Sunday, April 5

Greetings from Napa Valley

If you're not jealous you probably should be. I almost feel a little guilty myself for living St. Helena (pronounced, Saint Hel-EEna btw) because IT'S THAT BEAUTIFUL. There's a lot of wealth here-let's put it that way. Almost like the prerequisite has to be an annual income of a million. Ok so maybe not all people here are like that, but seriously, on an average weekend there will be more Mercedes, BMW's, and limousine services than there are the average Toyota or Honda. Wine tastings are obviously very big here so people come up from the bay area for the weekend and go to the different estates and taste to their heart's content. As for Napa, it's a great town, but I've only been in 2 or 3 times so far. It's about 20 minutes south of where I am. However, they do have a Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Target all in the same complex so I can basically be happy for the rest of my time here. As for St. Helena, well it's just cute. Very quaint. Some stats:

Population: around 6000

Number of stoplights: 3

Ladies that wear lots of perfume and sun hats: 5999

Number of famous people: 1 (so far). Michael Chiarello, who has a show on the Food Network and a restaurant here in town, apparently lives across the street from the other student housing place about a mile away.

I've discovered the Silverado Trail, which is an alternative to driving the 29 highway into Napa and Yountville (home of the French Laundry, which is an nationally recognized restaurant that has dinner starting around at least $100-$150/person) and it is by far one of the prettiest drives I've ever made. There will definitely be more pics and stories from there...

As for school, I pretty much love it so far. We aren't in the kitchen yet because we are doing a bunch of math and science. boo. However, aside from there being a lot of homework and reading, I still love that side of it. It's incredibly interesting.

I finally had some time to take some pictures of the building and the property. This building was built in the 1880's, and it was, you guessed it, an old winery. It's really very pretty. There's a lot of history, so I tried to capture that as well. Oh and if you were wondering, yes, they feed us like we are starving men that have been working in the fields all day. I have never seen such gourmet lunches and dinners before. As for dessert, don't even get me started. If I don't watch myself I will have to be brought home on the back of a semi.

Enjoy the pics.

The front of the building

The front doors and the detailing outside the building. If you look closely, the specks on that first picture are actually stars. It used to be a means of earthquake prevention. I'm not quite sure how they utilized them because they are all over the inside too, but it's quite interesting.

The second picture is my view from the front of my housing building.

The first picture is the view from the front of the main building and the little citrus grove. The second is the entrance to the Teaching Kitchens, aka where I will be spending most of my time for the program. Yay!

The rest are just parts of the beautiful grounds around the campus. That first picture of the vineyards is the property across the street. The one thing that is so amazing about the estates around here is how perfectly they line up those grapevines!


Courtney said...

Oh my gosh talk about beautiful! What an amazing opportunity this is for you! I can't wait to see the pics of the food you make and hear more about your adventure. Maybe someday we will see you on Iron Chef America! By the way, did Matt go with you, or did you have to leave him for that long?

Brit said...

Wow! That is awesome! What an amazing experience, soak it all in :)

Merrells said...

How fun! Let us know when you're in town sometime...the girls want to have lunch. Good luck!

Sarah said...

It is beautiful!! I hope you are enjoying it! And I think I am coming the end of May, so I will definitely try to see you. :)

Jenna Bishop said...

Looks beautiful!! Hope your having a good time :)

Tim Glenn said...

looks fun megan, that's where Hope and I went for part of our honeymoon. Definitely jealous.

there were a few vineyards for sale along the silverado trail and, man, buying one of those and just making wine for the rest of my life sounded so good.