Monday, April 18, 2011

A brief stop in Reno and then to the Napa Valley

After leaving Heather and Dan's, we went to Reno to spend the night. We pricelined a room and got the Eldorado. We have laughingly referred to the "priceline walk of shame" at many hotels due to the fact that we seem to be put in a room as far away from the lobby as possible. It's quite a trek sometimes! So at the Eldorado, we not only had a walk but we had the smallest possible room outside of New York City. Rich swears he was in the very same room years ago and it was going for $39 then. :) We were a little annoyed, but would only be there to sleep so we sucked it up and went for some dinner and a quick round at the casino which did not net us any more profits. Luckily Rich is not obsessed and can walk away easily. We might have watched a movie or not. I can't remember. The main memory I have is that everything smelled vaguely of cigarette smoke and stale air, even in the supposed no-smoking parts. I'm not crazy about Reno. Tahoe was much nicer. :)

So we got up the next morning with plans to drive to the Napa Valley. First Rich wanted his all time favorite Jimboy's Tacos. Unfortunately the nearby Jimboy's did not seem to exist any more so we stopped off at one in Auburn.

Famous Jimboy's tacos

On the road to Napa.

We tried to get a room in Sonoma but couldn't find one for a price we wanted to pay. So we pricelined Napa instead and got the Marriott for two nights--it was beautiful, so much nicer than that damned Eldorado. :) We had barely arrived when they had a wine tasting with bread and housemade pesto for a snack out on the newly remodeled patio in the warm sunshine. Can you say "spoiled"? :)

We were tired so decided to stay in and have room service the first night. *On this trip we noticed that every single restaurant seems to serve some version of a beet salad these days.* We ordered several small plates to share, including the beet salad, which was missing from the delivery. The server came back with a salad and it was not *beet* so we had to call again. The poor guy had to come for the third time with the correct salad.

The next day we struck out to wander around Napa. *Addendum 4/19: I completely forgot our funny story about getting a parking ticket. Yes, we were very happy that Napa had free parking in the downtown area. We both semi subconsciously noted that the free parking was good for two hours, did not discuss it out loud, and promptly forgot. As we were walking back to the car much later, I recalled the two hour limit and Rich chimed in that he'd also noticed the sign. We discussed that surely it was not all that well enforced. :) Approaching the street, sure enough, we could see a little piece of paper attached to the windshield wiper. Uh-oh. A $30 ticket for parking over the time limit. What could we do but laugh?

We liked this quote, though I believe there's a misspelling in it.

We had lunch at a place called Celadon

browsed some shops

enjoyed the sunshine
and drove over to famous chef Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc for a lovely dinner.

Ad Hoc is Keller's more casual spot. There's a set dinner menu, served family style, which was great for me since I could take what I wanted and not fret about wasting anything. The meal was fabulous and if I can ever get Rich to do a food post, he will tell you more about it! :)

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