California Recap

I know it’s been awhile, but I have been so busy this summer teaching summer school and traveling that I haven’t had time to write. I couldn’t let this wonderful trip we just took to California get overlooked, though. We did too many fabulous things, and I just had to do a recap for you (and myself-pregnancy brain, it’s real)!

The reason for our trip was to celebrate my dear friend Cody’s wedding to his groom, Dan. They got married in Napa, and when we arrived, we immediately fell in love with this area. Driving through Napa you see endless vineyards. The grape vines and the mountains are really as picturesque as they seem. We spent our first three nights of the trip at the Silverado Resort, and these are the things we did while we were there:

silverado

DAY ONE:

Southside Cafe– We woke up early, and got picked up by my friend Caitlin and her boyfriend Jordan in their rental convertible. We cruised to this little cafe, and caught up over the most delicious avocado toast and blueberry pound cake.

Gamble Family Vineyards– This was probably my favorite part of Napa. My friend Caitlin has a family friend that works for the Gamble family, and he was able to set up a private tasting and tour for us! It was BEAUTIFUL and magical. A very warm welcome to the Napa Valley area.

 

JCB– After the vineyard, we went into the town of Yountville. Here, we went into the JCB tasting room, which was much different than the Gamble family vineyard. It had a more extravagant vibe. We had a delicious snack here, too!

North Block Hotel– After the tastings, we went back to the Silverado and met the girls at the pool. Then, we got ready for a fun night at the North Block Hotel to kick off Dan and Cody’s special weekend.

cody and dan

DAY TWO:

Archetype: We woke up and went to the adorable town of St. Helena. We had a delicious breakfast at Archetype. The fresh decor and donut holes stole my heart.

 

Orin Swift– After breakfast, we met the whole group at the Orin Swift tasting room in downtown St Helena. Everyone had a flight or two of wine, and afterwards we walked up and down this adorable street exploring the shops.

 

Plump Jack Winery– After our fun in St. Helena, we drove to Plump Jack Winery. This was another beautiful vineyard, and we sat outside and had animated discussion over bottles of wine in 102 degree weather! I promise it was more fun than it sounds. 🙂 Even for this pregnant girl who wasn’t drinking!

Cliff Lede + Poetry Inn– After a fun afternoon, we got ready for the most special part of the weekend. We got to watch Cody and Dan exchange their vows in the most beautiful spot in all of Napa! We are so excited for Cody, and loved getting to be a part of his special weekend.

 

After a wonderful time in Napa, we woke up on Sunday and headed to the Muir woods for our second leg of the trip. We were able to spend two full days in San Francisco, and I fell in love with this city. Everywhere we went, I saw influences from different places. Plus, the cooler weather was absolute perfection. It felt amazing the entire time!

DAY ONE:

Muir Woods – Miles wanted to make sure we didn’t miss this, and I’m super glad we did it. The only downfall was the parking situation. On their website, they say to get there super early to get a decent spot, and they mean it!! We parked about a mile away, so by the time we actually got to the park, I needed a break. Once we started to explore though, I was blown away by the gigantic redwoods and the beauty of these woods. This is a definite to do if you’re traveling to or near San Francisco.

 

Tony’s Pizza– After the Muir woods, we returned our rental car to the airport and took BART to Union Square and checked into our hotel. We were extremely hungry, so we walked to Little Italy and had pizza at the recommended Tony’s Pizza. It was delicious, but my advice to you is that if you’re walking from union square to Little Italy, BE READY FOR HILLS! The hills in SF are no joke. I thought I wasn’t going to make it up a few times.

 

Chinatown– After fueling up, we walked to China town. It was a pretty cool area, and we stopped to get a reflexology foot massage. Miles hated every minute, and I could have used 5 more. If you’re a fan of getting your feet rubbed, you can’t go wrong! Plus, it was only $20 for 30 minutes!!! A steal in my book.

chinatown 1

Frances – Cody recommended this cute little restaurant for dinner, and it did not disappoint. We were still a little full from our late lunch, but we managed to try something from every part of the menu. 🙂 These aren’t the best pictures, but it gives you an idea of the menu and the delicious roasted cauliflower and ricotta dumplings we got.

 

DAY TWO: 

Cable Car– We woke up and grabbed some coffee and pastries from Starbucks, and then headed to the cable car pickup location (which was right near our hotel). We have heard that to get your moneys worth, you should ride from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf- so that is what we did. It still wasn’t a long ride, but it was fun and we got to see the hills of SF without the pain of walking.

 

Fisherman’s Wharf + Pier 39– Here we walked around and had great views of Alcatraz and the beautiful water. We saw the sea lions at Pier 39, and got some great pictures of the seagulls and sights. We didn’t really shop or eat down in this area, but there are tons of little stores and restaurants here.

 

Ferry Building + Hog Island Oysters – After exploring the Fisherman’s Wharf area, we took an uber down to the Ferry Building. Marketplace. It was such a neat space, with tons of places to get food and lots of little stores. We heard their farmer’s market is amazing, but it wasn’t going on the day we went here. We had a wonderful lunch at Hog Island Oysters and sat right out by the water. We ate some delicious ice cream for dessert.

 

Golden Gate Bridge– We couldn’t leave SF without trying to get a good picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. We got the chance to drive over it when we returned out car to the airport, but we wanted another view. Unfortunately, it was really foggy and windy when we got to the area to take the pictures, so we snapped a few and left. Next time hopefully the weather will corporate a little more.

 

Lombard Street– Our next stop was the famous Lombard street. We basically just wanted to see it, so we got an Uber to the top, and walked down. My favorite part of this iconic street were the beautiful flowers and homes that lined it. They were amazing!

 

Union Square– After cramming a lot of the touristy things into one day, we went back to the hotel and took a quick break. We got ready for dinner and decided to explore some shops in the Union Square area before heading that way. I spent a good amount of time in Zara, and Miles enjoyed the Nike store! There is so much wonderful shopping here that I wish I would have had more time to go shopping.

union square

 

Burma Love– Our last stop of the trip was at this amazing Burmese restaurant. It is a newer restaurant, but was recommended to us by two friends. We had a wonderful meal and were able to meet up with one of Miles’ college friends and his girlfriend who happened to be in San Francisco on a trip, too. It was a great experience and I definitely recommend if you’re feeling adventurous.

We had a wonderful time in California and were so exhausted when we came back (a win in my book). We can not wait to return and do even more ! There are so many great cities and towns in this area, and we are excited to spend more time in this great state in the future.

Until Next Time,

Susan

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