Napa Valley is one of my favorite places in the world. The only problem? It’s expensive. From the hotels to the wine and the ubers (who wants to DD? No one) you could easily be out $1000 for one weekend IF you restrain yourself. If you don’t restrain yourself, think more like $2500. That is, if you don’t know some fantastic Napa deals, like this one!
Let me introduce you to Bothe State Park. Situated 4 miles from Calistoga, this national park has camp grounds for $35 a night, and yurts for $55. The showers are hot, the toilets flush, the hiking is fantastic, and if you don’t want to look at redwoods by clear stream, you can hike 2.5 miles to Castello di Amorosa. That’s right, you can WALK TO A CASTLE. FILLED WITH WINE.
If you are lazy, or just tipsy, you can call the Calistoga shuttle and it will take you Castello, Benette Lane Winery, Sterling Vineyards, and 14 other Calistoga wineries. Inside Calistoga there are several good restaurants (I suggest Evangeline) and a really cute natural foods grocery store that is fantastic for all your hiking snack needs. It certainly served Jesse and I well on our bike/hike to the north peak of Mt. St Helena in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park. Supposedly you can see 85% of California from there! 10 mile bike with 3500 ft of elevation gain, followed by 5 miles with 1800…. Then back down!
This Week in Updates: Jesse is Awesome
Yet another treasured week with my amazing boyfriend. Even though less than six months separate us from actually living together, this time we get to spend is still special and treasured. Dinners together, cooking, and just talking about our days has been amazing. Not to mention, we are cooking quite the feast (or so we hope) for our friend Cherise. A bit of a make up for missing her Dirty Thirty party while being in Napa. We have salad, naan, and hummus for the first course, followed by vegan Alfredo rosemary spaghetti squash bakes, and vegan chocolate cheesecake for dessert.
The Recipe: Quinoa Salad
When it's hot, it can be hard to find something cheap and cool to eat. This quinoa is all that and furthermore, is fast, easy, and full of protein! Total, though your price may vary a little bit depending on your choice of fruit and nuts, I paid $11.87 for about 10 servings. That's an easy $1.19 lunch!
- 3 cups dried quinoa
- 1 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 5 tbs red wine vinegar
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 pinch cayenne
- Cook quinoa.
- Combine all ingredients together.
- Tastes best cold.