Boston & New England Wedding Photographer Deborah Zoe

Boston & North Shore Wedding Photographer creating timeless imagery for classic New England weddings with a fine art approach.

Trip To Napa: The Personal Edit

I'm fighting jet lag. Badly. After our trip to Napa, I'm finding it hard to get back into my normal rhythm. But let me tell you. It was SO worth every minute of lost sleep. (If you'd like to read more about why we headed out to California click here.)

In short, our trip to Napa was amazing. Simply and utterly amazing. It was more than we could have ever imagined.

We really didn't know what to expect and quite honestly we we were not expecting much. Our friends told us that we would love it, that it was beautiful, etc. I guess we just didn't believe them. But it's more than true. It's a place everyone should have the chance to experience at least once. We will be making several trips back to Napa in our lifetime hopefully. We fell in love, and we have to go back.

I'll be talking a WHOLE bunch about the amazing workshop, ShootThisNotThat put together by Summer of Grey Likes Weddings. But I've decided to split our trip up into multiple posts. There is just too much to share for just one! So kick off my little Napa series, I thought I'd start with the personal edits.

Since I won this trip out to Napa and because Dave and I had never been before, we thought we'd tack on few extra days just for just us on either side of the workshop.

Best idea ever.

When we landed we decided to take a small detour through San Fransisco. I had been to San Fran a while back when I was a kid with my parents. I had remembered some things but I guess I had just forgotten about how hilly the city really is! Dave wanted to check out famous Lombard Street and so I Google mapped our way there. I mentioned to Dave to take a right onto Lombard Street (we had a few blocks to go until the curvy part) and as soon as he did, I immediately regretted my instructions. We were suddenly faced with the steepest hill we have ever driven on. Praying the whole time that we wouldn't role back down the hill, we eventually made it to the top.  Never doing that again! But it's fun to say you've done it once I suppose. I had to take a picture once we made it down the curvy bit. Unfortunately I was to preoccupied with the fear of death to take photos while we were driving up the other side...

We then headed to Fisherman's Wharf. Total tourist trap but you have to at least see it. And we need lunch, badly. I was turning into the cranky monster.

Of course no trip to San Fran is complete without a drive over the Golden Gate Bridge!

Something Dave has always wanted to see was Redwoods. So took a small detour to Muir Woods. We had visited here when I was a kid, but it didn't make this time any less breathtaking. It's amazing just how large these trees really are. Stunning.

At this point, we were ready to start making our way up to Napa. We stayed in an amazing hotel! Thanks so much Summer, it was wonderful!

Since the workshop didn't start until the afternoon on Monday, Dave and I decided to drive around the valley. Nothing like a wine tasting at 10am on a Monday! Our first stop was Prager. They specialize in ports. Amazing, wonderful ports. SO GOOD.

Then we traveled a ways up to Castiloga to see Chateau Montelena. We only knew about this place because Summer had sent us the movie Bottle Shock before we arrived. If you'd like to learn more about Montelena, watch the movie:)

From there we drove back down the valley towards, Mumm. It was delicious! But don't do what we did and go on an empty stomach. Thank goodness they offer crackers at least!

Part of the experience of Mumm is seeing their photography exhibit which displays 28 original personal prints of Ansel Adams. I geeked out for a little bit:)

The next day, as part of the workshop, we stopped at Fremont Diner for lunch. This place is an institution in the valley and if you are visiting, you HAVE to go here. Order the chicken and waffles or the chicken sandwich. YUM!

On the last day of the workshop we did a tasting to end off the week. We decided on Cakebread and are so happy we did! We had the best guide, Barbara, who at one point was a synchronized swimmer. People are fascinating!

I'm SO happy to have had the chance to experience Napa. And beyond that, to experience it with  my husband. It was nothing short of amazing and I can't wait to be able to return some day.

Next up: The Wedding Edit Tomorrow I'll be posting all about the mock wedding and details that Summer pulled together for the workshop. Stay tuned!