Festival del Sole in Napa Valley has concluded. What a truly magnificent experience it was! I am forever grateful to have been part of it this year. I attended five events over the course of the 10-day event.
First I enjoyed an outdoor yoga class, then I spent the afternoon tasting and sipping the best of Napa Valley at A Taste of Napa. Then last Wednesday, my husband Bill and I attended a concert at Castello di Amorosa.
Pinchas Zuckerman and his ChamberPlayers performed outdoors to a packed house.
The setting and the performance were both magical.
I wore what I had planned to and was mostly happy with my decision except for my shoes. Pointy heels, even if they are on the low side, do not play nicely with uneven stone walkways.
Luckily I had this guy to keep me steady.
I was relieved I dressed up. There were some gorgeously dressed men and women at the performance, making for excellent people watching opportunities.
During intermission, Bill and I watched the sunset from inside the castle walls.
It looked like a painting!
After the concert concluded, we headed several miles south to Robert Mondavi Winery for a special dinner honoring Pinchas Zukerman’s birthday.
We were delighted to sit at a table with the pianist, Angela Cheug, who was friendly and engaging. What a talent she is!
Bill and I enjoyed lively conversation at our table while filling up on delicious wine and food (inhaling the contents of the bread basket as it was nearly 9:30 before we ate dinner).
Just two tables away sat Maestro Zukerman, his wife, cellist Amanda Forsythe and Margrit Mondavi. Mrs. Mondavi, who is 90-years-young, got up to speak to the crowd. She is humorous and full of vigor. It was an honor for me just to be in the same room with her.
The evening was spectacular and included impromptu singing by Julia Bullock, a round of the Happy Birthday song for Pinchas Zukerman, and cake served with Moscato that was semi-frozen because that’s the way Margrit likes it.
It was a night I will never forget!
Saturday, I attended my last event, a Wellness Conversation at Bardessono. I started off the morning with a big glass of vegetable juice with lots of kale. It seemed like the appropriate thing to do!
Dr. Garo Kassabian, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, author and researcher, spoke first. He lectured about the benefits of vitamins and has created a vitamin IV therapy that he gives his clients to give them energy and vitality. Feeling particularly daring, I signed up to get vitamin therapy. I am so glad I did. I felt clearheaded and full of energy for the rest of the weekend. The next time I am in Los Angeles, I will be visiting Dr. Kassabian for another!
After Dr. Kassabian’s lecture, we were given a tour of the garden at Bardessono. Lucy, the property’s highly acclaimed restaurant, prides itself on being farm-to-table, using unique ingredients in creative ways. Have you heard of Pakistani Mulberries? Lime Thyme? Pineapple Tomatillos? Neither had I. Eating at Lucy just rose to the top of my list of things I want to experience, and soon!
Once we returned to the conference room, Dr. Wendy Bazilian took the stage and spoke about the benefits of eating well, moving more and utilizing herbs and spices to promote health.
Dr. Bazilian encouraged us to start thinking differently about eating healthy. Rather than focusing on eating less of the foods that aren’t healthy for us, turn attention to eating more of what is good for us. I think that is a philosophy that can be applied to many other areas of our lives. Instead of trying to banish negative thoughts, think more positive thoughts. Instead of making an effort to sit less, just move more. I like this way of thinking!
Festival del Sole 2014 was such an amazing, beautiful, educational and delicious experience, I’m crossing my fingers I’ll be invited to return next year.
I am leaving Thursday for BlogHer ’14 and will be running around taking care of errands and doing my best not to over pack until then. I hope to have a post up before I depart but if I don’t, I will be posting lots of photos from this huge three-day event on my Instagram feed.
Before you leave, be sure to enter my Stella Carakasi giveaway going on now. Three winners will be chosen!
Make it a rich day and thanks you for reading!
Disclosure: My pass and my husband’s pass to Festival del Sole were complimentary. All opinions expressed here are, as always, my own.