Shoe Donations for November and December

The Inn On First is participating in Soles4Souls project this winter.  We encourage both locals and guests to consider dropping off their gently used shoes for donation.  We have a collection bin on the front porch.  Hoping all of you will consider taking a second look at your closet and participating in this collection.
Napa Valley Shoe Drive
We are helping collect shoes for Soles4Souls, Inc. through a valley-wide shoe drive organized by local teens and Humanitas Wines. Donate shoes you no longer need in order to help fight poverty, both in America and in developing countries around the world, through Soles4Souls’ redistribution and micro-enterprise programs. Our goal is to collect 25,000 pairs of shoes by December 31st. We can do this, Napa!
And here’s the Soles4Souls website, for videos and more info:

#1 Inn on Yelp for Napa awarded the #2 slot for Best B&B in America!

Yelp* users have named us the #1 Bed & Breakfast in Napa and the #2 Best Inn in America!

For years we have been working hard to provide great food and great service to our guests.  Yelpers, those who post reviews for, have been generous in their praise for all of our hard work and for that we are ever so grateful.  They have made us #1 for Napa B&B’s for 8 years running and now they have propelled us into the national spotlight by rating us the #2 Best B&B in America!  How cool is that!  Thanks to all who have been part of The Inn On First family and making us a successful lodging property in the Napa Valley.  Read all about it here»


Want to be part of a Napa Travel-log Series?

B & B and Me. Napa Valley: still need more participants for a Travel-log show.  Extending the show through the Fall.

This is NOT a reality show.  Some of you have said you would have applied had you known it was more of a Travel-log series where a production crew will follow couples as they enjoy their stay at this stylish B & B and as they explore the Napa Valley.   We are trying to showcase the inn and the greatness of Napa Valley.  The cameras are not with you all the time.  They meet you at breakfast to capture your thoughts about breakfast.  They will meet you at a winery where you talk about your experience of the wine.  They will meet you at your restaurant for dinner and showcase the food that is prepared.  The show is slated to be witty, informative, creative and fun!

Everyone, of course!  You all have stories to share about yourselves, your relationship, or even why you have chosen Napa Valley as your destination spot for that special occasion.  The production company would love to see diversity of every sort (race, culture, religion, sex, age, et al.).

Simply make a reservation (or maybe you already have one!) at the Inn on First for a midweek stay (holidays excluded) in the Fall/Winter.  Then email the producers a half page of why you should be chosen, send it to

OH NO! TREE. Did someone speak Italian?

Oenotri, pronounced Oh-no-tree, is a great Southern Italian restaurant that is a five minute walk from The Inn On First.  With a focus on handcrafted pastas, homemade salamis and sausages, and world-class Margherita pizza coming out of their oven from Naples, Oenotri has all the makings of a great restaurant.  Salads run from $9 to $15, pastas from $12 to $18, and entrees from $18 to $35.

Last week we were fortunate to visit Oenotri with a good friend, Chad Fielding.  We shared the Margherita pizza with a beautifully charred crust, sweet San Marzano tomatoes, Genovese basil, a drizzle of olive oil, and just a touch of Buffalo Mozzarella.  What I love about this pizza is that cheese is minimal, with a great balance of all the flavors working together to create a perfect bite!  Jamie and I shared the garden salad with a lemony vinaigrette, and I then indulged in the roasted squab!  Perfectly crispy skin and a medium-rare meat with a red wine reduction and freshly sautéed vegetables.

Meat-lover’s note: they do a lovely 4-piece chef’s choice salumi appetizer.  The flavors are fresh and wonderful.

Vegetarians, Vegans, Gluten-free: they love to accommodate dietary needs, so talk to your wait-staff.

Careful what you ask for.

Jim here: I was walking the dogs at Fuller Park, a ten minute walk from The Inn On First, an historic Napa Bed and Breakfast Inn.  A group of young men (in their 30’s) approached dressed with Raiders shirts and wearing Raiders badges to identify them as part of the support staff.

“Cute dogs,” the one man said.  Blond hair, cute, and very hunky.  “Well, thanks,” I said.  “We wanted to know if you would be willing to help us with a video we are making for the Raiders training camp; if you can tell us what you know about the Raiders.”  I laughed.  “Really, I’m a baseball fan.  I follow the Yankees, the Giants, and occasionally the Angels and the A’s.”  “That’s okay,” he replied.  “Would you mind if we film you?”  “Not at all,” I told him.

I asked the boys to wait patiently.  First question: “If you are driving 120 mph, how far will you go?”  “Well, how long am I driving in the car?”  “One hour,” he said.  “Okay, then 120 miles.”  Next question: “If you are in the car for one hour and you are driving 80 mph, how far will you go?”  “80 miles,” I replied.  “Very good.”

Next question: “You walk into a bar and see a really beautiful woman.  What is your pick-up line?”  I smiled.  I moved in closer to hunky blond man and said: “Or maybe I see a really good looking man I want to meet.”  His eyes met mine.  His face went red.  His buddies chuckled behind the scenes.  “Uh, okay.”  “You are rather handsome,” I said.  “Really cute.”  “Thank you,” he said in response.

The interview ended.  I continued walking, laughing the whole time as my interviewer got ribbed by his companions as they walked away.

Garden Tomatoes are in!

TomatoesAs a foodie-destination spot in the Napa Valley, The Inn On First takes great pride in  obtaining fresh and organic ingredients wherever we can.  So, when our friend and contractor, Rick Leonard, invited us over to a friend’s house (Tony) to pick tomatoes, we jumped at the chance.

Fragrant as you picked them off the vine, some of them opening upon touch, begging to be eaten right away.  We did!  Sugar sweet, like candy.  Cherry tomatoes, early girls, mortgage busters, and more.  With more on the way she (Tony) made it clear we were welcome to return again.

So in the next few weeks expect to see them on the menu: from creamy, roasted tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons, to focaccia stuffed with summer tomatoes and mozzarella.

Our updated look and feel- before and after pics

The Inn On First, a luxury bed and breakfast inn in Napa, is happy to announce  the completion of our winter renovations.  We are so grateful to all of our guests who stayed with us throughout the work.  You kept our spirits strong and gave us the courage to keep moving forward during the worst of the foundation upgrade and the scaffolding for the new paint job.  So here are some before and after pics.

The outside of the historic mansion and garden suites building went from white and yellow with green trim and green awnings to tan and white with red awnings.
Scaffolding and Color ChangeNew color





As for the garden we moved the corner patio that had a separate wooden table and chairs and conjoined it with the larger breakfast patio.  That left us the opportunity to dig out the corner and to put in a new fire pit that is auto-ignited with a timer switch so guests can enjoy the warmth of the fire anytime between 7:30 am and 10:30 pm.  We hope you enjoy the new look and feel as much as we do!

Garden TransformationNew firepit

Isabel has a new baby boy! Welcome to our First Family.

Jaden.jpgWe would like to welcome Jaden Gutierrez to our First Family.  He weighed in at 7#1, 19″ long, and arrived at 4:19 am.  Isabel is doing great and is so happy to welcome her little son into the world.

Thanks to all of you who helped make this time so much easier on her with your gifts and donations over the past few months.  It was quite the surprise for her that she received so many gifts from all of you.  Let me say that we, Jim and Jamie, are so grateful to our family, friends, and guests who participated in making their lives a bit better and brighter.

On a side note, the week she received the baby she also received notice they have to move out of their apartment for renovations.  So they are currently looking for a new place to live.  So please keep your thoughts positive for her and little Jaden during this next transition.  Isabel will be back to work in July and if you see her be sure to congratulate her on her new baby.