Do Poolside Paradise Under the Napa Valley Sun
Despite our hectic work schedules, my partner Derek and I decided the time had come for an overnight escape. Our only task for the next 24 hours was to spend a day of tropical fun in the summertime sun.
From the moment we stepped past the pool’s iron gate, we felt like visiting VIPs. First decision: sun or shade? It was a beautiful Napa Valley day under the sun and we settled into our fluffy towel-draped lounge chairs for an afternoon of tanning, swimming and lunch.
Pool attendants swiftly brought a carafe of ice water (replenished with amazing efficiency throughout the afternoon) while the sounds of Tracy Chapman and other soft rock artists was piped in from somewhere. I literally couldn’t see my iPhone screen in the bright sunlight, so I gleefully set it – and all thoughts of work – aside.
Twenty minutes later it was time to cool off in the pool. It typically takes me a while to take the plunge. Toes, ankles, calves, thighs, torso. But here, the water temperature was Goldilocks perfect and I was doing the backstroke within seconds. After a few laps, I was back to my lounge chair to air dry. Derek, on the other hand, grabbed a colorful foam “noodle” and remained in flotation mode for the next hour. He was in good company with other resort guests who congregated in groups around the edges of the pool, many of them imbibing a cold drink or munching on a snack.
Swimming makes me hungry, so I scanned the poolside lunch menu. Solbar’s legendary fish tacos were available, plus eight other yummy-sounding options. With super-human restraint, I ordered just three items: ceviche of Pacific halibut, buttermilk-fried chicken nuggets and a side order of Sol’fries.
Then I spotted a server with heart-shaped sunglasses holding a tray of rosy cocktails. “I’ll have two of those, please, and, by the way, what are they,” I asked. Frozé, I was informed of this slushed-up concoction of rosé wine and chopped ice. In an instant, my almost-perfect day by the pool was elevated to nirvana.
A Beatles rendition of “Here Comes the Sun” was playing as I called Derek out of the pool to join me for lunch, which was served in pastel-colored Lucite bowls. We each stabbed a forkful of ceviche mixed with avocado, salsa verde, cucumber and cilantro, and piled it on a corn chip. I was in awe of the chef who’d created such a precise taste of summer, including just the right amount of heat.
Next, we dipped crisp, golden-battered chicken pieces into a refreshing sauce Louis, creamy from mayonnaise yet tingly from red chilis. And then, our elegant and delicious Frozés arrived. This tasting expedition had reached a level we couldn’t have imagined.
Two hours later, we were done with the sun, but not with our cocktails, so we played a few games of cornhole and then took cover under our umbrella we finally opened at our lounge chairs.
A few Frozés later, Derek and I departed, pleased with the knowledge that we could successfully disconnect from our jobs for a few days, and we knew exactly where to come the next time such an opportunity arose.