The good thing about living in Northern California is that cool stuff is just a few $4.55 gallons of gas away. We ended up in the tiny town of Calistoga in the Napa Valley.
We hung out at the Mount View Hotel which was the best mix of coolness and oldness.
We pretty much had the pool to ourselves.
We were so stressed from five hours at the pool that we then had to go get massages in the spa.
After the spa, we wandered up and down the only street in town trying to decide where to eat. We stopped in at this really nondescript bistro called the All Seasons.
Karen chose it because they had good air conditioning (did I mention it was pretty hot, even at 6pm). So we sit down and quickly discover that this is the kind of rare restaurant that can make even things you don't like taste amazing. Karen is into sharing and she forced me to split a salad that had organic greens and nectarines in it. Ordinarily yuck as I don't like fruit in my food, but this was amazing. The amazingness of the food continued on into the Cornmeal Crusted Scallops and corn succotash (who knew succotash could be good?). I turned the tables on her and made us each order our own desserts. Banana cream pie made with caramelized bananas. Need I say more? After dinner we volunteered to stand out front and direct people to the bistro, so if you want the best meal ever, eat there.
We had to walk off dinner (and wine) before heading for home, so we walked around gaping at all of the cool houses.
Calistoga is the birthplace of soaking in mud, although I don't partake. The thought of sploshing around in warm mud that has been sploshed in by a lot of other people just doesn't appeal. If I were to indulge though, I would go to the delightfully old-fashioned and surprisingly medical facility-looking Dr. Wilkinson's Hot Springs.
On this date: In 1919, Iris Murdoch was born.