LAND!!!

We just got back to the room after a fabulous dinner at Hurley's.  A dinner for which I had been waiting since Thanksgiving!  They did not disappoint!
Our server, Steven, told us about the specials and we couldn't pass up the appetizer.  We generally don't get appetizers but this one sounded too good, Squash Blossom Fritters.  They were squash blossoms stuffed with cream cheese and probably some other wonderful stuff, lightly battered and fried.  They were served over a bed of greens and green beans atop a red pepper sauce.  The folks at Hurley's were kind enough to split the appetizer so we each got our own plate.  I would have licked mine clean had it been socially acceptable!

I couldn't decide what to have for dinner, the amazing squash ravioli I remembered from our first trip here, or the gnocchi.  Steven told me they did "half orders" so I could have a half order of each if I liked.  I liked.

The gnocchi was delicious.  It was served in a browned butter sauce with capers, mushrooms, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and sliced garlic.  It was so savory and delicious (and no I didn't actually eat the mushrooms!).

The ravioli was just as I remembered it.  A delicious pasta stuffed with roasted squash served with a sauce dotted with chunks of squash and chopped sage.   Delish!

Dave had salmon.  Of course it wasn't just any salmon.  The breading on it was very light and there was definitely horseradish in there.  How they did that I don't know but it was some of the best salmon I've ever tasted.  It was served over mashed potatoes (one of Dave's favorite foods) with asparagus.

After all of that we still had room (just a little!) for dessert.  We ordered the "ice cream sandwich".  OH MY!  A "crust" of crushed chocolate cookies filled with a layer of vanilla gelato, a layer of hazelnut praline caramel goo, then another layer of gelato and then more crust.  I could have eaten the hazelnut praline with a spoon it was so good!


We still love Hurley's!

But then... we had to head back up to Santa Rosa.  By now it was dark.   For those of you who haven't been to northern California, it's not like southern California.  It's not like a major metro area at all.  It's dark, very dark at night.  The highways are at best two lanes, sometimes without a shoulder.

On our first trip to Napa in 2005 we were given a tip to take a road that cut through the mountains rather than go around.  We swore we would never do that again.  The "roads" that cut through are literally paved goat paths filled with hairpin turns and steep drop offs with no shoulder.  We were never going to do that again and the last time we did it, it was during the DAY!

Well, Garman sent us along the Oakville Grade.  Garman wouldn't send us on a "little" road, right?  The sign that said "trucks are not advised" should have told us something.  We were on a goat path, in the dark!  The car barely had the turning radius for some of the U turns we took.  I watched the tenth's of miles tick off on Garman as we crawled through.  We even confused Garman at times and she recalculated even though there was no where we could have gotten off the road!  We were going between 15 and 25 miles an hour the whole time but it felt like we were flying.  When we finally hit highway 12 I peeled my fingers off the door handle and relaxed a bit.

When we got back to the hotel I paid homage to one of my favorite movies, The Babysitter and screamed LAND!  If you haven't seen the movie, you won't get that reference.  We won't be "cutting through" again!

So now, a couple glasses of wine to unwind from the trip back from dinner.  Tomorrow we'll both be in the fitness center!

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