Photo Credit Coleman Communications
Photo Credit Coleman Communications

By Michael P Coleman

One of the perks of living in the Sacramento region is access.  In addition to everything going on here, we are just a short trip from everything:  Tahoe, Reno, San Francisco, the Gallo Center in Modesto, Oakland…and, as I was reminded of last weekend, Napa.  The town’s not just for wine anymore. 

Don’t get me wrong: the wine in Napa is great.  In fact, a fantastic merlot is partially responsible for me just getting around to telling you about last Saturday night!  I was looking forward to one of Kenny G shows at the legendary Blue Note, so I drove over to 3 Palms Napa Valley Hotel and Resort, where I was lucky enough to score a room with a King size bed. 

3 Palms did the job, and is walking distance to downtown Napa shops and restaurants.  The rooms are spacious and comfy, although they have relatively thin walls.  To be honest, though, that was probably more of a concern for my 3 Palms neighbors than it was for me!

Napa Palisades Saloon took care of providing sustenance before the concert.  The Mac & Cheese was pretty good, the Brussel sprouts were incredible (roasted with bacon…OMG), and the fish and chips was mountainous and quite good.  But keeping it real, Napa Palisades is a saloon, after all.  The sangria was very good, but the Hibiscus Paloma was out of this world.  Napa Palisades Saloon is right next to Blue Note, but I almost missed the start of the 9:30pm show due to those cocktails. 

I’m very glad I was able to stagger over to the club, though, as Kenny G gave a phenomenal show.  It was my second time seeing him in 2018 (he’s that good live), and was my first concert at Blue Note.  Watching an international superstar work a crowd of 141 people (Kenny counted!) was an experience that I’ll never forget.  Nor will I forget Kenny fist bumping me as he walked through the club holding one of those endless notes on that soprano sax. 

In addition to his hits, Kenny shocked the post-Christmas crowd with a rollicking medley of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Frosty The Snow Man,” and closed the show with his take on Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic

And it was at the Blue Note that I experienced that incredible merlot, along with Kenny G’s signature cocktail, the Kenny G & T.  Or several of them.  Who’s counting?  DON’T JUDGE ME! 

The next morning, a cool independent coffee shop, Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company, helped me sober up with a strong cup of dark roast, as I chatted with a fellow writer from Santa Monica.  I also met new friends who’d traveled from Australia for New Years Eve!  Napa was full of folks from all over the world, it seemed.  And all of it was just a short drive from my driveway in Sacramento. 

Napa, thanks for a great time!  I’ll be back!

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 Connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman at, follow him on Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP.

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