Hautties, you all know I'm a HUGE believer in taking time away...for ourselves, sans kiddies. Be it a quick 24-hour escape or a 7-day retreat to paradise, it's not a luxury but a true necessity. It can be as low-budg but effective as a night camping under the stars with your partner OR a fabulous luxe getaway to say, Wine Country!? We opted for the latter this time and lemme just say, it was EVERYTHING and MORE! If you're looking for an excuse to disappear, here's HML's advice on how to do it: NAPA: 5 Stops In 24-Hours!
1. STAY: CALISTOGA RANCH - Like no other property on the map, Calistoga offers a top-notch, exclusive vibe deep in the forrest while capturing the nostalgic feel of your favorite childhood family camp. Think next-level luxury meets rustic cabin in the woods. Each room is it's own "pod", with a remarkably stunning outdoor living space complete with fireplace and sitting area. If staying is not an option, at the very least walk the grounds, enjoy a glass of wine and drop by the pool terrace for a bite of the sensational fresh shrimp rolls (makes my mouth water) www.calistogaranch.com
2. PLAY: STAGLIN WINERY - Staglin offers some of the most delicious wines in the region but what really gets us is their "great wines for great causes" motto. Since opening, Staglin has donated more than $800 million dollars in charity! Pretty incredible! That includes their own fundraiser The Music Festival For Brain Health which raises awareness for mental health in honor of their family member who was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Reservations are a must and often hard to land...so get on it asap :) http://www.staglinfamily.com
3. INDULGE: FRENCH LAUNDRY - For some, a trip to Napa means dining first, "wining" second. And for that, they indulge in Thomas Keller's 3-Star Michelin rated, The French Laundry. We're fans here simply because they offer a beautifully executed Vegetarian menu for those who'd rather cabbage than caviar but it'll set ya back a few hundos at minimum. The basic tasting menu (with no add ons or wine) starts at $310 http://www.thomaskeller.com/tfl
4. GRUB: LA LUNA MARKET AND TAQUERIA - An absolute MUST for Mexican-Food worshipers and/or those drinking their way through wine country. This hidden-gem literally at the back of a convenient-style mart will keep your belly full for a day of "tasting" AND a big fat smile across your face. The food is traditional, delectable...try it all http://www.lalunamarket.com
5. SHOP: FOOT /CANDY - Alright I'm totally shooting myself in the foot here (pun intended) because we're about to tell you about the BEST...KEPT...SECRET. If you adore designer shoes, wear a size 7 or 7.5 but can't stomach spending top dollar to line your closet?! Foot Candy Shoes is your new obsession. It started when a local winery owner, Perry counted his wife's shoes...500!!! He realized Carolyn's love for beautiful "foot candy" rivaled his of wine. They'd travel internationally and find their favorite respective flavors and bring them back to Napa. So...how do we benefit?! Well, Carolyn has been incredibly generous by selling some of her lightly-worn or never-before-touched high-end heels to us, the public at a deep discount. Only thing is, all the consignment shoes are a 7 or 7.5 Cha-ching! What do ya know!? Just so happens that's my size. Christian Louboutin, Lanvin, Jimmy Choo...they're all there, and lemme tell ya, it's a sight to see. I scored these Louboutins for $250...new, they'll set you back around $700! Yes GIRL Yes!!! www.footcandyshoes.com