Well folks, just like that I’m 43! Let’s talk about my original plans. A trip to Paris! The trip was booked and everything paid for. This included flights to Paris and London, hotels, the whole shebang! I packed the week prior and was in bed the night before my flight at a decent hour. My flight was scheduled to leave April 11th. I was all ready to be my most bougie self!
The day of our departure, there was an issue beyond our control which prevented us from leaving the country. I think we were in a state of shock, and a bit disappointed, but I was NOT going to let it ruin my birthday! Took a few…okay, maybe several deep breaths, and made moves.
I knew for sure that I was NOT going back home, so I got on my phone and got to booking! I was thinking, now where should we go? I remember how much I enjoyed dinner and a short stay in Napa summer of 2021, so I decided that would be our destination. I’m not sure what was going on that week, but rooms were limited. I had a few hotels in Napa saved on the Hopper app. Found available rooms at the River Terrace Inn which I had saved in my faves. Booked three nights, and to Napa Valley we went!
We arrived and checked in with a week’s worth of Paris luggage! It legit looked like we were moving in! We unloaded our things and headed out to get food! Before I tell you about dinner, let’s talk about the hotel.
It’s advertised as a 4-star, but I can’t say it was giving 4-star quality, the room at least. The grounds, and restaurant were beautiful though. Upon arrival you’re offered a glass of wine, or a bottle of water. We got our keys and headed up to our room. The room was open, airy and had a balcony overlooking the river but I didn’t walk saying ooohhh ahhhhhh. It was giving grandma house vibes and not these new age grandma’s, I mean my generation of grandma’s. It featured wood floors, a king sized bed and a sitting area. The bathroom was large! It had a huge jetted tub which I was excited about, but the dirt caked up in the jets was absolutely disgusting! If I had to rate this hotel, I’d give it a 5/10. Would I stay again? No
That night we grabbed dinner at Eiko’s. It’s advertised as a modern Japanese restaurant, and I’d say that’s pretty accurate. I’m gonna give the food, a 5.5/10, and that’s being generous. Online the restaurant has almost 5 stars with over 700 reviews, but I will say that the math ain’t mathin 😂. The best thing to order if you’re gonna go, the sushi rolls. I ordered the fried pork Gyoza (which was good), cucumber salad (very subpar) and the Tsunami Roll. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel because quite frankly, we were physically and mentally exhausted!
Morning of April 12th, hello 43! Woke up with a heart full of gratitude! I got up, showered and put on my birthday fit! Let’s get into it!
I picked up this amazing suit from H&M. I purchased a size 8 in the pants, and a small in the blazer. The crocheted halter is from Hollister. My sneakers are from Zara. The cute sunnies are from Target. This outfit was perfect for the day! There was lots of walking, and cool weather.
We headed out with no real plan. The goal was to enjoy the day! We had intentions of going to breakfast, but the place we planned on going, was closed. A slight pivot and we ended up at R&D kitchen. Y’all…before I discuss the food, can we talk about how beautiful Yountville is?
Now, I live very close to Napa Valley, but I’ve never been for enjoyment. I had some unfavorable experiences here as a Black youngster, and never gave it a chance. Napa hasn’t always been welcoming to folks who look like me. Thank God for an amazing significant other who is extremely open minded, and we’ll traveled!
Anyway, let’s get back to R&D kitchen…it’s weeks later and I’m still in awe! Y’all, Y’ALL…10/10! From the food, to the ambiance! I had the carnitas sandwich and fries. The carnitas was tender and flavorful! The fries were perfectly salted. Crispy on the outside, and soft in the center.
We also had the deviled eggs and chicken meatballs over polenta for starters (no pics because it was devoured so quickly). The deviled eggs, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the filling was delicious! The meatballs were flavorful and tender and the polenta was creamy! If you know nothing else about me, know that I LOVE FOOD! I should be a food critic! This place was definitely a go twice in a day situation! We’ll definitely be back!
We left R&D and stopped at RH for a quick photo 📸
and to warm by the amazing fireplace because it was chilly! We will have to go back to try the food, but the outside was stunning! Can we take a moment for the freshness in this photo that is us? Y’all, I got a whole boyfriend…okay let me focus! I forgot to mention, we parked at the start of the city and walked our way through. Almost back to the car and nearly frozen, we stopped at Bouchon, grabbed a croissant and a breakfast tea. Well I did, he had nothing. I’m almost certain that my stomach has no bottom!
