Napa Marathon Weekend

Although Napa is fairly close by, J and I decided to make a short getaway out of our trip.  On Saturday, we met up at the Runner’s Expo in the Napa Marriott.  There we picked up our bibs, our duffel bags and tech shirts.  The lines weren’t too long and things were well organized.  I also tried several Nuun flavors at their booth.  They weren’t terrible (great recommendation) and if I ever needed to get into hydration supplements, I’d probably pick the watermelon flavor.

After the Expo, we booked it over to the Whole Foods to get our other swag bags.  The bag was awesome!  Lots of drinks, bars and little snacks.  Not everyone got one so I’m glad we hustled over to pick one up. 
There was a lot of rain but we were becoming happier with the developing forecast that was predicting little rain the next morning.  We headed up to Calistoga to check into our hotel and then headed downstairs to the restaurant for an early dinner.  A lot of dishes were shared.  SMS and I got pizzas and his mushroom pizza seemed to be the table’s favorite dish.  It was generous with the mushrooms and the cheese was perfectly paired.  It was pretty delicious.
Then it was off to bed.  I didn’t sleep all that well because I was more nervous than I thought.  But I woke up feeling fairly rested and most of all, excited!
After the race, we headed to Oxbow Market for lunch.  I really sold the group on the place saying it was like “a food court in a big shed.”  But no one put up a fight and when we got there, A&J really liked it.  A suggested that it was more like a food hall in a European Train Station and that is definitely a better description.  We went to Kitchen Door, which is a restaurant with its own seating section.  I didn’t want to have to deal with hovering and snagging the limited tables in the central area.  It was really crowded and I didn’t have the energy!  The food there was great.  I enjoyed a plate of Singapore noodles.  SMS had a delicious beef tartare breakfast plate.  My favorite was A’s salmon eggs benedict.  Those were pretty phenomenal.  
Next, we went to Hess and Alpha & Omega for wine tastings. When in Napa!  We met a really nice group in Hess that we talked to for a bit.  J and I wore our medals all day and they were definitely conversation starters!  Maybe I’ll start wearing it all the time!  But, yes, wearing the medals helped us identify fellow runners (most everyone recovers so nicely once the race is done!).  We also talked to people who were curious to know what event had shut down the roads earlier in the morning or thought that the idea of a marathon was cool.
For dinner, we went to Evangeline in Calistoga.  My favorite dish was actually the pickled vegetables.  They were so good!  They were crisp and fresh tasting, even though they were lightly pickled.  Amazing!  I also had the salmon appetizer for dinner.  It’s delicious although my description isn’t- salmon with creme fraiche on a hash brown. 
I was a little less impressed with the maitre’d initially because he tried to seat us outside on the patio saying, “It’s heated.”  Um, no.  It’s raining and there are tables inside that I just called about and you said were free.  I think it was because we had a toddler with us but guess who is awesome?  That kid!  He is so cute and well-behaved.  And sure enough, he was quieter than some of the other patrons.  So, even though I sometimes cringe when I see kids at a less-than-family friendly restaurant, there are definitely some kids who can handle it.  

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