Hop aboard the Wine Train – We were in Napa, Ca. Mom and her sister Hyacinth were visiting from Wisconsin. They had arrived by way of the Golden Zephyr out of Milwaukee and I had picked them up at the train station in Alameda, Ca.
I told mom and her sister that I was envious of their train travel. They shared their stories about the people they met and the sights they saw as they traveled across the midwestern United States.
Mom smiled and said she had a great suggestion. She said she would treat me to a ride aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train. It went from one end of the Napa Valley Wine Country to the other. The high point was a five-star dinner served aboard the train. White table cloths, table-side service, and special attention to flaming desserts.
The three of us boarded in the Northern part of the City of Napa. We followed north through the old industrial section of Napa, crossing the Rural Urban Limit Line (RUL) about ten minutes into the journey. Then it’s nothing but the spectacular scenery of beautiful wine country, the famed agricultural preserve of Napa Valley, past some of the most expensive and famous farm real estate in the country, and through the charming towns of Oak Knoll, Yountville, Oakville, and Rutherford.
We talked about the two sisters’ memories and talked about the sights of each state they had traveled through as they made their way to our home in Napa.
The décor of the Wine Train was reminiscent of the Orient Express. It longed for a murder mystery and stories of celebrities that had ridden the train.
We turned around near Calistoga and started back south. The sunset was dynamic with its colors of orange and red. It provided a background to the vineyards and grapevines. About this time of day, there is a mist that rolls in from the coast that adds a flavor of mystery and intrigue.
The fading light created an ambiance that led to storytelling going back to Mom and Hyc’s childhoods. The stories continued to the memories of my sisters and me and to Hyc’s two sons.
The beauty of the Napa Valley, the closeness of my mom and Aunt, the delicious, elegant meal accompanied with the Napa Valley wine set the stage for my best parent memory.
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