Napa Valley

by Bethany Plonski September. 30, 2019 318 views

Earlier this year I had to research Napa Valley for work, so when we visited San Francisco, I was hoping we'd have time to squeeze in a day trip. I don't know much about wine except that I like to drink it, so my main objective was choosing a place with nice views. We decided on Newton Vineyard in St. Helena.

Most of the wineries in Napa are on the valley floor, but Newton is terraced along a hillside. Apparently this is an advantage because the different elevations have an effect on the way each plot of grapes will grow. But I think the best thing about Newton was that it felt very quiet and remote - a nice contrast to the hustle and bustle of the big name wineries along the main highway through the valley.

Newton's founder was English, so the grounds have a few signature touches to reflect that, like beautifully landscaped gardens, roses, and a London phone booth.

This was sort of like an archive room where they kept representative bottles from each year's harvest

This was sort of like an archive room where they kept representative bottles from each year's harvest

Being in this beautiful setting and seeing the staff's excitement about the harvest and their passion about the crops and vineyard gave me pause. I often daydream about having a job where my mind is not the primary resource. It's not that I don't like using my mind - I think it's more that the way we structure most professional work is too rigid and demanding for genuine creativity or enthusiasm about the work itself to survive (unless being a workaholic brings you joy).

Physical work has its challenges too, and now that I'm getting to an age where overexerting myself has more obvious consequences, I'm not sure how I'd hold up to a career based on intense physical activity. But still, there will always be something appealing about work that seems simple but allows your mind to roam a little more freely.

Sometimes I think I've made the wrong choice by trying to make a career out of a skill that I genuinely enjoy. That might just be a sign that I need to find a better way to use my skills on my own terms. Or maybe it's better to view work only as a means to an end so you can save your energy for what you really care about. I don't know what the answer is, but I can tell I'm on the cusp of some growing pains.

On that note, I'm way behind on following everyone's posts but hope to get caught up soon. Tonight I am going to be happy that I managed to finish writing something and spend some time on photos, but I think I should get some sleep to try to be a functional human again.

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Tsao T-F 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Beautiful valley.
And wish you are always health at any age.

3 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Tsao T-F 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Thank you, my friend! I appreciate your kind wishes very much. I have been fretting about everything lately because of some health problems (I have to have surgery next month scream), so I will take all the positive thoughts I can get! smile I'm sure I will get through it, but I am a worrier.

3 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Tsao T-F Replied to Bethany Plonski 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Don't worry, Bethany.
I always have 100% confidence in US medicine.
You just need to arrange daily works (eating, shopping, etc) with the help of your family members or friends.
I wish you a speedy recovery!

3 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Tsao T-F 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Thank you so much! It hasn't quite been a speedy recovery, but my surgeon did a great job and I am confident this will help me have a better quality of life once I heal. Getting better little by little! I hope you are well. smile

1 month, 2 weeks ago Edited
Tsao T-F Replied to Bethany Plonski 1 month, 1 week ago

Glad Bethany come back PhotoBlog. I was a little worry because we could not hear you for a long time. Now a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.blush

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Tsao T-F 1 month, 1 week ago

Happy to hear from you and glad to be back too. I'm sorry to have made you worry!

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Diana Varey 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Beautiful photos. Makes me want to visit this place.

3 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Diana Varey 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you, Diana! I'm glad to hear that. It is well worth a visit if you ever get the chance! smile

3 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Buster Bruce 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Bethany I especially like this series as I have been to this place (years ago) and I did not capture the essence like you did. Sometimes I wish we could co-swap images on this platform for a better personal connection- but it is what it is. This is your series and I enjoyed it so much.

3 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Buster Bruce 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you, Buster, what a kind comment! I appreciate that, and I'm honored that you thought it reflected the character of the place! The landscape in Northern California has such a distinctive beauty.

3 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Don Baird 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Beautiful views.

3 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Don Baird 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you! Such a beautiful place. I loved the faint hints of mist (or clouds?) off in the distance.

3 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Antonio Gil 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Wine - the nectar of the Gods. And you've treated it so beautifully. You should came to Portugal and see our Douro vineyards.

3 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Antonio Gil 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Agreed - Portugal is on my travel dream list, and that's just another great reason to visit! One of these days I will get there. Thank you, Antonio! smile

3 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Pete 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Great share. I love wine smile. What is your career, if I may ask ?

3 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Pete 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks, Pete! Right now I'm a copywriter, doing mostly marketing/travel/business writing for work. It's not all bad.  But I've been getting more serious about creative writing on the side and I'm starting to feel like that is the direction I need to go. It's hard to write from 9-5 and then come home and find the energy to do good work in that arena.

3 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Björn Roose 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Well, you know more about wine than I do (I drink it very rarely) smile Nice views, by the way. It looks so ... European smile

3 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Björn Roose 3 months, 3 weeks ago

smileIndeed! As for wine, I have some health issues that limit how much I can enjoy it these days, but it was worth making an exception for this.

3 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
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