Look at that chapeau on the hill!

Screwed Why do so many of our trips start off ruined? This one starts with a flat tire on Assana's car! Serendipitously we were heading to Costco Tire to have our tire pressure checked before hitting the road, and boom! We get a flat tire heading out of the gas station. Two giant screws… poor little tire had no chance.

Football Minutes But we felt somewhat lucky that we were at the tire shop already: at least we can patch the tire enough so we can take it back to Dan's. We ask them how long a patch work would take, and they say 10 minutes! Great! But we're told we have to wait 2 hours for our 10 minutes. Dan starts arguing with the guy while Assana attempts to call AAA. 20 minutes later he has convinced Costco to cut us in line, but Assana still isn't past giving directions to some loser across the country. V. We just hang up on AAA. After twenty years of being a member, the very first time we call this is what we get. And turns out that Costco's 10 minutes is really an hour on the clock.

A Few Steps Away From 6 Stars Two hours later than planned we finally arrive in Napa Valley. Bardessono is one of the most spectacular hotels we have ever stayed at. We love the modern architecture and its greenness. And we love our room with its massive bathroom and steam room shower! It is too cold to take advantage of the outdoor shower and tub, but knowing that they are there puts a smile on Dan's face! And the fact that it is just steps from 6 Michelin stars doesn't hurt.

Yummy Damage Awwwh… Silverado Trail! She continues to be super pretty. The weather is a mix bag: gorgeous with blue skies and a fresh air at first, and later just cold and drizzly. Either way it doesn't get in our way of wine tasting. We stop by a few favorites: Robert Sinskey & Chimney Rock, and some we had never visited… and did some wine-shopping damage. Looking forward to drinking some of the damage in the future!

Nutter Butter Yountville is such a cute little town. And what is up with the concentration of famous and fabulous restaurants? We go to the famous Bouchon Bakery for breakfast every morning. And every dinner is at a fantastic restaurant: Bistro Jeanty, Redd, Bardessono Restaurant… Every dinner is better than then next.

Old Friends Among all this activity we manage to visit our friend Peter and Nancy. Peter retired from Apple a couple of years ago, and Nancy soon followed. Since then they spend a fair amount of time traveling and we hardly ever see them. They happen to be up in Yountville at their wine-country house and invite us over for a glass of wine. We get a tour of their beautiful home and catch up with them. They tell us about their upcoming 75 day cruise down the Pacific to South America, the Antarctica, and up the Atlantic! Sounds like a trip-of-a-lifetime. Can't wait to see their photos.

Pahlmeyer The highlight of the collective dining experience is the bottle of wine we had with our new year's eve's dinner: 2005 Pahlmeyer Reserve Pinot Noir. We had acquired the bottle thru Porthos, AH's wine concierge, a couple of years ago and had tucked it away for a special occasion. So what better time than new year's eve? Especially that, for once, we are not flying! (Before TSA disallowed liquids thru security a nice bottle of wine with last night's dinner was tradition… thanx TSA for being such a pain-in-the-ass!) The wine is just divine! And with our super early dinner reservation we manage to uphold another new year's eve tradition: going to bed early and watching NatGeo TV!

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