A 40th Birthday in Napa!

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My sister recently turned 40 and she wanted to celebrate in Napa. There are a ton of travel websites that give you tips on what to do, where to eat, and where to stay. I won't do that. But what I will do, is tell you how we celebrated her birthday and maybe it will inspire you and your friends to think of ways to celebrate too.

The Winery Tour

We didn't pick wineries to go to. Usually I do an itinerary and micromanage every detail but this time I wanted to just enjoy myself and see what it's like to let someone else do it for a change. So we hired Bliss Wine Tours to take us on a 6 hour tour to include lunch and winery stops.  Jon, our driver and tour guide, was knowledgable, kind, and a pleasure to spend time with that day. Our first stop was Mumm for a seated sparkling wine tasting overlooking gorgeous vineyards in Rutherford. Next, we drove north to Calistoga for a stop at Madrigal Family Winery where we met the owner, Chris Madrigal. The small winery and outside seating gave us another fantastic view of the valley and I think it may have been our favorite spot of the day. Their wine, was amazing and I ended up joining their wine club. Afterward, we were taken to Clif Family's Bruschetteria Food Truck for lunch in St Helena. This is the same Clif Family made famous by Clif Bars. We were pleasantly surprised by the bruschetteria food truck as well as the wines we tasted. The food and wine were some of the best we had all weekend. Our last stop was Saddleback Winery in Napa. Here is where the tasting day begins to get a little fuzzy. I was toast by this point and while I wasn't college girl wasted or doing anything embarassing; I'm sure my words were starting to slur and I honestly couldn't tell you if the wine was good or not. I trust that it was delicious and that we enjoyed ourselves. Winery and Note: you only pay for the tour, you still have to pay for the wine tastings and food during the day separately. 

The Restaurants

Eiko's for Sushi, Zuzu for Tapas, Gott's Roadside for lunch, and Bistro Don Giovanni for our final birthday dinner

The Birthday Cake

I ordered a box of French Macarons and a Birthday Cake online from Sift Dessert Bar and scheduled to pick it up the afternoon I arrived along with some balloons and goodie bag items from local stores in the area.

The Spa

My sister has never been to a spa and Spa Terra at The Meritage Resort was perfect for a first timer. The spa is built into a cave and has a eucalyptus steam room, a hot tub, spacious showers, and the treatments are amazing. 

The Goodie Bags

Let's be honest. Kids love birthday parties for one reason: the goodie bag. Why should we stop that when we are adults? This was fun to put together and I think each of the girls loved them. Here's what was in each one:

  • mini bloody mary; a can of Zing Zang mix, a mini bottle of vodka, and a mini Tabasco sauce
  • candy, chocolate and mints
  • mini bottled water, canned rosé and a can of espresso
  • Emergen-C, Advil and Tums (for the hangover)
  • wine wipes (Napa is known for dark cabs, no one wants purple teeth)
  • makeup remover wipes, a face mask and hair ties
  • embarrassing photos of the birthday girl on each bag

How would you celebrate a milestone birthday?