Saturday, June 19, 2010

Napa Valley - Couch Surfing at it's Best!

We met Coco (Coral) & Josh through couchsurfing….if you’re not already aware of what this is, check out the website via this address: It’s such a brilliant way of connecting people across cultures and from around the world. We posted a message on the Napa group to catch up with some locals and got a reply within a few hours from Coco.

We hung out with Coco, her partner Josh and some of their friends at a local weekly event called ‘Cheers’ in Saint Helena celebrating local wine & food (a bit like a market). We meandered through the streets checking out the quirky and unique shops including one dedicated to the celebration of dogs – everything dog related including paper mache dog faces made into clocks. Brilliant! We discovered a free photo booth and managed to cram 7 people into it to have some very amusing pics taken. We finished off the night with some good food in a local Pizza bar. Tim tried root beer for the first time and describes it as being something from his Nanna’s medicine cupboard. Mmmm!

During the night, we mentioned to Coco that we were yet to find a place to park the van. She told us she lives in a studio flat attached to a friend’s house and would be really happy to ask him if we can park the van in the driveway. As it turned out, he wouldn’t allow us to park in the driveway, but he insisted we use his guest room! He hadn’t even met us!! ‘Whoah’ was all we could think to ourselves! Then, when we saw the room, our jaws were a little wider again! We were basically staying in a hotel room! It was so nicely decorated and the bed was like sleeping on a cloud! We felt so blessed yet again!

Unfortunately Rory & Christina, the owners of the house were out at the time although we did get to meet Rory briefly before bed. As a like-minded traveller we instantly connected and discovered he has hosted and been hosted through a travel network similar to couchsurfing. As Rory headed off to bed we stayed up into the wee hours of the morning chatting to Coco & Josh. We shared in some really good wine, stories and laughs. These guys oozed generosity, opening their lives and sharing anything and everything with us. Without even thinking twice about it, they handed us a bottle of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon to take with us (which we have since learned is amazing). They gave away a book they thought we would benefit from, cooked us a really good breakfast and have given heaps of handy tips and recommendations for our travelling. The whole time we were with them it felt like all they wanted to do was make sure we were enjoying ourselves and had everything we needed. We left Napa over a week ago now and Coco is still emailing us with handy info as well as trying to find accommodation for us on the other side of the country! It was also really nice to discover that we all have similar passions/ideas about life and we had the privilege of reading both of their bucket lists. I (Sal) was reminded how important it is to allow yourself to dream, to have aspirations and not to be afraid of having them just because of the possibility of not realising them. Because dreaming in itself is a valid activity and to aspire to something is better than aspiring to nothing.

The couch surfing project is about sharing, about exchange and creating experiences that inspire people to grow. Coral & Josh have caught this vision whole heartedly and we are so glad to have been able to spend time with them.


Rory Lynch said...

Nice write-up ;-) In short, it was a great pleasure to have you in our home...albeit brief. You're always welcome, know that!

Rob Littlefield said...

Great story Tim and Sally

Fun meeting you two last night at the CS event in NYC near Union Sqr, good luck with your travels, I'll definitely be reading!


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