hand shaking and smiling and nodding. These customers were from Brazil, tough, so it was a great time.

But not as great as The Clock Bar at the Westin St. Francis.

The St. Francis is an old school luxury hotel oozing with class and history. Every president since Taft has been there. And the Clock Bar is wonderful. Their secret is fresh, creative, fantastic cocktails. We cooed over the El Beso Ardiente, a margarita with habenaro infused tequila, agave syrup, and mulled cucumber.

The run this morning... it is a running blog after all... was short. Lot of touristing to do.

I took the only direction I'd yet to head from the hotel, and within a couple blocks, regretted that adventurous decision. Not a good neighborhood. Not good at all.

So, I high-tailed my tail back to the green zone. And found a fountain.

Yerba Buena Gardens
and another one

Fountain above MLK memorial.
[Yikes! Some long-arm photos should not be published.]

After a souvenir safari back in Chinatown, and an obscenely long wait for breakfast, I was starting to freak out about time.

You know how you have an idea that seems reasonable at the time, and then when it plays out in practice, months later, it seems like... ridiculous? Had one of those today. Saved about $100 bucks on the rental car by picking it up at the airport. That's right, we cabbed to the airport to get a car. And there were 17, 238 other people also renting cars at the airport.

Somehow blood did not pour out of my ears as I waited in line. And somehow my temples didn't explode as we moved through the sea of traffic... Labor Day traffic... all leaving the city... all going, apparently, the same place we were.

But then, we got here. Lovely, serene Yountville, CA in Napa County.

Pssssssshhhhh was the sound that came from my ears, pressure releasing. Like a rose dipped into liquid nitrogen, I was instantly chilled.

We are steps from a small vineyard.

We are steps away from The French Laundry, the best restaurant in the country. Despite our proximity, we won't be eating there. Reservations are impossible to get. We tried 6 weeks ago. Not happening. What makes this place so great? This...

They grow their own vegetables... across the street.

I am not kidding.

Instead, we will be dining at an amazing place called Botega. There are 4 world class restaurants within a short walk from our resort. We, my dear peeps, are in heaven.

Oh, and I defiled two fountains in this lovely hamlet.

Outside Villagio Spa

Van De Leur Park

Good running,

Numbers: 1.6 rushed miles through one of the forgotten neighborhoods of San Francisco.