Napa days 1-2

It’s been years since our family has gone on vacation by ourselves. So we decided to take a trip to Napa for a few days. It’s been a great vacation!

I found an Internet deal on a hotel, stay 2 nights, get the third night free, with a free American buffet breakfast! The room is very nice.

And so is the bathroom!

I liked the little cups in the bathroom — instead of bottles. Unfortunately some of my pictures didn’t turn out so well because I didn’t realize the shutter settings were wrong.

Yesterday we watched a movie and then went out for dinner.

Today we went exploring, and what did we find?

Now this is sooo cool. A 24-hour drive-through to drop off books! It’s so awesome the library is open this week, as ours is closed on furlough.

Yes, we are a geeky family. We are also a bookwormy family.

Albert discovered that we could get a library card. We ended up checking up 19 books!

They came to clean our room so we booted ourselves to the lobby to read. I was bummed I didn’t get a chance to get a picture of the Christmas tree — they had just taken it down.

But there were other Christmas decorations still around.

In the evening, we went to the Morimoto restaurant. We are fans of the show Iron Chef and Morimoto is our favorite Iron Chef, so when we discovered he had a restaurant, we just had to go check it out!

As a designer, I found this place to be really… expensive. Obviously it cost a ton of money!

This must have been a custom-made table… It looked like it was a huge piece of solid wood.

The reception table was amazing. Japanese touches everywhere.

The entrance was interesting as well. It smelled like fish.

So odd… why would they put big photos of dead fish on the wall?

And then photos of squid… okaaaayyyy. maybe a not-so-subtle attempt at passing on a subconscious message to eat sushi?

The room we were seated in was pretty cool. Large slats of wood all along the walls. My artist’s eye really enjoyed the experience.

Like even the chopsticks, chopstick rests and menus were cool.

At this point the pictures start getting a bit fuzzy, as they turned the lights down. It was pretty dim in there. These pictures are only looking good thanks to RAW processing and noise filters! But I like this close-up shot of the chopstick holder.

Even the coffee cups were cool! The shape of the cup echoed the shape of the dish, a kind of teardrop shape. And then sugar and creamer was also the same shape.

I did find it a bit odd that there was an unfinished concrete wall… just seemed a bit out of place.

The food was also a delight to the eye. Some of the dishes we had were calamari salad…

Sashimi appetizer with 5 different sauces. The sauces came in little plastic sqeeuze tubes so you could paint a picture on your plate with the sauce. It was the most innnovative way I have ever seen sashimi presented. It was totally delicious and so beautiful!

Albert ordered a dish where the fish came out raw but the bowl was heated at 450-500° so when the fish touched the bowl, it got seared.

Megan got a huge bowl of ramen that was so interesting… unlike any ramen I have ever tasted, with very slippery, smooth noodles.

And Daniel got like the smallest dessert in the biggest plate ever.

I got monkfish. Very interesting flavors with couscous and Spanish chorizo, with seawed on top. Kind of like a Spanish-Asian-American dish all rolled into one.

Albert’s dessert was so delicious… fried banana ice cream with chocolate and caramel and apples.

But I loved mine. Doughnuts — my favorite! It came with different types of sugars to try — green tea sugar, ginger sugar, soy sugar, lavendar sugar, lavendar honey, and Japanese molasses.

Even the bathroom doors were cool.

And the bathroom sink was wood.

My husband added his own artistic touches. He used his sugar wrappers to make a medal. He’s all engineer on the outside but deep inside there is an artist that gets out once in a while.

Something they had on the menu that looked delicious but was way out of our budget was the tasting menu. I wanted to take pictures of the dishes but I figured our neighbors would not appreciate a strange photographer snapping pictures of their dinner.

Apparently the restaurant changes their menu frequently, as tonight they said they had changed their desserts just this past week. So who knows what will be served here if we ever come again?

I must say that the food was amazingly presented and also delicious. But it was also pretty expensive — it helps that we aren’t eating out any other meals during the day! Gotta love that big box of Cup O’ Noodles Albert got at Costco… and the fresh fruit we got at the grocery store… and my mini elliptical machine I brought to burn off all that glucose that’s swimming around in my blood sugar…

It’s an eclectic vacation, that’s for sure!

A Yee

Angela Yee is a professional designer (graphic design, stage design, interior design — and teaches leadership skills at

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  1. Glen Nielsen - January 1, 2011

    So let me get this straight … you travel to another city with your family for 3 days to use their library & take books back to your hotel room where you read them & watch movies & eat instant noodles for lunch … hmmm … Eclectic? I’d say more atypical & unconventional! Moimoto’s looks fascinating! I’m putting that on my list for dining. Thanks for the great read!

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