We got in the car and decided to drive through the valley being tourist. Here is the beautiful thing about Napa Valley, you truly feel like you’re away. I kept forgetting I was a short drive from home.
Next stop was Gary’s Wine & Marketplace in St. Helena. It’s a unassuming beautiful shop with delicious bites, imported snacks and an assortment of wines! Fun fact, I don’t drink, AT ALL, but it didn’t stop the fun. He grabbed wine. I grabbed sparkling water, assorted deli meats, a delicious tapenade and rosemary infused pita chips (y’all remember I said I loved food?). We grabbed glasses and sat on the patio and enjoyed. It was so nice, and romantic.
Now by this time, I am overly full! We drove and drove taking in all of the beauty that is Napa Valley. We headed back to our room to rest, but guess who went back out for food? You guessed it, we did! Our hotel sat on the river, and had a walking trail that lead right to the Oxbow Public Market. It’s a marketplace that houses several different food vendors.
We grabbed pizzas at Live Fire Pizza. I got the margarita pizza and it was delish, even cold! Thin crust, flavorful sauce and creamy mozzarella and fresh basil. I’d give it a 6.5/10. Now, we didn’t need anymore food, but when I’m Napa Valley…we walked back to our hotel, ate our pizza on the patio by the fire pit before heading back up to rest up so we could pick up where we left off the next day.
Got up early, got dressed and headed out. First stop…you already know, FOOD! We ended up at Mustards Grill. This was my second time there so I already knew it was going to be good! I started with the soup of the day which was a Fava bean soup with a garlic oil. Listen, this soup was heavenly! It was so good that after someone tasted mine he ordered a bowl of his own. For my main course, I ordered the meatloaf. I know I know, who orders meatloaf? ME! It came with mashed potatoes and broccolini. Let’s just say, there was no food left behind! I’m giving it a 9/10 because our server never brought us bread. It’s the little things for me! I apologize, because I did not get a pic. Just know it was pretty and delicious.
Now can we talk about my look of the day? I know, I know, super cute right? The weather was super cool so this layered look was perfect! The trench and the cardigan are from H&M. The button up is from Forever21. Jeans are from Abercrombie & Fitch. Sneakers are from Ross, and were under $30!
We left Mustards and ended up at this amazing winery (didn’t get the name). It was by appointment only, but we caught someone leaving and went in the open gate. Hell, I didn’t want wine, just pics! As a content creator, your eye becomes trained to spot the perfect photo location. Check out these shots!
I thought I was a real life fashion model out there! Couldn’t tell me nothing! We left the winery and decided to take in more sights. We ended up at the beautiful Carneros Resort & Spa. It was love at first sight! We didn’t get to walk around, but you got the gist just driving through! They were setting up for an event and I snuck a pic! I could totally see the vision! I wanted to be on the guest list! The pic below doesn’t do it justice!
While we were there, we decided to try out Boon Fly Cafe, because of course we needed more food! A cute and quaint little space with a throwback vibe. Super bright, airy and the staff was amazing! I decided to order the breakfast burrito. It had chorizo, potatoes, eggs, cheese and a few other things. Unfortunately, I’d give it a 4.5/10. It was cold when it arrived to the table, which was shocking because there was less than ten people in the entire restaurant. I hear they’re known for their donuts, but the way my diabetes is set up, it was a no-go for me. Would I go back? No. It however was a cool experience. The resort though…I mean, it would make an amazing wedding venue! Y’all tell my boyfriend 😆
It was time to check out and I was sad. I wasn’t ready to go home! This birthday trip was full of lessons, the biggest one for me was that life is full of changes but remaining grateful is key! I will say this, Napa Valley owes me nothing! My time there was absolutely amazing! I’ll definitely be back!
Listed below are links to where we stayed, ate, and to my LikeToKnowIt profile where my outfits are linked.
Links to Hotel, restaurants and outfits:
Hotel: river terrace inn.com Rating:6/10
Eiko’s - eikosnapa.com Rating:5.5/10
R&D Kitchen - rd-kitchen.com Rating:10/10
Bouchon - thomaskeller.com (Bakery only) Rating:6/10
RH - rh.com
Pizza - oxbow public market.com Rating:6.5/10
Gary’s Wine & Marketplace - Rating:9/10
Mustards Grill - mustardsgrill.com Rating:9/10
Boonfly - boonflycafe.com Rating:4/10
Until next time…🦋