Napa Valley Aloft Hot Air Balloon Ride

If you missed my first Napa recap, you can read it here.

One of the things that I've had at the tippity top of my bucket list for years is taking a hot air balloon ride! I've always wanted to do it, but it had to be in the right location because doing one in Ohio (while probably still really pretty!) has never really made me pull the trigger. When we booked our trip to Napa, I remembered hearing about people doing them there and instantly knew we HAD to do it! What better place than Napa Valley over the vineyards?! It's a good thing Billy was all for it too because I wasn't about to take no for an answer... :)

If you're looking for a once in a lifetime memory or experience, I can't recommend a hot air balloon ride with Napa Valley Aloft enough. I'm actually scared of heights, but I never felt uneasy during the hour and 20 min flight...it was really serene and calming!

Our pilot took us up 3,000 ft and we traveled over 6 miles, including seeing San Francisco in the distance. He was so knowledgeable about the areas we were going over and made us feel super comfortable. The entire flight I couldn't stop saying "it's so beautiful!" and taking pictures. I was in complete awe, and would do it again in a second!

The pictures speak for themselves... (and on that note-I do recommend buying the photo package they offer when you arrive because they were able to get some really great ones of us when we took off!)

 (this was shortly after our 6am arrival time but don't worry, they provided coffee + breakfast before the flight!)
I MEAN....๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

You can't beat views like that. We will always remember what a good time we had!

Lastly, since I have gotten so many questions about this-if you're interested in learning more about the different flight options or about the company...go HERE! They truly went above and beyond to make us comfortable and enjoy our time. 

Next up will be all about our time in SF! Happy Tuesday!


3 Days In Napa Valley

Hey guys! It feels like so long that I've blogged..probably because it has been! I'm excited to be back from our California trip and to share all about it with you all...

We started our trip in Napa Valley (we did venture to Sonoma for dinner/shopping one night too) and stayed there 2 nights before heading to San Francisco, where we stayed for 3 nights. Our parents stayed with the boys and 5 nights definitely felt like a long time to us to be away from the kids, but we had the greatest trip and made some wonderful memories, so we are super thankful we were able to get away just the two of us!

I'm going to spend this post recapping our time in Napa and then I'll do another post all about our time in San Francisco. Since this wasn't our first time visiting Napa (my first post from 6 years ago is here-with a lot of other recommendations for first time visitors) we went at a more slower pace, but still packed in so much. Napa is one of those places that it's best to have an itinerary written/planned out way before you go because a lot of the wineries require reservations and will book up weeks in advance for their tours.

I spent hours researching which wineries to visit and really feel like we hit THE BEST of the best...my gosh, all of them had the most stunning grounds! We were truly in heaven with the views + the wine..


Newton Vineyard was our first winery tour + tasting and it set the bar high, to say the least. It's situated at the very top of the gorgeous Spring Mountain in St. Helena and the views are absolutely breathtaking. Definitely the most gorgeous grounds of any vineyard we have visited! We were lucky enough to have a private tour with JJ who showed us their famous English gardens, barrel caves, and enjoyed their spectacular wines in their tasting room. We didn't want to leave, but who would when you have views like this?


You can make a reservation on their website here.

HALL-Tours starting at just $40, you really get the full experience here. It is a 33-acre property at the base of the Mayacama Mountains. It has over 35 pieces of contemporary art, this 150 year old site has something for everyone. A lawn for relaxing...beautiful architecture...and history! It is owned by Craig & Kathryn Hall whos vineyard collection features five Certified Organic estates producing classic Bordeaux varietals. HALL’s highly rated wines include the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, selected as Wine Spectator’s #18 of the ‘Top 100’ in 2010 and the HALL 2008 “Kathryn Hall” Cabernet Sauvignon that earned #2 Wine Spectator “Top 100” Wines. We are actually thinking about becoming members here...the wine is that good!

HALL has two tasting vineyards in Napa Valley-one in St. Helena (this is the one we were at) and Rutherford. Make reservations here.

Other favorites to add to your list...

Domaine Carneros (I loved every single wine I tried here!)

(favorite crossbody bag is from here, romper from red dress boutique)


Signorello Winery

Mumm Napa



Our first stop was Oxbow Public Market to explore before heading to the first winery. It's the perfect place to grab a coffee, get a few gifts, sit outside with a beer for happy hour, a casual lunch, or for yummy desserts...

V Marketplace is a great place to shop. They have kids boutiques, chocolate shops, a few spots you can do wine tastings, and womens shops too.


Hot air balloon ride with Napa Valley Aloft!! (dedicating a whole post on this that will be up tomorrow!)


We had some of the best meals of our life here. I'm not kidding when I say we had the best overall experience and yummiest farm to table dinner at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch. It was my favorite restaurant I've ever ate at! From the gorgeous setting, drinks and cocktails, appetizers, and delicious entrees it is an absolute must when visiting Napa. Make your reservation ahead of time (like 3 weeks!) and arrive a little early to sit outside to have a drink or stroll through their gift shop!

Boon Fly Cafe for brunch was also a huge favorite. SO SO GOOD. It's located right down the street from Domaine Carnernos winery so we came here to eat right before our tasting. One of my top 5 brunch spots for sure!

Another place to add to your list is Bouchon Bakery for coffee, pastries, breads, and various desserts. Their macarons were to die for. After our hot air balloon ride, we got coffee's and sat outside on their cute patio. Try the sea salt caramel macaron and you won't be disappointed! V Marketplace is literally right across the street from Bouchon Bakery so you can get your coffee and head over to the shops!

We drove over to Sonoma on our second night to eat at Girl In The Fig. This restaurant is extremely popular and has rave reviews and it lived up to all it's hype! We LOVED it here. Highly recommend. Afterwards we had some drinks at Hop Monk Tavern that was a really cute bar + had live music.

As for hotel recommendations...we just stayed at the local Marriott and had a pleasant stay. I tried looking into Airbnb's, but most were sold out already (I would recommend going this route but make sure to book early!)

A lot of people have asked me how many days I would recommend staying in Napa. I thought we saw most of Napa on our last trip and that was totally false (although we did see a lot!) I definitely think you can see almost all of it in 3 days, but I would LOVE to go back and do Napa and Sonoma for 4-5 days. Plenty to do and plenty of good wine to drink! If you're looking for other rec's or wineries to visit, make sure to check out my first post!