Jul 28, 2009

Want some whine with that cheese?

We spent the last couple of days in Yountville CA, where the kids got to see the wine country up close and personal, and Selina and I got to enjoy some R&R. Even though the Wine Country is only an hour away, it was nice to stay someplace other than home. Selina booked 2 nights at the Villagio Inn & Spa, where she enjoyed a relaxing spa treatment while I got to watch the kids. When we go to Napa, we always end up going to the outlet stores, so this was the first time I really got to 'see' Napa. It really is a gorgeous place.






Right outside Villagio, they had their own little vineyard.




The kids enjoyed all the water around the inn.


Our room was right next to the pool.


Kristin got to try on her new goggles.


Kaylas cheeks were too big to fit in the goggles.


When I asked Kristin what her favorite part of the trip was, she replied enthusiastically "SWIMMING!"


Kayla enjoyed the outdoor shower.



Kristin enjoyed the foot washing basin thing they had. I need one of these things at our house.




There weren't many kid friendly things to do in Napa, so we asked the Concierge for suggestions. They told us about Sterling Vineyards which had a gondola ride and a factory tour. While the kids didn't really care for the tour, they definitely liked the ride.

Wine tasting.



Afterwards, we went to Castello di Amorosa, which was a castle/vineyard straight out of the movies. Apparently Disney filmed a portion of Bedtime Stories there.





Today, before we left, we walked around Yountville, and they had a store called "Sisters".


The kiddos, dreaming about someday being able to wear a wedding dress.



  1. Looks like you and your family (and your TS-E 45) had an awesome time. The photos are great man. I really dig the poolside ones.

  2. Sorry folks, looks like I hit reject instead of approve on the comment moderation page. I'm still in la la land.

    PKB Visions has left a new comment on your post "Want some whine with that cheese?":

    What a great post! I love that it tells a beautiful story of the girls' trip to Napa... so sweet. Thank you for sharing!

    Thanks Paul! You should book a trip with Tammy, well worth it.

    rachel.lyn has left a new comment on your post "Want some whine with that cheese?":

    your pictures are so inspiring & remind me of all the wonderful times i had with my sisters as a child.
    absolutely beautiful.

    Thank you Rachel : )

    Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Want some whine with that cheese?":

    Just wondering how you rendered the tilt-shift effect in some these photos? Manually in post-production?

    The tilt shift is from using the 45 TSE lens. I've tried to replicate the effect in Photoshop, but nothing can beat the real thing.

  3. Stunning set.
    Such vibrant colours too.

    I suppose you use off-camera flash but I was wondering how you do it? Hand-held? Wireless?

    Particularly the picture of Kristin in the pool caught my attention. It's excellent. Did you use hi-speed sync flash for that one?

  4. Hi Steven,

    I used the new Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 units, which allow full use of ETTL. It's a pretty good system when it works. That particular shot I used 2 flashes, one on each side. f4, at 1/8000th of a second.

  5. Thanks for sharing that.
    These new PW's aren't yet available in Belgium (Europe) so I am currently still using poverty wizards (i.e. cactus triggers). I'm looking forward to using wireless ETTL though.

    When you say "It's a pretty good system WHEN IT WORKS", do you mean you have a lot of misfires?

  6. Hi Steven,

    It's more of an issue with range vs consistency. When the receivers are within working distance (sometimes it's only 15-20ft, other times up to 50 ft) they meter great using ETTL.

  7. Oh, the last image is my favorite!

  8. Came across your blog through another photography site. Your pictures are stunning and your two girls are breath-taking as well. Great blog, amazing pics...what kind of camera do you use to shoot with on an "out-&-about/everyday" basis?

  9. Thanks Kristen, that was one of my favorites too : )

    Hi Laura, thanks for the kind words. I currently use a Canon 5d along with an assortment of lenses. For this trip, I brought the following:

    Canon 5d, 16-35, 45 TSE, 85, and 2 580 EX flashes.

    Hope that helps!

  10. I stumbled across your blog through another site...
    Your photography is absolutely stunning!!! W-o-w!

  11. Seriously, you amaze me every. single. time.

  12. I will continue to read your blog here and on Flickr for as long as I can. There's just so much love in your photos. :) Really makes my day every time I come here.

    If you ever decide to publish a book on your kids, I'd love to get my hands on one!

  13. This is possibly the happiest place on the web. I just love coming here. The photo of the girls walking around the inn is my favorite. Perfectly sweet.

  14. Jason I'm kind of addicted to your blog now...and have even blogged about it so that others will be obsessed as well. You've got oodles of talent and I'm glad you share it with the world.

  15. hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

  16. Thank you Sun-Kissed Savages !

    Thanks Coley : )

    Thanks you Nazra, a book would be a fun project, maybe in a few years : )

    Thanks My First Kitchen : ) The kids had fun, even though it was more adult oriented. Any place that has fountains is fun for kids

    Thank you Tish : )

    Thanks for visiting Hapi : )

  17. Anonymous9:59 AM

    Hi Jason & family, I've to aggree with all comments. I just adore your documented development of your kids, especially Kayla.
    All the best to you and your family! ReNi

  18. Anonymous10:57 PM

    Is that your shadow in the last image? Interesting & lovely shot of the girls admiring the dress.

  19. Thanks ReNI

    The shadow is from Kayla, caused by one of the store lights.