My Trip to Napa, California

Photos by Sarah DeShaw

This was without a doubt a bucket list trip.

My fiance and I have talked for a while about making a trip to wine country, and when I spotted a great deal on Expedia in September, we pulled the trigger. In September, our lives looked very different than they do currently. Cam and I have been in the middle of transitions in our work and on top of that we’ve both been feeling a bit under the weather.

While we were still excited about our trip (who wouldn’t be?!) we knew we were going to have to be a bit more intentional about taking a break and using the trip to recharge and be present in a beautiful place.

More on how we did this later. Let’s get to the good stuff.

What did we do? We ate great food and drank great wine (delicious italian at Ca’ Momi and Ristorante Allegria), took a trip on the Napa Valley Wine Train, visited three small batch vineyards with an amazing tour guide, rode bikes downtown, and obviously ate Oprah’s favorite english muffin at Model Bakery.

Now let’s get to back how we did it even during a busy time in our professional lives.

#1. We set clear expectations with our colleagues and clients

As two notorious control freaks, we frequently have a hard time stepping away. We’ve come to realized the only way to put the desire to stay plugged in at ease is to effectively delegate and communicate expectations while you’re gone to our colleagues and clients. We sent emails to relevant parties two months before we left and we put up autoresponders that appropriately directed any inquiries.

#2. We bought wifi on the plane

Our flight to Napa was six hours. For me, this was the ideal window to get stuff done since I would be crammed in a small seat with nothing but pretzels and a filled-out crossword puzzle. I also knew that I would feel 10x better about stepping off the plane and into a wine bar if I made a dent in my to-do list. Best $12 I’ve spent in a while.

#3 We didn’t have wifi everywhere else

While having wifi was a great idea for the plane ride, I knew having it for the rest of the trip would not be. Thankfully, it’s hard to get an internet connection at most wineries anyway, and when we did have access we decided to turn it off and simply use our phones to capture memories like the ones below. No emails or calls while exploring - very strict rule.

#4 We planned a 30-minute work check-in time

Cam knew me well enough to know that two or three days into our trip I would be itching to check in on work. He also knew that scheduling a window of time for us to check in would be much better than having us worrying about what we might be missing work-wise for the rest of the trip. We decided that we would take turns checking in on work while the other person got ready for the day. I AM SO GLAD WE DID THIS. We both felt much better after taking a few minutes answer a few questions and lighten the load of what we would be returning home to at the end of our trip.

These four things made this trip better than we could have expected. We planned ahead, spent time intentionally, and had an unbelievable time doing it.

kate gremillion napa california travel guide blog
kate gremillion napa california travel guide blog
kate gremillion napa california travel guide blog
kate gremillion napa california travel guide blog
kate gremillion napa california travel guide blog