Birthdays, Trains, and Wine

My mom had a big birthday in April and we wanted to get her something special.  My family has always been more about giving experiences or events rather than *things*. If you took a tour of my mom’s house, you’d know she already has enough things.  Not hoarder status, but she’s definitely not lacking in the “amazing amounts of possessions” department.  She’s a very crafty person and crafts take up space.  Lots of space.

But I digress.  Mom’s birthday.  What do you give a beautiful, mature woman to commemorate a significant milestone? 

Well, if you’re my family, a train ride, of course!

As I’ve said before, we live in an amazing area.  Trains have been an historical part of most communities, but our trains have been turned into 5-star restaurants slowly chugging their way through gorgeous wineries:

wine train vineyard


“The Napa Valley Wine Train provides a relaxing three-hour, thirty-six mile round-trip journey from the historic town of Napa, through one of the world’s most well-known wine valleys to the quaint village of St. Helena, and back.

Guests aboard the Wine Train enjoy a freshly prepared lunch or dinner inside a fully restored 1915-1917 Pullman Dining Car or 1952 Vista Dome car as they pass the vineyards and wineries of Napa Valley.”  

wine train wine

wine train set up








 Sounds pretty amazing, huh? 

My mom’s train ride for two included a gourmet meal.  We told her she could take anyone she wanted as her guest – and she chose me!  (I might have strongly hinted that I would be the perfect companion).  Thanks Mom!  And Happy Birthday!

Me and the Madre

wine train table set

Just your typical view from one of the tables.

I’m not in the habit of taking pictures of my food, so I didn’t remember to capture all the offerings, but if you’d have seen them all, you’d be impressed.  And hungry.   What I did get was some pictures of the train, our beautiful view, and me and my mom in one of the luxurious dome car seats.  

I kinda ate most of the salad before I realized a picture was in order.

I kinda ate most of the salad before I remembered to take a picture.  (And if you we’re hoping for entree pics — uh, let’s just say I was too busy eating).


Mom's dessert - creme brulee.  Yum.

Mom’s dessert – creme brulee. Yum. (And the coffee was good too!)


My dessert -- tiramisu.  I'm not usually a fan, but this is the best Tiramisu I've ever had.  Didn't hurt that it had a chocolate outer layer.

My dessert — Tiramisu. I’m not usually a fan, but this is the best Tiramisu I’ve ever had. Didn’t hurt that it had a chocolate outer layer.

After much wine (mostly me) and food (both of us), we went home very full and happy.  

I got zero compensation for this post.  Just wanted to share what we did for my mom’s birthday among the abundant offerings here in beautiful California. 

Has anyone else had a lunch or dinner on the wine train?


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