Travel

Many of you watched the news as fires ravaged Sonoma & Napa county this fall. Those of us in the Bay Area prayed for our friends, loved ones, and first responders as the winds intensified flames & brought smoke that choked out the bay air. As the area physically heals, locals are still dealing with the economic fallout from the damage during it’s busiest season. This year I will be doing my Christmas shopping at my favorite local Napa & Sonoma shops to support this community and their amazing small businesses. One of my favorite spots to shop is Napa’s Oxbow Market.

Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com

As you walk into the Oxbow Public Market, you are immediately greeted with traditional marketplace offerings of fresh farmer’s market produce.

Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com

That illusion of traditional market place quickly fades as you look around and see the multitude of offerings available. It’s like a mall food court except for foodies!

Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com

One of my favorite stops is the Napa Valley Distillery. They do a lovely tasting and have an obscene number of bitters for you to stock your bar with. We really enjoy their brandy. The pear, cherry, and lemon brandies are all delicious, but the real winner is the Apple Brandy. Just a shot full after dinner is the perfect dessert!

Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com

If booze isn’t your thing, head next door to the Olive Press where you can do a flight of olive oil instead!

Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com

If all of that shopping starts to make you tired, then there are plenty of delicious spots to grab a bite to eat!

Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com

My favorite is the Hog Island Oyster Company. We have been to their waterside location in Marshall which can’t be beat, but the oysters are just as tasty at this more accessible location!

Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com

Try some local Bay Area organic ice cream. So good!

Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com

Then load up on plenty of unique gifts….one for you, one for someone else, etc!

Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com

The Oxbow Public Market continues into the building next door.

Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com

It starts with Gott’s Roadside. Don’t be intimidated by the line. It moves fairly quickly & the food is worth it. That’s why everyone else is in line too! I’ve lucked out and caught Gott’s several times when there was no line & we could lazily enjoy our burgers on their warm patio. It may be because I always push to try “just one more” winery! The California burger with garlic fries and an organic cookies & cream milkshake to finish is perfection after a long day of wine tasting!

Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com

If you keep going around the corner, you will find delicious charcuturie at Fatted Calf & incredible breads at Model Bakery. Model makes the insanely good English muffins that we had at breakfast at Archetype in nearby St. Helena. I am not an English muffin lover. You will never find me ordering them anywhere else, but Model Bakeries can convert anyone!

Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com

Just across the river you can see downtown Napa. If you are looking for more upscale restaurants, that’s where you want to head next!

Napa's Oxbow Market | www.sweetteasweetie.com

Where are you shopping for Christmas gifts this year?

Rum tasting, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, mud baths, cocoa growing and chocolate making, plus some stunning beach time. What more is there to experience on St. Lucia? Not one to be willing to walk away from a chance at adventure, I want to add one more adventure! The Errard Waterfall Trio Adventure took us on an […]

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Taking a Sunset Boat tour was not originally in our plans for St. Lucia, however after hiking the Grand Piton & seeing the view of the ocean, I wanted to switch over to the ocean to see the view of the Grand Piton. Our sunset cruise departed from the harbor in Soufriere, looped out around […]

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St. Lucia’s most recognizable feature are the Pitons, two volcanic necks sitting side by side on the Southern coast. They are an Unesco World Heritage Site and are named the Gros (grand) Piton & Petit (petite) Piton. Hiking these was on my bucket list and we couldn’t leave St. Lucia without heading up! We hiked […]

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St. Lucia Drive In Volcano and Mud Baths | www.sweetteasweetie.com

One of the excursions on St. Lucia that always makes the guidebooks, is the “Drive-In” Volcano and mud baths. I immediately had visions of being in a 4×4 Jeep bouncing over black roads with red lava next to us. My movie inspired vision wasn’t quite right! St. Lucia is a volcanic island. One of the […]

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This is the final post about Hotel Chocolate in St. Lucia. If you missed Part 1: Tree to Bean Experience  or Part 2: Bean to Bar, go check them out! Getting to learn all about how chocolate is make from hands on picking a cocoa bean to grafting our own cocoa plant, to grinding & pouring our […]

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Think of visiting your favorite museum, now picture getting to get hands on with every exhibit, and do so with food & drink in hand, plus no kids! That’s what you get at Exploratorium After Dark! It’s the perfect date night option! I went this past Thursday night and am going to walk you through how […]

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For our final St. Lucia adventure and my favorite by far, we headed over to Hotel Chocolate, a Boucan Estate. They offer a Tree to Bar experience where we learned how the different cocoa beans grow, got to plant our own cocoa bean tree, then make our own bar of chocolate. This was such a […]

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One of the most gorgeous places to visit on St. Lucia is the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens. St. Lucia is a mountainous island with rich volcanic soil. Although most people think of the great beaches on St. Lucia, the center of the island is a rich jungle. The Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens are the oldest […]

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