staycation


Lunch at CIA Greystone in Napa Valley

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wearing: blue and silver earrings / lipstick / blue scarf / long sleeve black tee / cardigan sweater / black satchel / black belt / bootcut jeans / nail polish / boots /

My middle child is interested in going to cooking school to become a chef, and possibly own her own restaurant someday. So, I knew we had to check CIA Greystone during our road trip to Napa Valley with the kids. This is one of the most prestigious culinary schools in the country, so it is definitely high on my daughter’s list as places she would like to attend.

Greystone was originally a winery established in 1889. The original building has 22 inch thick walls which are made of locally quarried tufa stone. It was designed by Hamden McIntyre. He also designed Inglenook! The winery fell on hard times during prohibition, and went to auction shortly after the Great Depression. In 1950, the Christian Brothers purchased the property to produce wine, brandy, and port. In 1990, Greystone and it’s drink production was acquired by Heublein, Inc. In 1993, CIA, the Culinary Institute of America, which had a location in New York, acquired Greystone and began classes in 1995.

CIA Greystone offers Bachelor Degree’s and certificates in culinary arts, which are known throughout the world. In addition, they have two on-campus restaurants which are equally known around the world; the Gatehouse, and the Bakery Cafe by illy. Off campus they have CIA Copia; which is located by the Oxbow Public Market. We ate lunch at their casual eatery, the Bakery Cafe by illy. The food was delicious, and my kids really enjoyed the experience of touring the school, and getting to eat there too.

You can learn more about CIA Greystone on their website.

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We really enjoyed our visit to CIA Greystone. I highly recommend stopping by for a meal if you are in the area.

Stay tuned for more from Napa! Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

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Petrified Forest in Calistoga

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Our family loves the outdoors, and hiking! So, when I was researching hiking trails in the Napa Valley, I came across The Petrified Forest located in Calistoga. I had no idea we had one here in the Bay Area! This sounded amazing, and like something we needed to check out. We are so glad we did!

The Petrified Forest in Calistoga features petrified redwood tress which are frozen in time. They fell over about 3.4 million years ago, you read that right, 3.4 million years ago! The trees were knocked down forcefully by a volcanic explosion from a volcano located behind present-day Mount Saint Helena. It is no longer a mountain, and it is dormant; buried behind our current mountain. The explosion was so forceful, it toppled a redwood forest filled with trees which have been aged at over 2000 years old at the time of the explosion. Can you imagine? Trees which were already 1000-2000 years old, toppled over by a volcano, then preserved under the ash for 3.4 million years! It’s incredible!

We took the 11am guided tour which was incredibly interesting. Our tour guide taught us so much about petrified wood and the history of the forest. He was incredibly nice, and so informative! We really enjoyed the tour.

The tour is also a hike, so if you go, wear a good pair of hiking shoes or boots. My hiking boots were perfect for the terrain. Also be sure to allow enough time for the tour. It was roughly 1.5 hours which was not only a good hike, it was a lot of time to learn a ton of information from our guide. We loved it!

You can learn more about The Petrified Forest on their website.

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Have you seen a petrified forest before? What did you think?

XOXO
Cathy

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Family friendly winery in Napa Valley

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wearing: blue and silver earrings / lipstick / long sleeve tee / winter cardigan sweater / blue scarf / belt / bootcut jeans / Chloe bag / nail polish / charcoal boots /

Well, one cannot visit the Napa Valley without visiting at least one winery, right?! Of course, this may sound easy in theory, but if you are traveling with kids to the Napa Valley, many wineries will close their doors to you; after all, you have to be 21 to drink in California.

We are not a big drinking family. We just wanted to tour a winery, relax, and have one glass of wine to taste. After quite a bit of research, I discovered Inglenook Winery offered the upscale aesthetic we were seeking; plus, they were kid friendly. Win/win!

Inglenook Winery has a rich history in Napa Valley, not to mention they have really good wine! So we were really happy to find they were set up for families to enjoy their winery setting. I called ahead and got on the “guest list,” which is essentially making a reservation for the Bistro. The Bistro is great because they offer food, non-alcoholic drinks, coffee, and wine by the glass. This isn’t wine tasting, which is in a separate room, and kids are not permitted. The Bistro is like a little cafe where you can get snacks, and buy your drinks.It’s perfect if you have kids.

We decided to sit outside with our baguette, cheese plate, Coca-cola and water for kids, and one glass of wine each for my husband and I. It’s winter, so sitting outside was a bit chilly, but worth it! Outside the Bistro, kids can play with wooden boats in a giant fountain. There are also Bocce Ball courts, benches, tables, and a relaxing vibe. My kids felt grown up playing there, even though they were drinking soda and water. It was great!

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There are certain parts of the winery where children are not permitted, but we were allowed to tour the facility ourselves. Inglenook has a fabulous museum on-site which shows, and tells, the history of the winery. Since Francis Ford Coppola is the current owner of Inglenook, he also has a movie museum on-site which has an incredible collection of old film projectors, and other movie memorabilia. It’s really interesting. My whole family enjoyed it!

We also enjoyed touring the beautiful and historic building the museum, Bistro, and gift shop are located in. I was awestruck by the beautiful chandeliers; I’m a huge fan of ceiling light fixtures. Outside, we toured the grounds, and saw the beautiful vineyards, as well as olive trees used for producing olive oil. I am kicking myself for not getting a bottle of olive oil while I was there.

We really enjoyed visiting Inglenook Winery located in Rutherford, in the Napa Valley. Next time I am in the Napa Valley, I will definitely visit it again!

Shop my Napa wine tasting outfit online:

What is your favorite winery to visit in the Napa Valley?

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy

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