The drive from Big Sur back to the Wine country was a long one and it didn't help that traffic out of San Francisco downtown towards the north was exceptionally bad. For someone who have been blessed with smooth traffic in the previous few days, it was painful. All the more so, when you were stuck waiting anxiously for the next exit with public bathroom facilities. To top it all off, a table was reserved in a restaurant which was supposedly impossible.
Without arranging any accommodation, they knocked on the door of Lavender in Yountville. Having read some brief commentary in the 2008 Michelin guide, this looked like a winner. And it was indeed the choice of countless other travelers. No vacancy for the night and in fact nothing for the previous and coming 2 weeks. The lady behind the counter was particularly helpful. Not only did she insist that mum and dad have a few of the wine and cheeses on display for the hotel's guest, she even called around to find them a room. It was almost 6 o'clock and the dinner booking was at 7:30.
Apparently, September is the harvest and grape crushing season for Napa, so even though business has slowed down, there were no shortage of travelers. After calling a few places, the lady (perhaps they will remember her name one day and you see the importance of keeping a travel notebook) managed to find them a last-minute room in Napa Valley Lodge at a good discount.