Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Castello di Amarosa in Napa

On Saturday morning while the guys golfed, the kids, mom and I visited a castle!

I had done a little research into family-friendly wineries that we could visit as a whole family or on the day that mom and I would have the kids. I was seconds away from booking a time at a different place when I came across the Castello di Amarosa and immediately knew that we had to go. I quickly texted (and sent an email containing mostly exclamation points to) my mom with information, asking if she had been there before and if she would please, please consent to go on our day with the kids. She was absolutely in and our day was set.

We enjoyed the scenic drive up to the Castello and got there only 15-or-so minutes after it opened. June had been asking when we would finally get there from about the minute we departed, so it was pretty satisfying to hear her gasp of pleasure when we first set eyes on the place. 

This place lived up to the expectations I had after looking at it online. June couldn't wait to go inside but tolerated me and Vivi taking pictures outside for a while.

There was also a little paddock with some animals inside, which had Bennett enthralled.

Because the kids are under 5, we weren't allowed to go on an organized tour. The tours were two hours long, so I wouldn't have wanted to go on one anyway - take that, Castello! Instead we signed up for a general admission, which included the ability to freely wander and a wine tasting at the end! Mom even upgraded us to a chocolate pairing! June didn't have to pay for her 'juice tasting' but Mom upgraded her for the chocolate too!

I really liked having the freedom to wander and take our time.

This was the "Great Hall," which I particularly loved when I glanced over at June quietly humming to herself while she waltzed around.

This was an old-fashioned grape smasher:

Whenever we had a really great view, we'd stop and describe to June what it would look like to be having a ball in that spot.

The wine tasting occurred down in the cellars. There was one big tasting room, but there was another smaller one (less crowded!) that also had a Kid Table! There was coloring sheets and crayons for the kids to play with, but we used it mostly to eat all the snacks in the world. In this picture you can see June tasting her juice, Bennett tasting his snacks and you might be able to see the people in the background tasting wine at the counter.

A selfie at the wine tasting, with Mom holding one of the little boxes of chocolate:

The kids were really cute at their table.

June was especially good, willing to color and snack and make believe there in 'her' castle.

Bennett, on the other hand, wanted to run off at full speed throughout the tasting room and boutique going "Aaaaahhhh!" in excited exclamation toward every breakable imaginable. 

Which meant that I did some of my tasting with him there on my hip at the counter. Nobody even carded him!

The chocolate was a highlight for June:

We bought a couple of souvenirs and headed outside for another glance at a different set of animals.

So gorgeous. So fun. So happy to have a Mom who is so similar to me, who enjoys stuff like this, who likes to make believe and ask about colors of ball gowns and debate about which princess most looks like each of us.

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