Heaven in Napa
I spread my salted, European butter on my crispy toast, gathered my thick robe tightly around my neck and sipped my perfectly cremmed espresso as I listened to the birds quietly converse. It’s as if they knew they needed to whisper in order to complete the peaceful scene. The day ahead of me was to be filled with sips and spits of Napa’s finest. But just for the moment I was present in the stillness. The quiet calm of the chilled California air took me in like a lost puppy. I bathed in it. I breathed it in and closed my eyes, telling my brain to take a Polaroid of what it felt like. I wanted a sensory snapshot of this Northern California scene to pull out in the days to come when the Carolina bugs will nip at my ankles and the heat will create visible waves on the pavement.
It’s mid July and I’m staying at Meadowood, Napa Valley’s luxury resort, and it is breathtaking. I have my own little cottage with a living room, a terrace overlooking the mountains, the most extravagant mini-bar I have ever seen and everywhere I look I am surrounded by trees and stones. There’s a wood-burning fireplace in each cottage with everything you would need to start a fire. The staff is kind and thorough, the beds feel like giant pillows, and one could get lost in the garden tub.
There is a basket of fresh peaches when you check in at the lobby, fresh coffee in the mornings and wine in the evenings. After check-in, each room presents you with a box of the finest, most beautiful chocolates I have ever laid eyes on and the turndown service each evening consists of bedside slippers and shortbread. The gym on the grounds is large and in the open air. There are plenty of machines, (all equipped with televisions) and enough exercise equipment to accommodate most of their guests at the same time and there are baskets of fresh fruit as you leave.
The purpose for my stay at Meadowood is for it to be the home for my head on a three day wine tour of Napa and Sonoma. I’m getting the luxury of visiting some of the areas most exclusive wineries, tasting wines that cost more than most people’s rent and yet I find myself daydreaming of getting back to my room. It takes a special kind of resort to pull those desires out of a wine lover visiting the Mecca of American wine.
I don’t know when I will return to Napa, whether it will be alone again or with my husband, but there is not a doubt in my mind that Meadowood will again be the home for my head if I do.
I sit back a little further in my rocking chair, finish my buttered toast and instead of thinking about when I need to leave for the day, I think about how many more minutes I get to spend in heaven.