February 1, 2021 Christina Strawbridge
One year ago, I was getting ready for my “sometimes” annual trip to Paris. Although February is not the best time to visit the City of Love, airfare was rock-bottom and hotels were welcoming visitors after a year of yellow vest protests that had plagued the city. As luck would have it, I tore the meniscus in my right knee the morning we were to take off. By the time we landed, I could not walk. Great! 5 days in Paris relegated to limping and seeing a French doctor. Mon dieu!! Welcome to 2020.
Since that week in Paris, our world has changed and I long for some semblance of ooh la la. It took almost a year to get the knee fixed and in the meantime we have tried to find escapes that are not too far from home and don’t require a lot of walking. Since I still don’t cook, we have been relegated to take-out and eating in the car, or bringing the insulated boxes home to eat at the kitchen counter. I can recite the menu of almost all of our wonderful restaurants in Benicia, from memory.
A few months ago, we packed up the car and the dog for a 62.2 mile drive to Lodi via Hwy 4. You may wonder, what could be of interest in Lodi?
Wine and Roses is a chic hotel and resort spa with an innovative restaurant offering local farm to table cuisine and a list of over 70 local wines. I did not realize that Lodi has more vineyard acreage than our neighboring counties of Napa, Sonoma and Central California, combined. Lodi is best known for its Zinfandels but there are many other varieties to sip. Wine and Roses’ seven-acre estate houses the historic Towne House, dating back to 1898 when Burton Towne bought a small cottage after moving to the region from Minnesota. Through the years, the property grew into this romantic destination for not only getaways, but weddings and special events, as well. Each of the 66 rooms have been newly renovated, providing a tranquil and cool atmosphere with either a balcony or patio veranda that faces the wooded grounds. There are two resident Macaws, named Rudy and Best Man, that are entertaining, unless you are a poodle. Paris, our dog, thought it was his job to protect us from these savage birds. Yes, they do take dogs, which is a must these days for family getaways. Although the area offers recreational opportunities like biking, hiking, boating etc., we have found that for this moment in time, it’s a great place to relax and escape the routine of carry-out.