Napa Day 1

Traveling has been on hiatus since the birth of our first child PL. She’s now 6 months old, and old enough for us to brave getting on an airplane with her. Short 4 nights in Napa and San Francisco with wife, baby, and in laws seems like a doable first trip. This is our dry run trip before we take our baby on a long cross Pacific trip to Asia a month from now.

DSC07604Packed up and ready to go. Got all of our stuff into one pack, not too bad for two adults and one baby. Not shown here is the giant car seat in a giant duffel bag. That car seat is going to be a pain to carry around.

DSC07609We get in the car and fortunately for us, the baby falls asleep immediately. The one good thing about having a baby is that we are used to getting up at the crack of dawn. Even though we are on the road at 5am, it doesn’t feel much earlier than usual.

DSC07607There’s not much traffic at 5:30am, even on I-35.

First time in airport. I hope she’s a good flying baby.

DSC07611Line isn’t bad at the airport. We lucked out and were randomly picked for TSA Pre Check to go through security. RL and I recently applied for Global Entry and had been approved, but just hadn’t gone to our interview yet. I wonder if being preapproved bumped us to getting a random TSA Pre Check. Despite having Pre Check, our carry on bags still got pulled aside for a more thorough check. The culprit being baby food in my backpack and the water for the formula in the diaper bag. Babies make traveling difficult.

DSC07616Breakfast of Champions.

DSC07620It’s amazing, everytime. A little bit of Austin before I leave town.

DSC07621Austin is supposed to get big storms this morning, but doesn’t seem to have made it to the airport yet. So far, it’s looking like we can sneak out before all the lightening arrives.


Current favorite toy.


DSC07630You know who you are.

DSC07632Looking outside at the rain. It was nice to board early due to having a young child. I guess there are some travel benefits to having a baby.

DSC07634A bottle for the ascend to help her ears equalize pressure. Except, we haven’t left the ground yet and she’s already almost drinking it all…


DSC07640And we have lift off!

That’s what we like to see, baby asleep. So far so good, no fussiness.


DSC07644My father in-law BH watching youtube comedy videos and laughing by himself across the aisle.

DSC07645The best.


DSC07648Still asleep, but somehow drinking milk.

DSC07657Wait, someone ahead of us has a dog!

Then of course, massive spit up on me. Ugh, now I smell like puke. Good thing I brought an extra shirt in my carry on…except we are about to descend so I’ll have to put up with this smell for another 30 minutes. It smells so bad!!

And immediately after throwing up all over me, baby PL decides that it’s time to poop. Ugh, it smells so bad. Now everything smells twice as bad.

DSC07664Then she managed to scratch the crap out of her own face and had a bawling session.
Say hello to my little friend.


Yup, my booty stinks.

DSC07673We are flying on a giant airplane!

DSC07674Overall decent first flying experience with baby…if you don’t count throwing up on my and pooping right before descending.

DSC07676Waiting for our gate checked car seat. Let’s hope there’s no damage to it, I hear so many horror stories…And, it arrived undamaged.

DSC07677Saw this on the way to luggage claim. Why yoga room and not something else? Nap room? Push up room? Sit up room? When is the yoga fad going to pass by America?

Everything arrived in one piece. I don’t want to know what it’s like to have missing luggage while traveling with baby…

DSC07681Up to the Airtrain for transfer to rental car building.


DSC07683It’s a nice day here, so far. Sadly, the weather is supposed to get worse and worse over the next few days with much rain in the forecast. We’ll enjoy the nice weather right now while we can.

DSC07684Hate dealing with car rental. It’s so annoying and expensive with so many taxes and fees. I think I paid close to $100 with just taxes and fees for a two day rental. While signing my paperwork, a guy at the counter next to me started yelling at the rental agent and stormed off. I guess I am not the only one who hates the whole car rental experience.

DSC07685On the road finally. The car rental agent managed to talk me into upgrading into a mini van instead of a compact SUV. In retrospect, that was a good upsell for us. Really appreciating all the extra room in the van.

DSC07693First spot to visit is Twin Peaks. Despite all the times that I’ve been to San Francisco, I’ve never been to Twin Peaks before. It’s a little difficult to get to unless you’ve got a car.


DSC07701Up and up we go.



DSC07707Reached the top! One of the twin peaks.


DSC07709Now a short hike to the top of one of the peaks. It’s super windy and chilly up here.



DSC07714I had to tuck PL into my jacket because it was so cold and windy up here.

Halfway up. Must hurry before baby gets too cold and starts to complain.

DSC07719Looking towards Golden Gate Bridge.

DSC07720San Francisco.

DSC07723The other peak. They were doing some sort of maintenance work on the trail over there.


DSC07729The top of the peak. Pretty cool view.

DSC07731Haha, PL’s hat covers her eyes.

DSC07732Down we go before, baby must be getting cold.


At another overlook closer to the edge. Happy that the weather has held up well at least just for this epic view.



DSC07740Now heading down and into the city. It’s almost lunch time, hopefully we can beat the lunch crowd before getting out of the city.


DSC07744Love the old Victorian houses here.






DSC07759Super steep road up on Lombard St.

DSC07761Here we go! Down the super curvy bits of Lombard.





DSC07770Too bad none of the flowers are in bloom currently.


DSC07774Time to head North and out of the city. Managed to beat the lunch traffic, score.













DSC07802In Sausalito right on the other side of Golden Gate, looking for lunch.


DSC07806SF across the bay.




DSC07817I call our van The White Whale, or just, The Dick. Look at our parking spot number! Representing Austin!

Lunch spot.

Tokens for the restroom to prevent bums and nonpaying patrons from using them.




DSC07824The place was pretty empty, I guess this is the low season.

DSC07825Our view from our table, not too shabby.



Gotta have dungeness crab while here in the West Coast. Though, I hear they’ve been getting their crabs from else where so far this year due to not ideal temperatures.

DSC07828Lobster roll!


Lunch was delicious! Still trying to get used to the higher price point of the Bay Area though.



DSC07836Yes child, please keep sleeping.

DSC07838Heading towards Napa now.


DSC07846Starting to see vineyards now.

DSC07849Haha. Blinders made out of scarf.



DSC07852Good job.



DSC07860No leaves or grapes on the vines right now, but we do get the yellow mustard flowers in the vineyards.


DSC07866Reached our hotel located in Napa.

DSC07867This is what $194 a night gets you during low season in Napa. Not cheap, but Napa is not cheap.

DSC07869It’s been a long travel day with the baby already. We decided to just eat dinner after checking in and calling it a day. Since PL’s bedtime is at 8pm central time, that makes her bedtime at 6pm here. Must get an early dinner and hope that she doesn’t lose it halfway through dinner.

DSC07870Dinner spot. We are in California wine country, and we picked a bbq/beer spot…hah.

DSC07871Napa river next to restaurant…meh, looks muddy.





DSC07884BBQ platter for all of us to share. It was actually very good, especially the ribs.

Time to call it a night, I suspect we’ll be waking up really early at like 3am since PL usually wakes up at around 5am on central time. Ugh, that’s not going to be fun…

Sidenote: My trusty awesome Faster Image Insert plugin no longer works with this newest version of WordPress. I knew this day would come one day since the plugin hasn’t been updated by the developer for years. It was a challenge figuring out how to insert so many images and format it to my needs using the native media tool. I have it mostly figured out now, but took a while. So sad that my old plugin isn’t supported anymore…:-(

To be continued at Napa Day 2.