Honeymoon hint number 2.
I bring you experience number 506 from my book of the moment Make the Most of Your Time on Earth which will also make up what should be the "relaxing" part of our honeymoon marathon.
"With it's rolling green hills, bucolic landscapes and small towns heavy on antique charm, California's wine country, centering on Napa and Sonoma valleys, is one of the most beautiful places in the West. Beyond touring the wineries - Beringer, Silver Oak, Stag's Leap, Robert Mondavi and many more, all of which allow you to sample the goods - there's no shortage of things to see and do. Come here for a weekend retreat (preferably not at the peak of summer, when the hordes descend), and your first instinct might be to pack in as much as possible. But in a place where the main point is to relax, indulge and melt away the stresses of modern life, that's the last thing you should do.
Instead, aim for just a few choice tastes of the good life. Start with a spot of nature, either driving the Silverado Trail (parallel to Hwy-29) taking in the mountains and vineyards alone the way, or enjoy a peaceful walk through the woods in Jack London State Historic Park, once ranchland owned by the famed naturalist writer. Next, rest tour aching bones and revitalise your senses by checking into one of the resort spas near Calistoga. At Dr. Wilkinson's Hot Springs, dip yourself in a mix of heated mineral water and volcanic ash, or at Mount View Spa, enjoy the mud baths ad herbal applications, as well as aromatherapy, hydrotherapy and other refined New Age treatments that pamper both the body and soul.
|Jack London State Historic Park|
Round out your experience with a great, even legendary meal at one of the region's many gourmet restaurants; these days the area is known as much for food as the vino. Foremost among these is Thomas Keller's 'French Laundry', an icon of California cuisine known for its blend of fresh local ingredients and creative, spellbinding presentation. It won't come cheap and you'll have to reserve months in advance, but it's reason enough to visit."
I am practically drooling at the prospect of rolling hills, quaint little villages, volcanic ash spa treatments and fabulous food and wine. Can you imagine anything more perfect?!