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Get There If You Can…

December 11, 2012

So I just found myself in a particularly nostalgic mood, for reasons that make sense to me but not you, and I came across this review I wrote in the summer of 2011 for the bed and breakfast the wife and I stayed in while out in Napa.  I figured it was worth posting here, if for no other reason than this is my site and I can do whatever the hell I want.  Who asked you?  It’s a quick read but I mean every single word of it.  If you ever have the good fortune to be going out to Napa, (and everyone should at least once in their lives.  It’s everything the world should be.), I suggest you stay here.  Check it out:

(Oh, and if any of you work for, or know someone that works for, any travel publication, you should know I work cheap and can start right away.  Cause is there a better job in the world than a travel writer/reviewer?)

The Perfect Getaway

Writing a positive review of this “Inn” would be doing a terrible injustice to Jaime and Jim, the Innkeepers.  Instead, I am going to go on and on (to excess) about the “experience” that was the Inn on First in Napa, California. Because thats exactly what Jamie and Jim provided for my wife and I for four days in late July 2011. A perfect “experience”. And to be fair, I would be remiss if I did not start back in February, when I was just beginning to lay out a rough outline of the trip. After reading all of the Tripadvisor love that has been showered upon the Inn, I knew that this was the place to start.

Having never been to Napa, I was a blank slate with regards to where to go and what to do. I called and got Jaime on the phone, who spent no less than an hour sharing information on the area. This was long before I had made any reservations with them, so the fact that he was generous with his time was just that, generousity. Over the ensuing months, I contacted Jamie numerous times with clumsy questions, and varying requests. He always found time to chat about the Inn, the area, or anything else I could possibly have needed to know to plan the trip my wife and I had been dreaming about.

Ultimately, I left the winery and activity itinerary solely in Jamies hands, comfortable that he had taken the time to get to know enough about us to plan a perfect getaway.
Fast forward to our trip last week, and as high as my expectations were for the Inn, they were far exceeded. The Inn itself is beautifully decorated and maintained, from the sitting room complete with fireplace, complimentary Port and full chess set, to the lovely outdoor garden where daily breakfast is served. Our room (Meritage) was every bit as comfortable and inspiring as it appears on the website. The cloud-like bed was so comfortable that if not for Jim’s gourmet breakfasts, I’m not sure we would have ever come out from under the covers. And it’s not just the spacious, well-appointed room and jacuzzi tub (For two…oh yeah) that makes the room so memorable. It’s the little touches like the gourmet picnic basket in the room, ready for your use. Or the homemade truffles and and complimentary Sparkling wine that are waiting in your room upon check-in.

Jim’s breakfasts were unlike anything I have ever experienced for a morning meal. The creativity and pleasing aesthetics were rivaled only by the sheer brilliance of flavor, The coffee is as good as anywhere in the world (Major, major importance to us) and the quality of the fresh fruit and baked goods acted only as a precursor of the entree that was to follow. I am certain to never be satisfied with two eggs over easy at the corner diner again.

Finally, the itinerary Jamie had planned for us was nothing short of perfect. Each winery was its own unique experience, scheduled and laid out exactly to our liking by our host. I could have spent 40 hours a week for a year researching and planning this trip, and it could never of been planned half as well as the days Jamie carefully laid out for us.
And finally, how could you possibly go wrong with fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies waiting for you in the dining room when you return each evening. Yeah, you can’t.

In summation (sarcastic applause), The Inn on First was not an Inn at all. By the time we left, it was home.

For more information, they have a great user friendly website: www.theinnonfirst.com

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