I’m in the throes of planning a writer’s retreat with several more on deck. Those of you who follow my blog probably know that I am a literary agent at Holloway Literary. So it makes sense that I would create an event for writers. However, someone who knows me personally, knows how super busy and oftentimes over extended I am wondered why in the heck I would add more to my plate. So, I thought I’d blog about my response.
First and foremost, I wanted to create a retreat that would benefit writers on many different levels, and I wanted it to be the kind of retreat I would want to attend if I was an aspiring writer looking for an agent. As a literary agent, I see firsthand the confusion many writers have about how to write a proper query and what should go in the first chapter.
When you think of wine country vacations, lazy days of wine tastings, Michelin-starred meals and gatherings at art bars might come to mind. This is what my U.S. Marine husband thought and why he distinctly did not want to go – at first. After I promised to create an itinerary designed to please his “down-to-earth, I’m a simple man” temperament, he relented and decided to look forward to a vacation sans children. And I eagerly went about researching the various ways a man, who does not like wine, loves comfort food, has a fetish for log cabins, and would rather join a pickup game of basketball than rub shoulders with elegantly dressed aficionados of the grape, could have a good time.
First and foremost, where to stay? There are literally hundreds of locations to choose from, bed and breakfasts with gingham curtains to sleek resorts with the latest gadgetry and everything in between. When I did my research for my trip with my husband, I considered his likes and dislikes. His dislikes? Granny-inspired decor, bright, busy colors, crowded spaces and anything screaming of pretentiousness.
The Napa Valley has an abundance of dining establishments to select from, rather it be a diner, a pizzeria or an elegant steakhouse. But for my husband who seriously loves his meat and potatoes, I researched extensively to find the best of the best in comfort food and hearty fare. Here are the restaurants I found for him. And I think your hunk of burning love will also appreciate them.
I’ve italicized my personal favorites with a note here and there. But as always, do your due diligence and check review sites like Yelp.com or TripAdvisor to get a more rounded perspective. By the way, most places take reservations. OpenTable.com is your friend in Napa Valley. I used it every day and for almost every single meal.