Jan finally goes on a drive

I haven’t been on a drive that didn’t have a specific mission in over twelve months and so I am pleased to announce that yesterday … ta da … we went a’wandering. Our only mission (his not mine) was to secure fresh oysters.

We ended up toasting the sun gods from the top of a tower.

Well, that’s not really us. Those fellas are actually greeting visitors to Copia, a culinary institute in Napa California which is unfortunately not open.

We could see the CIA (as it’s known) from Hog Island Oysters where hubby got to overdose on those little bits of slim while I kept it safe with the clam chowder. Hog Island only serves oysters and clam chowder but there is a taqueria, pizzeria and gourmet market in the same building with plenty of out door seating all around.

There’s even a roadside burger joint around the corner. These folks were doing a rip-roaring business.

After lunch we walked over to Copia for a better view of the mural. Here t’is:

The front door to the place is nothing special and the vegetable gardens are all dormant. I hope they return because it was depressing to see.

Whelp, nothing to do here so we walked across the river to downtown Napa.

Of the two famous wine counties just north of San Francisco, Napa is said to be the poshest and Sonoma the more laid back. I don’t really see it. Downtown Napa is built right on a river that flows down into the SF Bay.

This mural on the side of a Starbucks on Main Street, depicts what downtown Napa must of been like before the region became famous for wineries. Nowadays the river is neither wide nor deep enough for large ships. I only saw two small fishing boats heading downstream. No yachts or pleasure boats.

This fine old building sits right at the town center and was probably once a watch tower. Now it seems to have been abandoned – hopefully not forever.

Next to it is another fine old building which seems to have survived as a wine tasting shop.

Around the corner the block is closed off to traffic and the street filled with tents for outdoor eating … which is good for the restaurants along that stretch but not good for those us looking to photograph interesting old buildings.

At the end of the Main Street is Napa River Inn which is a repurposed textile mill.

This archway path leads to the back of the Napa River Inn where there is an outdoor restaurant. I imagine later this spring, when the plants are all in bloom, it will be a glorious entrance. Once through the archways, you can sit down next to this fountain and have dinner. (it’s not currently open for lunch on weekdays.)

And, just for the #ThursdayDoors folks, the not so spectacular front door of the Napa River Inn. Check out other doors at Dan Anton’s place!