‘Provence’ in California?  After a ten hour plane journey how can it seem like you had never left, shouldn’t you be somewhere vastly different? Although there are obvious immense variances between Provence, where I had departed from and northern California, my destination, on this trip, I was also struck by the similarities. Maybe this is why both places hold such a special part of my heart. ‘What?’, I hear you say, how can anything in California, resemble anything in southern France? ‘Processed’, manicured efficiency colliding with rural, stone cobbled, shuttered, centuries of ancient history? Absolutely nothing in life is that ‘black or white’!

Countryside bursting with the promise of spring, sweet fresh air, lush greeness, wobbly  fences, tumbling stone walls and a canopy of blue, so typical of a Provencal sky…………….but this is January in California’s beautiful Napa Valley.

Napa Valley Countryside
Well tended vineyards stretching in perfect symmetry, their vines resplendent, ahead of a new season’s flourish.
Napa Valley vines in January
French bistros with such temptations to choose from that any French bistro chef would be proud. Maybe a tad more ‘beautiful’ inside, maybe displaying more ‘Frenchness’ than the genuine article but still spilling over with ambience, charm and deliciousness, ~ after all my samplings in Provence , Bistro Jeanty in Yountville, Napa Valley, has never disappointed!
Tarte au citron meringuée, fromage de chèvre, noix et miel! Ils étaient magnifiques et tellement français!tarte au citron meringuée, lemon meringue pie, desert at Bistro Jeanty

Sunshine, blue skies, charming countryside, vineyards, olive trees, neatly cropped lavender, delicious food and wine with special friends, my favorite things, here and there!

There were things which reminded me which Continent we were in, the limo parked outside the winery!
Limo at a Napa Valley Vineyard
Californian architecture and of course Palm trees!

Victorian property in California
Shopping, lots of shopping, why does the dollar go so much further!!!?
California Shopping!

Download the Carmel-by-the-Sea, Travel Guide  


The San Francisco Travel Guide  ~ ideas where to stay, eat and play!