Gina Dallara: June 2009 Archives

Going Both Ways

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How to Hit Up Napa & Sonoma in a Single Trip by Courtney Cochran

Rather like the sexes, Napa and Sonoma sometimes seem worlds apart.  Farmers are from Sonoma, people often say, while the technology barons and other members of the monied set call neighboring Napa home instead. 

In some ways these stereotypes ring true: I'm yet to spot a Ferrari in Sonoma but am rarely in Napa for more than 15 minutes before one or even two of the slick machines whiz by me en route to brunch at Bouchon or gallery hopping in St. Helena.

But disparate Ferrari populations aside, become a little better acquainted with these areas and I think you'll find they've got more in common than first meets the eye.  And, as is the case with men and women, they can even get along alright on the same trip - albeit with a little extra planning and flexibility.  

Under the Pugliese Sun

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harbor_trani.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Sure, the New York Times called it "the next new Tuscany" . But I still wasn't convinced that Puglia - the sun-splashed "heel" of Italy's peninsular boot - was a bona fide vacation hot spot until I heard about the celebrities. Reese. Jake. Coppola. And I know this one doesn't pack nearly as much star wattage, but what the heck (she's got an Oscar, after all): Helen Mirren .

They've all been here. And now, for six weeks between mid-May and late June, so am I.
So you're going to the chapel to get married? There are few places in the country you can plan a wedding year-round and the Tri-Valley is one of them.  Whether it is winter, spring, summer or fall you can be sure your special day will be picture perfect.

The Tri-Valley hosts thousands of weddings a year and whether it be in the brightly colored fall, warm summer, colorful spring or crisp winter the Tri-Valley offers event venues, attractions and entertainment for all. Wineries, estates, churches, museums, galleries and golf course are a sampling of the more than 100 event facilities available to couples and their guests.

A Local's Guide to Tri-Valley, California

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niles_railway.jpgWarm spring weather and affordable hotel rates make Tri-Valley, California the perfect getaway.  Armed with these local secrets, visitors are sure to have a fantastic experience.

SEE: Ride the Train to Old Hollywood, Sunol, California
Restored vintage trains make an hour long excursion through fields of poppies, lupine and wild mustard, traveling part of the first transcontinental railroad's route during the spring. The trains operate year long out of Niles Canyon Railway's Sunol Depot. Occasionally afternoon departures include wine tasting with local vintners.
Train run on Sundays only, check the website for schedules.

Insider Tip: Catch the early train in Sunol and ride to Niles. Once you arrive in Niles, jump on the vintage bus to the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum for a peek at the memorabilia from a bygone era in movie history. The museum is an homage to the silent films made in Niles in the early 1900's including Charlie Chaplin's famous film, "The Tramp."

Niles Canyon Railway
6 Kilkare Road, Sunol, CA
(925) 862-9063
www.ncry.org

Niles Essanay Film Musuem
37417 Niles Boulevard, Fremont, CA
(510) 494-1411
www.nilesfilmmuseum.org

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