Posts tagged California
Ten.Four Hundred & Seventy-Six

1. It’s after 6 and still really dark but I need to get up.  

2. Oh, this sunrise is going to be good. 

3. There isn’t a way to capture it, really. Not the way I want to. Not in a way that would do it justice. 

4. It’s cuter than I thought it would be. The farmer’s market is setting up. We go into the diner and get some breakfast. Orange juice, water, coffee. Scrambled eggs and bacon with hash browns and wheat toast.  

5. Persimmons in their glory. Flower bunches and ugly gourds. Lots of tomatoes and eggplant and squash. Blackberries almost as big as my pinky.  

6. We stand in the driveway while his wife brings the keys. The sun is so hot that I’m sweating in my sweater. I like this neighborhood. I like being on top of a hill. But.  

7. The owners might be changing their minds but she gives us the code to go in anyway. Enough rooms for the both of us to have an office. So much light. And the view from the back—that would never get old. 

8. I use my Safeway discount card.   

9. This one. This one could be good. And since it’s apparently the last one we’ll be able to see today, it has to be this. But I just wish they could tell you on the spot. I pray that this one comes through.  

10. Johnny Salami’s for a sandwich and chips before a bottle of rosé at Hannah Nicole. Darcie Kent for a surprisingly refreshing Chardonnay.  

10.1 Range Life. Olives, a sea bass crudo, the best steak tartare I’ve ever had, roasted squash with burrata and pepitas, apple cobler. Bründlmayer and a beaumes de venise.

Ten.Four Hundred & Thirty-Four

1. I’m ready for coffee. 

2. We decide to eat breakfast in Danville before heading to San Ramon. A place called Sideboard tucked into a very quaint building on a very quaint street and I understand what everyone meant when they said that Danville is “very” nice. 

3. Mismatched silverware in a drawer. Yes, please.  

4. I like the look of San Ramon more than I thought I would. 

5. And then we make our way down to Pleasanton which is just as pretty. This will be a tough decision when the day comes. 

6. The heat of the sun on the belly. The way the hillsides glow gold. The blueness of the sky.  

7. They went to see The Meg.  

8. By far the most educational wine tour and tasting I’ve ever done.  

9. This is the hipster spot. She tells us that it’s a little more country here but still nice. How much country can I do? 

10. But I can see myself bringing the kids to Loard’s on a Saturday afternoon. Or to Donut Wheel for a hot glazed donut.  

Collecting Beauty in Wine Country

I don't want to claim the title "Lifestyle Blogger." It doesn't feel natural on my tongue. Instead, I'm going to call myself a "Collector of Beauty." Yes. A Collector of Beauty. This rephrasing gives me the space to do what I do best which is notice. Really, isn't that what a writer and a photographer should be doing? Noticing?

There's this really fine and faint line between capturing life and noticing it. One can become so consumed with trying to find what they should capture that they miss the real beauty of what's occurring around them. It's why I rarely photography my food before eating it. I want to eat my gnocchi with black truffle shavings while it's still hot. And I want to drink my rosé while it still has its chill. Instead of trying to find the highlights and shadows in the barrel room, I want to listen to her tell me about the fermentation experiments she's conducting. And when I meet her for coffee on Washington Street, instead of thinking about the Instagram-worthiness of the courtyard, I'd rather listen to her tell me about the one time the police got called while she was celebrating her birthday.

Ultimately, I do believe that it's my desire to be so fully present in my life that gives me the ability to see the truly extraordinary moments that exist in the every day. I have to somehow trust that the most important moments will find their way into the little crevices of memory for when I need them most. Because this life is really too good and too big for the viewfinder.

Alas, here are some of the moments that I collected during my most recent trip to Yountville in August.

The North Block Hotel sits at one end of Washington Street in Yountville. Spanish tiles line the staircases and the doors are wooden and heavy and it's so quiet. It's become my favorite little retreat.

The North Block Hotel sits at one end of Washington Street in Yountville. Spanish tiles line the staircases and the doors are wooden and heavy and it's so quiet. It's become my favorite little retreat.

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Redd Wood is known for its wood-fired pizzas but I love the simple breakfast served here each morning for the guests at North Block. Coffee and pastries from Bouchon Bistro are the perfect start to an early morning, but the granola is killer. I'm still trying to get my hands on a recipe.

Redd Wood is known for its wood-fired pizzas but I love the simple breakfast served here each morning for the guests at North Block. Coffee and pastries from Bouchon Bistro are the perfect start to an early morning, but the granola is killer. I'm still trying to get my hands on a recipe.

Isn't this vintage truck just the coolest? Hunter Gatherer is new boutique in Yountville. 

Isn't this vintage truck just the coolest? Hunter Gatherer is new boutique in Yountville. 

After seeing people line up each night before it opened, we decided to give Ciccio's a chance. It's Napa Valley so of course there's great wine, but the cocktails and pizza can't be beat. Cool vibe. It's where the locals go (which is always a good sign). 

After seeing people line up each night before it opened, we decided to give Ciccio's a chance. It's Napa Valley so of course there's great wine, but the cocktails and pizza can't be beat. Cool vibe. It's where the locals go (which is always a good sign). 

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I could spend all day sitting in front of The French Laundry Culinary Gardens. 

I could spend all day sitting in front of The French Laundry Culinary Gardens. 

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It had been awhile since I'd been in wine country in the summer when everything is green and ripening. It was such a treat to be able to touch and taste the fruit. The rolling hills of B.R. Cohn in Sonoma are so beautiful this time of year. Really, any time of year. 

It had been awhile since I'd been in wine country in the summer when everything is green and ripening. It was such a treat to be able to touch and taste the fruit. The rolling hills of B.R. Cohn in Sonoma are so beautiful this time of year. Really, any time of year.