At the beginning of July, I had the incredible opportunity to spend a week staying in a house in California wine country with my family. All of us are big fans of good food and good wine, so the week was mostly spent hopping from winery tasting to restaurant to winery tasting, though we did also take a day to visit the Armstrong Red Wood State Reserve and to drive up the coast. While I have a deep affection for Ohio and no plans of leaving, it’s hard not to fall in love with the weather, scenery, and culture in northern California.
Also, the dogs.
Okay, those last two miiiiiight not technically be dogs, but they’re still adorable. They both live at DaVero Farms and Winery. We didn’t get a chance to taste wine there, but we did bring home a jar of their lemon curd, which is sublime. We also explored their grounds, which are gorgeous. I mean, just take a look at this live “tasting room.”
Here are a few more of my favorites from DaVero (just click them to enlarge):
This trip was my girlfriend Tess’ first time going on the Evans family vacation, and she suggested that we try to see some redwoods while in California. Unfortunately, Redwood National Park was too far from where we were staying, but we found that Armstrong Redwood State Reserve was less than an hour away, so we took an afternoon with the whole family to explore the park. It was absolutely stunning to see such huge, ancient trees up close.
After seeing Armstrong, we took a drive up the coast to Bodega Bay. Unfortunately, I was too distracted by the Pacific (and a phenomenal crab sandwich from Spud Point Crab Company) to take many pictures, but I did get this one out the car window on the drive up, and it turned out to be one of my favorites of the trip.
While the views on this trip were spectacular, the food (and wine) were the highlight of the trip for me. Since taking pictures of food is my day job, I tried to take a break from that for the most part on this trip, but I did get a few, including these from a particularly memorable lunch at Mustard’s Grill, one of the original iconic farm to table restaurants in Napa, and a dinner at Chalkboard, a tapas-style restaurant in downtown Healdsburg.
Click on the photos of our meal at Chalkboard below to enlarge them.
While the food and wine were awesome and the scenery was spectacular, the best part of the trip was being able to spend time with the family.
Oh, and, of course, the wine.